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The Beebo Brinker Chronicles
At the heart of the Chronicles is the relationship between Laura and Beth. Their smoking hot college love affair ends abruptly when Beth got married. Laura moves to New York to nurse her wounds. She discovers the Village's underground gay subculture which is personified by the über-butch Beebo Brinker who feasts on innocent younglesbians.
Laura stumbles through one bad relationship after another, then finally discovers safe harbor with Jack, her gay best friend. Meanwhile, Beth is miserable. Her marriage is crumbling, and she can only think of Laura. She finally goes to New York to find her, but nine years have passed. Both women's voyages of self-discovery turn out very differently than they pictured.
While Beebo and Jack could very easily come off as overly familiar, one-dimensional characters, Anna Foss Wilson and David Greenspan (yes, that David Greenspan) give these two depth and subtleties only hinted at in the script. In some ways, their portrayals are more fleshed out than those of Laura and Beth, played by Marin Ireland and Autumn Dornfeld, respectively. Laura sniffles her way through most of the first hour, and Beth cowers in the face of self-discovery. Thankfully, Laura eventually grows some spine and Beth learns to face her inner demons, but not without a little too much whining. Their reunion is, well, real— full of the awkwardness and bitterness that one could expect from two lovers reuniting after nine years. Jack and Beebo serve as both the linchpins of self-discovery and the comic relief, giving the production an air of gravitas it would otherwise lack.
The set is strictly utilitarian, shifting as it does between various locales, but Jill BC DuBoff's lush sound design, full of period music, more than makes up for the bare stage. Leigh Silverman's direction keeps the action tight, centering the audience's attention on the intricate relationships between the characters rather than on the lesbian shock value. Though adapted from pulp fiction, there's very little pulp about this play which was successful enough to extend long enough for me to catch it.. Hopefully it will be extended yet again.
Try onlineseats.com for great seats to
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Shrek The Musical
The Playbill Broadway YearBook
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide