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Ann Deavere Smith

We just saw Anna Deavere Smith’s one-person, one-act show, Let Me Down Easy. I liked it, but probably less than anyone else in the theater, given the immediate standing ovation she was given.

I feel bad saying anything negative since the show is incredibly well-intentioned and ADS is hugely talented. In it, she presents monologues in the voices of about 20 different people, based on interviews with them. These are named, real people who span ages, genders, races, and countries. Impressive. The topic is health, health care, having a body, and death. Some of the monologues are moving, some are funny. I loved the one by a New Orleans’ nurse. But I felt manipulated by others. And the main thing that kept me from leaping to my feet at the end was the fact that only occasionally did ADS get me to forget that I was watching an actor — an immensely talented actor — imitating someone else.

It was admirable and enjoyable. For me, it was 3.5 stars out of 5.


We also went to the Bauhaus exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. I loved it. It covers everything from architecture to painting to furniture to font design. (Great fonts!) And it does a good job conveying the movement’s political and economic principles. I only wish there were some examples of pre-Bauhaus design, because it’s become so much the standard style of contemporary design that it can be hard to remember how radical it was at the time: from heavily ornamented wooden cabinets to simple cabinets with glass doors, designed for practicality of use and manufacture. Bauhaus so won.

It’s a great, rich exhibit. And when you’re done, you still have five floors to visit!

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