Monthly Archives: February 2014

“Menthol Slim One-Twenty Blues” by Walter Beck— A Real Voice Speaks

menthol slim

 Beck, Walter. “Menthol Slim One-Twenty Blues’, Writing Knights, 2014.

A Real Voice Speaks

Amos Lassen

I have been a champion of Walter Beck’s poetry since we first met via Facebook about a year ago and I have to say that the guy is the real thing. First of all he started to inscribe the book and then made a mistake but instead of delicately hiding that mistake, he scratched through it and began again. He probably thought to himself that I would not mind but the truth is that he was too damn cheap to try again on a new copy. That’s reality for you. Beck has been considered “subversive, dangerous and a threat to the morality of poetry” but he has always been a friend and a supporter to me (which does mean he will get a good review but I do like his writing).

First off, he dedicates his book, “to clerks everywhere, who sacrifice their sanity to make sure people have fresh coffee and cigarettes”. We see from the very get-go that this is not going to be a collection of serious or epic poems. Rather we get Walter Beck’s views on life. He starts with giving us his “The Ten Commandments of Gas Station Customers” based on his own experience of working at a gas station/convenience store. He is very clear on the way he felt about that job as we read in “Gratitude”.

“I’m so happy

To spend most of my days

Washing down roller grill sausages

With a .44 oz. Coke

I hardly miss

A good home-cooked meal”.

He goes on to write about the things he has to do and the customers he has to deal with. If you have seen pictures of Wal-Mart shoppers you know what I mean. He shares portraits of customers with us but these are what he sees when he looks at a customer—soccer moms, lottery playing and scatch-off buying grandmothers have their own poems, the others appear in another writings.

It was hard for me, before I read this, to understand (or even want to understand) how convenience store/gas station workers get through their jobs but now I know and even better that I know poetically. None of what we read here would seem likely to have a poem written about it but Beck rises to the challenge and the convenience becomes his Walden Pond.

“25 & Dying Blues (Praying for Resurrection” sums it up:

“A six day stretch,

A three day stretch,

Every other night

And every other day,

Life being measured out by the register’s rings”.

“Work and consume.

Work and consume.

Work and consume.

Work and consume.

Work and consume.

Work and consume.”

You might not want to read this is you if are job hunting especially the last line:

“You’re too young to be wasting away”. “Work and consume” is repeated 16 times in the poem and does cast the job in good light.

In the final poem in the collection, “How the Story Ends”, Beck says”

“We were gonna burn it down

And rebuild it

In our image.” He then closes the poem with, “We are forgetting how to live

And slouching towards existence”.

Isn’t that what is all about? Should we not be living instead of merely existing? When a customer asks him about the Kerouac book that he is reading at work, he answers her:

“Ma’am, this is all I have right now at work

To feel human”.

“Not Just Friends” by Jay Northcote— Off to School

not just friends

Northcote, Jay. “Not Just Friends”, Dreamspinner Press, 2014.

Off to School

Amos Lassen

When Lewis went off to college, he knew that he was beginning a new period in his life but he certainly was not prepared to fall in love so quickly. His roommate, Max, is gay, out and proud and Lewis discovers that he has a made crush on the guy. This was Lewis’s first time away from home for a long period and he knew he had to put his past that included his girlfriend and best friend behind him. First meeting three of his new flat mates was exciting for him. Max arrived a bit later and from the moment Lewis saw him, he felt attraction. He found himself glancing at the guy who had blonde hair and was wearing jewelry and who seemed perfectly at home in his own self. As the guys began learning about each other, Max tells them that he is gay. The others are straight and Lewis, up until then, did so also. However, when Max started dating a guy, Lewis had pangs of jealousy.

We learn that Max’s relationship was not to be and Lewis comforts him during the breakup. Eventually Lewis and Max have a night of hot passion after which Max tells him that they should just be friends and this hurts Lewis deeply. He tires to keep the friendship going but he cannot divest himself from the way he feels for Max.

Lewis accepts his sexuality and he has to deal with coming out to his parents and he wants Max to support him in this but Max is also facing a problem—he cares for Lewis. He knows he hurt him by only wanting friendship but then he was not ready to accept the way he felt. When he finally tells Lewis how he feels, Lewis faces a major decision.

At this point I realized that I have heard this story many times by many different authors. I realized that I was into the story regardless but could not understand what was keeping me there. Then I felt it—Jay Northcote had created two characters that are irresistible.

Lewis tells the story from his perspective and I sympathized with him right away. Both characters are the kind of people we would be happy to call our friends. The fact that the story is written so well also makes this a book that needs to be read. They do not get much better than this.

“A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being” by Ellen D.B. Riggoe and Sharon S. Rostosky— Personal Stories and Exercises

a positive view of LGBTQ

Riggoe, Ellen D.B. and Sharon S. Rostosky. “A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being”, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.

Personal Stories and Exercises

Amos Lassen

Many of us are concerned that members of the LGBTQ community do not have enough opportunity to form a sense of well being and a personal identity that lets them live and flourish in all areas of life. I am happy to say that we see here that this is not always the case. Through personal stories from people with a variety of backgrounds and gender and sexual identities, we learn more about expressing gender and sexuality; creating strong and intimate relationships; exploring unique perspectives on empathy, compassion, and social justice; belonging to communities and acting as role models and mentors; and, enjoying the benefits of living an authentic life. This book provides exercises in each chapter to those who identify as LGBTQ and those who support and love them, as well as those seeking to better understand them. Here is an opportunity to explore and appreciate these identities.

The book actually begins a conversation about the strengths and benefits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGTBQ) identities.  We see that positive LGBTQ identities are affirmed through inspiring firsthand accounts. The book focuses on how individuals can cultivate a sense of well-being and a personal identity.

The book combines personal accounts, critical psychology, and counseling models to develop a positive, benefits-based analysis of gay culture. The authors surveyed over 1000 LGBTQ-identified people across the United States (as well as some in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand) in order to develop a narrative picture reinforcing the positive aspects of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. They then organized their book into eight themes and use personal anecdotes and quotations to show what it might look like to live an authentic LGBTQ life, maintain healthy relationships, live as a model for others, work for change, and identify in solidarity with the larger queer community. Accompanying each theme is a brief, scholarly summary of the topic, along with reflections and exercises for the reader. Words such as strength, benefits, well-being— words some would not readily associate with the LGBTQ are used and the word “community” itself  is used so that we can show that there is a  sense of belonging.

Here we learn more about expressing gender and sexuality; creating strong and intimate relationships; exploring unique perspectives on empathy, compassion, and social justice; belonging to communities and acting as role models and mentors; and, enjoying the benefits of living an authentic lives.

The eight themes provide new ways of exploring issues while the personal stories offer context for the themes. The power of this work lies in the combination of the illuminated themes though the voices and the related exercises at the end of each chapter. 

“Fellow Odd Fellow”: Poems by Steven Riel— Finding a Place

fellow odd fellow

Riel, Steven. “Fellow Odd Fellow”, Trio House Press, 2014.

Finding a Place

Amos Lassen

One of my biggest pleasures of being a reviewer is getting the opportunity to read new writers or writers I have never read before. I recently met poet Steven Riel at a reading by another poet and when I learned he had a new book coming out, I told him that I would love to read and review it. It has now been on my desk for about six weeks and I read some everyday as I ponder how to approach reviewing his poetry. I always seem to have difficulty with poetry because it is usually personal and I do not want to misinterpret what the poet says.

The poems here connect to give us a coming-of-age story of a gay boy but that is not all. We get a chance to see what the components are that make up a gay identity. Our boy hear moves from Disney movies to Chris Evert to the diva, Lena Horne. We learn of his desire for the beautiful rather than the mundane and of the person he would like to be. There is one wonderful phrase that will remain with me for a long time:

“I’m a man

with a strapless imagination

whose armoires are endless

& hold all that he might need”.

That armoire is no closet and our poet is out…at least to himself at his point. He certainly knows who he is.

We certainly feel the joie de vivre here as we read of sexual liaisons and gay experiences that reminds us that Riel is not alone and is part of a tradition that gave us Walt Whitman and others. He shares his thoughts with us and even includes those moments when one feels alone.

“Where men park for hours in the dark,

waiting for yet another sedan

to sidle up”.

We see here that the loneliness can be avoided with an encounter.

When I got to page 23 I sat up straight for here was a poem about my literary hero and once-upon-a-time mentor, Tennessee Williams. These are Riel’s feelings on reading the poet/playwright’s obituaries. He speaks to Williams as if he were still alive and I loved that he dared to say what many would not mention.

“It wouldn’t have surprised you: even Stella was guilty

of sticking to a version of Stanley (& Blanche)

that flattered herself”.

Riel also, in the tradition of New England poets, writes of communing with nature but he also takes on the most significant event to happen to the gay community in modern times, the AIDS epidemic. He writes about it in four separate poems that really hit home for those of us that lived through it— “Houseguest with AIDS”, “The Ferry of Your Dementia”, “Deathwatch” and “What Remains”.

Religion is also touched by the poet in “My Perfect Confession” but there is also humor and writing with tongue in cheek— “Postcard from P-Town” and “Hello Dolly”.

I suppose I could continue and give you samples of this and samples of that but I would rather you discover Riel for yourself. When I met him it was brief but now I feel I know something about him. He is a man who can make peace with some of the terrible things that we face in this world. He deals with prejudice and injustice and the unfairness of early death and he does so with brutal honesty disguised by beautiful language. He is the other—the fellow odd fellow of his title and he finds his way using humor and sympathy. If you have not read him, you must and if you have read him, you must do so again and again.

“HANDA HANDA 4”— Getting Hitched?

Handa_Handa_4_

“Handa Handa 4”

Getting Hitched?

Amos Lassen

In this new documentary from Israel we meet Ronen and Orit who have been together for almost three years. They were both raised in respected Bukharin families. Ronen is the lead actor and stat of the Handa Handa theater troupe that is well respected and a hit in Israel and the rest of the world. Bukhari tradition says that couples must marry after a brief acquaintance but both Ronen and Orit refuse to marry. They do make every effort to protect Orit’s “honor” but this is not enough for either side of parents who demand that they get married or break up and they find that their love is somewhere between tradition and the modern world. This is a unique movie in that is a documentary and a comedy and I found myself really laughing loudly.

“PUNK JEWS”— The Review

punkJews“Punk Jews”

The Review

Amos Lassen

Last week I wrote about the new film “Punk Jews” and now that I have had the chance to see, I decided to write a full review of the film that I found to be compelling and totally interesting. “Punk Jews” profiles “Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African-American Jewish activists and more” and it explores a new and emerging  “movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking, each in his or her own way, what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century”.

Today we see Jewish artists, activists and musicians from many different and diverse backgrounds that express their views and feelings openly, defy what is the expected norm and use their Jewishness in unconventional ways. As they do this, the old stereotypes fall away and new doors open as old barriers collapse. Here we hear from “Yishai, lead singer of Moshiach Oi; Radical performance group, the Sukkos Mob; the renegade Orthodox participants of Cholent; the Amazing Amy Yoga Yenta; Kal Holczler, founder of Voices of Dignity; and African American Jewish hip hop sensation Y-Love”. Be prepared to meet the “New Jews on the Block” who do not conform to the ways that Jews are traditionally thought of.

punk jews 1

It seems that we have been asking ourselves forever, “What is a Jew” and now we have to modify the question to “Who are Punk Jews, exactly?”

If we just look at that question and the way it is asked we get a sense of skepticism as well as interest. When I was growing up to be called a punk was insulting much like the word “queer”. Today these words take on new connotations.

The way we live today as people and as Jews is changing. It is important to be in touch with the younger members of the community and it is difficult to do so since we have been more transient and internationally involved. But just as we are looking for the young, they are looking for us and for Judaism but in alternative places. Here is a film that deal just with that issue—it “explores the unique and awesome ways in which our religion is being expressed in the 21st century. It grew out of the reoccurring question “Where do I belong?”” We all ask that question and we all deal with it—the film shows us that those activists, musicians and artists of all kinds also are looking for something better.

As Jews, we have always lived “outside the norm” but it seems that we believe that we do not. Many of our heroes in the Bible could be called “Punk Jews”. Certainly Abraham and Joseph lived outside of the expected norms of the time and Daniel lived with lions. Perhaps what we need is a better definition of the word “punk”. Punk certainly means living outside of the norm. Punks, by definition, are not afraid of being different because they are do more since they are different and they believe that what they do is right. As Jews, we repair the world with the doctrine of “tikkun olam” something that punks have always done.

In the film we see those who have dared to defy the stereotypes and in doing so are “redefining the constraints of what popular society has deemed a Jew should be. They scream to G-d from rooftops, go deep into Hasidic communities to combat child abuse, fight misconceptions of what Jews “look like” and perform politically tinged Yiddish theater on the streets of New York City”.

punk jews 2

We are at a time in history when we have the wealth of the knowledge of the world at our fingertips yet we have not yet seen the potential of the world fulfilled—there is still so much to do. What we do see is something of resurgence in Judaism even though it can bring about marginalization.

The film is the work of a team of Emmy Award-winners, led by director Jesse Zook Mann.  What follows next are not my words but there is no way I can say it better so I am quoting the entire review.

“It opens with Yishai Roman, the lead singer of the neo-punk band Moshiach Oi, on a rooftop in New York City, explaining, “Here’s how you bring light into the world.” He proceeds to unleash a volcanic eruption of a shriek, and the credits for the film flash, no less wildly, onto the screen. It’s a maniacally high-energy introduction but the film actually manages to sustain that level of intensity for much of its running time; it is fueled by the ADHD-style editing familiar to all of us from decades of music videos and commercials. A voice-over promises portraits of Jews “asserting their … identity, defying the norm and doing so at any cost.””

“A promise or a warning?”

“In fact, except for the hardcore sound of Moshiach Oi, the subjects of the profiles that follow are for the most part pretty mellow. Granted, after that band has flayed your senses during the film’s opening moments, a beating in an alley might be low-key. But the remaining segments, focusing on Jewish-African-Americans, Amy Harlib the “Yoga Yenta,” the wacky Yiddish street vaudeville of the Sukkos Mob and a somber but hopeful report on a whistleblower against child sexual abuse in an ultra-Orthodox community, are all fairly understated. But all the subjects of “Punk Jews” are profoundly engaging people with great stories to tell”.

“Kal Holczler, founder of Voices of Dignity, a support group for victims of childhood sexual abuse, is a remarkably calm, intelligent man on a mission. He has wisely focused his energies on helping victims and altering the landscape of the haredi world in the U.S. rather than on hunting down perpetrators in search of revenge. Amy Harlib is an astonishingly limber woman who has taken her contortionistic routines to Jewish audiences, provoking both laughter and renewed interest in the physical and mental health benefits of her discipline. The organizers of Cholent, a free-floating salon of Jewish alternative types, have marked off a safe space for Jews of all types to explore a wide range of cultural and intellectual realms”.

Perhaps the single best sequence in the film, a Shabbos visit with rapper Y-Love and his friend and fellow African-American Jew, Shais Rishon, who blogs as Ma Nishtana, gives a grounded, witty and uncondescending look at what it is like to be part of a multi-generational black Jewish community. It’s an episode that punctures myths while introducing us to a community that feels pretty familiar and comfortable, yet clearly has its own unique stance on the state of Jewish America”.

I have heard that some feel the film looks unfinished and the tone is uncertain. I see that as a good thing—Judaism has been around for 3000 plus years and is still unfinished. We do not want it to be finished because if that were so there would be no place for us.

“Lord Dismiss Us” by Michael Campbell— A Classic Returns

lord dismiss us

Campbell, Michael. “Lord Dismiss Us”, Valancourt, 2014.

A Classic Returns

Amos Lassen

Originally published in 1967, “Lord Dismiss Us” is brought back to us from Valancourt Books and with an introduction by Dennis Drabelle. As so many novels with homosexual themes at that time were, it is set in Weatherhill, a British public school and is the story of a love affair between two of the students. We see early on that the school is a home to passion between boys and several relationships come out of it. Carleton is an older student who felt he was above love and passion but nonetheless uses younger students to satisfy his physical and sexual needs. (Interesting but I do not recall having sexual needs when I was in high school). But then Carleton falls in love with another boy but he tries to keep the relationship platonic which is even more difficult because of what is going on with other students and between some of the schoolmasters. Carleton and Allen become a passionless couple. Carleton knows that he will be going on to university the next year and leave Allen behind. As much as the two tried, the inevitable happened and one night while cuddling innocently, sex happened and Carleton reached a climax while Allen held him. The physical caused the end of the relationship because Carleton is unable to deal with what he has done and the forces he has unleashed.

Mr. Crabtree had just arrived at the school to become its new headmaster. The school’s reputation was sinking and he has come to turn things around. However, Crabtree has no sympathy or understanding and his efforts are misguided and bring about disasters. His wife is infatuated with the school chaplain who warns the boys that their unnatural ways will lead to their damnation and the boys find him and his talks amusing. The school play is being directed by another schoolmaster, Dr. Kingsly who is a bit worried about Crabtree’s Puritanism and homophobia and his reaction to seeing the boys dressed as and acting like girls.

Then there is Eric, a brilliant young teacher who is having problems dealing with his sexuality. As was true of many gay novels written at that time, we find the book moving toward an unhappy ending.

The novel has a great deal of depth to it but it also is very sad. Set during the spring semester at Weatherhill, we catch the spirit of the school and meet the characters that range from “quirky to passionate to intelligent, human and touchingly resonant with familiarity”.  Like so many others, many are caught up in falling in and being confused by love.

Author Campbell handles his characters wonderfully and we get to know them all. We are certainly aware of British restraint and the plot is both engaging and unpredictable (until the end). There is very little sex and that makes the fact that for a novel dealing with controversial themes is so mild sexually.

There is excellent balance between the serious and the foolish. Campbell is a terrific writer who, with this book, shows how far ahead of the times he was.

“Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America” by Annie Jacobsen— America’s Secret Programs

operation paperclip

Jacobsen, Annie. “Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America”, Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

America’s Secret Programs

Amos Lassen

The world was in quite a state after World War II and the American government faced a lot of decisions including those about the fate of the Third Reich. There were some scientific minds in Germany who were the brains behind the Nazi war machine. Thus began what came to be known as Operation Paperclip—a long, covert project to bring Hitler’s scientists and their families to the United States. Many of these men had been accused of war crimes while others were tried at Nuremberg. One was convicted of mass murder and slavery yet these very men were also directly responsible for major advances in rocketry, medical treatments, and the U.S. space program. Was American a participant in moral outrage with Operation Paperclip and did it help this country in the Cold War?

Author Annie Jacobsen drew on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including previously unseen papers made available by direct descendants of the Third Reich’s ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and dossiers discovered in government archives and at Harvard University “to follow more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into a startling, complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secret of the twentieth century”. She gives us a controversial look at a government program and we see how shady our government can be in the name of national security.

Jacobsen exposes the government both critically and comprehensively as she shows what happened, that it happened and she puts everything into proper perspective. We read about the lies and the deceit of a period of history that is often overlooked. There are “passages of immorality, duplicity and deception, as well as some decency and lots of high drama. How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail.”

Under Operation Paperclip, more than a thousand Nazis were brought to America right after the War. They then “helped develop rockets, the NASA program, chemical and biological weapons, aviation and space medicine and many other weapons of mass destruction. The Joint Chiefs of Staff requested that they be brought here and government officials who endorsed the program believed that by letting them come to the United States they prevented their going to the Soviet Union. Most who came were accused of war crimes and/or found guilty at Nuremberg but America wanted them to work for this country and their terrible pasts just did not seem to matter. Opposition to the program began to gain momentum with the scientific elite of this country. Albert Einstein publicly denounced the program and even write to the President, Harry Truman saying that he and his group, “hold these individuals to be potentially dangerous…Their former eminence as Nazi Party members and supporters raises the issue of their fitness to become American citizens and hold key positions in American industrial, scientific and educational institutions”.

Operation Paperclip devolved into a US government-sanctioned safe harbor for “more than a hundred SS thugs and cold killers”. Werner Von Braun, for example, today has a performing arts center named after him near the rocket center in Huntsville, Alabama but who during the war showed little concern for the thousands of concentration camp workers who built his rockets in the death mills of the underground mines called the Mittelwerks. Rather than stand trial for his inhumanity, von Braun was brought to American and treated like a celebrity, his horrific past notwithstanding”.

Jacobsen gives us name after name and with great detail shows us the rationalizations for bringing these scientists/murderers into this country. The result is that this is a troubling book in its honesty and it is a warning for those who believe that national security forgives the past or even that the national interest is more important than morality. Indeed, it is just the opposite.

“Lake Overturn” by Vestal McIntyre— Coming of Age in Idaho

lake overturn pb

McIntyre, Vestal. “Lake Overturn: A Novel”, Harper Perennial, 2010.

Coming of Age in Idaho

Amos Lassen

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Fiction, “Lake Overturn” is not your regular coming of age story and not only because it is set in small town Idaho. It shows us, through Eula, Idaho, that life there is every bit like life anywhere else— filled with beauty, treachery, secrets and so on. It seems that there was only one Garden of Eden where everything was perfect.

Jesus, Lina’s son has returned to the trailer park where his mother lives after he has been in foster care with a rich family. Lina also has another son, Enrique whose best friend, Gene, lives in a neighboring trailer camp with Connie, his mother who is a religious woman. Gene and Enrique have a hard time at school with teasing and bullies but they understand the importance of education so they hold on. They are also determined to win the school science fair (like so many others did but I dreaded). The boys speculate about why 1700 people died in Cameroon around Lake Nyos in 1986.  and they do an experiment involving their own Lake Overturn which is near their home. A strange phenomenon by which deadly gases erupt from the depth of the lake in Cameroon and that is where they got their idea for the project. What they want to see is if Eula could experience a similar event. As they prepare their project, they meet with the locals and quite a group they are. At the same time Enrique is struggling with his sexuality and we learn about other citizens of the town. What we see is what we see everywhere else but on a different scale— there are broken families, long bouts with disease that leads to death, betrayals and friendships, secrets and lies, racial and class divisions and barriers of other kinds. Jesus has desires for his best friend’s sister and Lina, his and Enrique’s mother, who cleans houses, is involved with a man (whose house she cleans) and whose wife is dying of cancer.

The novel is a look at life in Eula and we hear from characters that have something to say and do so empathically as we witness human flaws. There are many characters in Eula and they are all significant. While Enrique and Gene seem to be the main characters, there is just so much going on in Eula and this lets us know that are no main characters. It is as if McIntyre is telling us that we are not aware of things that happen to people around us because we are so caught up in our own lives.

Although I did not grow up in a small town, one of my first teaching jobs was at a Christian Brothers school in Covington, Louisiana which, although just 30 miles from New Orleans, indeed was a small town. I knew everyone and they knew me and like the town of Eula Covington had its share of characters and intrigues. As I read this, I was taken back to that time and reminded of just how confining small town living can be. The town that McIntyre created here has characters that are authentic and the author created them wonderfully. I could not help favor some over others much like how it was for me when I lived in Covington. Regardless of how I felt about the characters, I must acknowledge that all of them were totally believable.

Something else that struck me about this novel is something my father used to say to me, “We strive for excellence but sometimes we must make peace with mediocrity”. Here the characters do just that and as they each search for personal happiness, we watch them succeed and fail, tells lies and half-lies.

While the major plot line is about the lake in Cameroon, it is so much more than that. The story is not lost as we concentrate on the characters that live in Eula. We read of the struggle to accept one’s sexuality; the search for redemption from addiction; the attempt to understand the Bible. As the characters come together and fall apart, we see the complexities of relationships and it is through these relationships that we see the town. It is the characters that propel the story and not the plot.

It is no surprise that the novel has been acclaimed and for a debut novel. This is a simple story that is simply told like we are led to believe in the first few pages. The complexities enter with those characters. I would go so far as to say that this is more than a read—it is an experience. When I was over, I felt like I had lost some friends because of the way I identified with several of the characters. The prose is lovely and the plot, because of the number of characters, is compelling. This is a read that you will not forget anytime soon.

lake overturn

 

 

 

“Mothers and Sons” on Broadway

mothers

“Mothers and Sons” on Broadway

MOTHERS AND SONS, the 20th Broadway production by four-time Tony® winner Terrence McNally, is a timely and provocative new play that explores our evolving understanding of family in today’s world. At turns funny and powerful, MOTHERS AND SONSportrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led. MOTHERS AND SONS stars Tony and six-time Emmy® winner Tyne Daly (GypsyMaster Class, “Cagney & Lacey”) alongside co-stars Frederick Weller (“In Plain Sight,” Glengarry Glen Ross), Bobby Steggert (Big FishRagtime) &Grayson Taylor. Tony nomineeSheryl Kaller directs.