On Sunday night, Tony, Eugene, and I caught Fun Home at The Public Theater after a fine and filling meal at Brick Lane Curry House on E. 6th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues, a very little Little India in the East Village.
The dinner took me back to Indian food nights with Bob and Jen in Park Slope. The great conversations. The tasty, spicy food from Amin. The beads of sweat that formed on Bob's head as he ate his Chicken Vindaloo. :-)
At Brick Lane, I started with Lassuni Gobi, fried cauliflower in a tomato-garlic sauce, and had Chicken Tikka Masala for my main, with lots of rice and three pieces of fantastic garlic naan. Carb-rific!
Our waiter had been informed (based on the note I left in my reservation through OpenTable) that Tony had gluten and dairy issues and told us the kitchen was preparing special rice for him. Because the regular rice contains cream! My rice was delicious, so even though I think it's ridonkulous to put cream in rice, I won't complain. And I was very happy the restaurant and our waiter in particular were on the ball about Tony's needs.
I'd never been to a play at TPT's complex of theaters on Lafayette Street. It's very white inside. Tony took a picture of Eugene and me pre-show.
Immediately after the show, Tony said he liked parts of the show, which, because he's harder to please than goddamn Brantley, was the equivalent of a near rave. Yesterday, he told me the more he's thought about the play, the more he's liked it.
FH was special in many ways. I've never seen such an emotionally rich portrayal of a butch lesbian. The actors were all fantastic, especially Emily Skeggs as Medium (college-age) Alison (Bechdel, the creater of the graphic novel on which the show is based and which should be delivered to Tony's office for us to start reading any day now); Roberta Colindrez as her girlfriend, Joan; and Sydney Lucas as Small Alison.
Several of the songs grabbed me immediately, including the hilariously rhyming jingle Small Alison and her two brothers pretended to film as a commercial for their father's funeral home (get it, "fun(eral) home"?) while they were supposed to be sweeping and dusting; "Ring of Keys," in which Small Alison fixates on a "handsome" dyke who's making a delivery to the restaurant where she and her father are eating; and "Days," which Judy Kuhn, as Alison's mother, Helen, brings down the house with. In "Days," or "Days and Days and Days,"* Helen lays out to Medium Alison the pain her husband has put her through. And "Changing My Major to Joan," sung by Medium Alison after she loses her virginity with Joan, wonderfully and humorously conveys the thrill of first requited lust.
After the show was over, I realized that, for a musical based on a graphic novel, there was precious little visual art involved in the production. According to this interview with Alison Bechdel, early versions of the book incorporated her drawings, but those elements were ultimately thrown out. (This worth-a-read article by Rachel Kramer Bussel at Buzzfeed provides more insight into how the musical was created over the course of five years.)
Tony and I both wanted to know more about Helen's reaction to her husband Bruce's death, probably a suicide, during Alison's first year of college. Was she relieved to no longer be tied to a man who took out on her his anger at being a closeted gay man? It's a sign of the musical's richness that we longed to learn more about these people after the curtain came down. I wish there could have been medium or adult versions of Alison's brothers, Christian and John, but I understand there's a limit to the number of actors who can be employed.
This play was the second in which Eugene and I saw Michael Cerveris perform, after In the Next Room or the vibrator play. Cerveris was great as Bruce, but his hairpiece and voice at times reminded me of Mike Myers.
Eugene's mother is moving from a rental apartment in Manhattan to a condo in Manhattan, and he's been helping her clean out and pack her stuff. He asked if we wanted one of her Santas because he figured there were a few too many for a Jewish household. :-) We took him, as well as a dreidel.
Tony and I hosted Mark, Hanif, Rich, and Vince for Thanksgiving. The meal preparation went so smoothly, it was almost unbelievable. The turkey was done earlier than expected, so I was able to make the gravy before the guests arrived. Tony even pre-mixed the cocktails! Cherry lime rickeys, which he adapted from this recipe.
The only things left to cook when the guys got here were the carrots and Brussels sprouts. Tony prepared Sautéed Carrots With Lemon and Marjoram, which he'd received a rave review on the first time he'd made them for me. I cooked the B. sprouts in a pan on the stove with some oil and a lot of turmeric, as I've done before.
Tony made his usual wild rice stuffing and, once again, three kinds of nuts for appetizers and three kinds of cranberry sauce. I baked Lace Cookies. Rich, who's as big a fan of them as Tony is, joked that he hoped they would turn out as terrible as before, because I've complained that I've never been completely happy with them even though T&R have been. Tony made his can't-believe-it's-dairy-free Chocolate Mousse.
Here's the whole gang:
Hanif and Mark sent the best thank you card in which Mark confessed to eating both of the turkey legs and the cranberry sauce we gave them to take home at midnight that night.
*The interview with Bechdel on TheAtlantic.com calls this song "Days and Days and Days." The Playbill doesn't include a list of the songs. Most online references call it just "Days."
UPDATE on Dec. 7: To find our more about Bechdel's mom, we'll have to read this book next.