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You’ve got only three nights left to see the first run of “The Report of my Death,”  a docudrama written and directed by Adam Klasfeld and starring Michael Graves. Don’t miss it.  “Written” in the first sentence should maybe say “compiled” because the script has been constructed using rare and unpublished prose gleaned from Twain’s letters and notebooks.  And what better stage exists  in all of  New York than ON the sixth boro.  Brian’s shots here show the set in rain mode and capture Iggy, ship’s cat.  In the foto below, nature’s house lights begin to dim, and


Bowsprite catches this glimpse of Tugster saving the best seats in the house . . . er . .  . on Lilac.


Lights continue to dim.  Most associate Twain with light reportage of his earlier writings, but in the last years of his life, his writing turned dark and sarcastic.  “Reports of My Death” draws from this darkness.  The setting for the performance is a lecture tour of the British empire; such a tour a century ago would obviously be made by sea.  And Lilac as a venue works well for this; Michael Graves points to the lights in Hoboken . . . and –magic–we’re entering the port of Suva . . . or Manilla . . . or


London.  Twain’s prose mentions dolphins, and –presto–we see them with the actor over Lilac‘s bulwarks.  Or albatrosses . . . and they glide overhead.


Never has a chandelier looked better than suspended from Lilac‘s buoy-lifting boom.


High bulwarks and forepeak enclose the audience and performer in an intimate space en plein air.


Where is Lilac and the three remaining performances?  Pier 40.  At dusk, look for the building along West Side Highway with a trapeze school on the roof.   Below the aerialist is a net, a dock, and  . . . the sixth boro.

See this article on summer stages from the NYTimes a few weeks ago.


All fotos except Bowsprite’s, by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Given how dynamic and diverse the sixth boro is, I was pleased to learn earlier this week about a new waterblog:  Everyday East River.  Check it.  My only regret about this new blog is that I can’t find a way to contact the blogger.  Anyone help?

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August 2009