Last weekend was pretty great. I got to witness the marriage of two dear, dear friends, and the next day saw Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. And then the cherry, of course, was seeing Dolly Parton with friends that night.
I really, really liked the first act of Clybourne Park. It was moving and beautifully acted, funny, and heartbreaking. (There were a few moments where the audience’s laughter struck me as bizarre, though, because I was tearing up. Anyway!) The second act, however, was unpleasantly farcical at times and as one friend put it, “Gentrification 101.” We speculated the reason why we didn’t much care for it was because it didn’t really delve any deeper than black-couple-is-wary/white-couple-is-offended. I don’t know about you — and perhaps it’s because I’m part of the liberal media — but most young white folks I know are far more self-aware than the couple in the play.
Still, I’m glad I went. The acting was pretty brilliant and the post-show discussion was cross-generational and enlightening. Many thanks to Rachel Grossman at Woolly Mammoth for inviting me to participate.
Now… Can we take a moment to talk about Dolly Parton?
She sounds AMAZING for someone who’s been in the business for so long. Amanda and I were trying to figure out why she still sounds so good — compared to, for example, Mariah Carey, whose voice is a wreck (still love her) these days. She must have a strict vocal regimen. And as someone who doesn’t have a particularly deep knowledge of her songbook, I found laying out on a blanket and drinking Andre while Dolly jammed on stage extremely enjoyable.
And speaking of alcohol — I’ll be at Bar 7 tonight talking about gentrification with some awesome folks brought together by the Humanities Council of D.C. I think things get started at 6:30. Swing by if you can.
Update: Abdul Ali has a piece at City Paper that much more eloquently gets at my issues with Clybourne Park.