Anna Deavere Smith's new show to play 2nd Stage in September

Yankeefan007
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Judging by the recent posts and posters, I can only think myself and a handful of others will care about this or know who Anna Deavere Smith is, but her new show, "Let Me Down Easy," about the American health-care system, will play 2nd Stage Theatre beginning on September 15. Leonard Foglia will direct, according to Broadway.com. As usual, Smith plays a variety of characters; Lance Armstrong is among them.
RentBoy86
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I really wanna see this! We studied here in one of my contemporary Theater History classes!
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luvtheEmcee
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Another reason to love Second Stage.
A work of art is an invitation to love.
PJMPirate
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did she fire the original director, like she did with every other show?
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vodkastinger
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If anyone is interested, I just got a message from 2ST on facebook that the code FB15 is good for $15 tickets for this weekend's performances.
Phyllis Rogers Stone
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I love her. I think she's one of the most criminally underused actresses out there.
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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I think she's a wonderful playwright and a great actress of course. I loved her performance in the TV version of TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES. I think this will be another great work by her.
Phyllis, have you seen her in NURSE JACKIE? I think she's pretty wonderful in it, and I also enjoyed her in her tiny role in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED just for her reaction shots alone.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
RentBoy86
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That is her on NURSE JACKIE! I was walking down 8th Ave and I saw the poster, and I was like, she looks so familiar! I'm going to see the show this weekend. Has anyone gone yet?
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Lumen2
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I adore this woman, and can't wait to see her new play! thank god for the student rush.
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vodkastinger
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I saw it on Tuesday.

It's pretty incredible. It was my first time seeing her live, and what she does on stage is so powerful. I've never been so lost in one person's acting before.

I would highly recommend going this weekend if you can. I have a friend who works at the box office at Second Stage and apparently it's close to full for the rest of the run (unless they extend) except for this weekend, because of Rosh Hashana, and it being the first week of previews and all.
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StickToPriest
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I'm very upset I won't be able to see this. Adore her.
"One no longer loves one's insight enough once one communicates it."

The opposite of creation isn't war, it's stagnation.
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AC126748
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*possible spoilers*

I just got back from tonight's performance (which also featured a brief, interesting talk-back with Deavere Smith and Leonard Foglia). When the play works--which is quite often--it's some of the strongest material that she has ever presented. Her depiction of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards had the audience in stitches. She also offered a vignette about the matron of a South African orphanage who had lost many of her charges to AIDS--extremely moving. I was on the verge of tears as she recounted the story of a little girl who packed a suitcase the night before she died to join her mother, already dead from AIDS for six years, in the afterlife. Other parts drag, or didn't seem particularly well-connected to the tenor of the piece, but overall it's a very worthwhile evening of theatre. And Smith, as always, is a magnetic performer.

At the talk-back, Smith mentioned that this play has been in gestation since 2000, when she was invited to spend a semester as a visiting professor at the Yale School of Medicine, and that she interviewed over 300 people in total--settling on twenty-three specific interviewees in the end.

ETA: Although the house looked pretty full tonight, my friend and I had no problem getting $15 student rush an hour before the curtain. Great seats, too--third row, on the aisle. Totally worth it.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
Updated On: 9/17/09 at 11:14 PM
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Sauja
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Was also there tonight. Very quick comments: she's an incomparable performer, and though the connections in a few spots (particularly with regard to athletics in the earlier moments) feel a little tenuous, this is an incredibly rich, moving, thoughtful, soulful show. Highly recommended for all.
RentBoy86
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I'm glad I got a ticket when I did! Seeing it this weekend!

How about the technical aspects?
Phyllis Rogers Stone
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Ray, I was thinking about her on Nurse Jackie when I was writing that post. I think in lesser hands her role on that show would have been a stereotype, but she's so brilliant.
trombonist
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I also saw it Tuesday and found it very moving. I saw it as more about death and our own mortality and the stuff surrounding it than just commentary on the health-care system. I guess I missed something? IDK. I knew nothing about it going in, but I was really impressed.
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lull89
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Saw the show tonight, and I echo all the strong recommendations. This is ACTING at its finest, and you can't help but go along on the roller coaster ride that Smith takes you on.

I'm in college, and the program I'm in places a very high emphasis on theatre for social change, ethnodrama, documentary theatre, etc., so ADS is pretty much the top drawer, and getting a chance like this to see her new work is an amazing opportunity that is not to be missed. She should be WAY more famous than she is, and her piece is pretty much as good as interview theatre can be.
mar6411
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Is there a new discount code for next Saturday Sept 26? The website shows a space to provide a discount code but FB15 does not work. I wondered if there was a new one. I really want to see this.

Thanks.
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vodkastinger
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FB15 only works for this Saturday and Sunday.

It will be hard to get a discount ticket after this, unless the show decides to extend.
wexy
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I plan on seeing it as I admire here.
Little story about when I went to see "Twilight,Los Angeles."
I had a Mezzanine TDF tix. When my friend to the ladies room, I took out the tickets to discover they were for the next night.
Oops. I figured I'd go over to the theater and hope they'd let us in.
"At least you have the right play. ( I felt like a tourist)
They would up sitting us fifth row orchestra.
My brain cramp paid off in better seats.
'Take me out tonight where's there's music and there's people and they're young and alive.'
RentBoy86
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I saw the show tonight. She is such a brilliant actress! Her portrayal of the rodeo cowboy could have totally been campy, but she handled everything like a pro.

I thought the show worked well, but I didn't really get much about Healthcare. I thought the piece dealt more with mortality, but I guess that in itself is connected to Healthcare. Anyways, I thought parts of it worked well, but I thought both the ending and the beginning were rather boring and not very memorable moments. I guess most of my qualms are with the directing. I wish they could have found a better solution than to have that girl enter and exit carrying props. And, I wish they would have played the song during the musicologist segment. I kept thinking "I wonder what that sounds like."

Other than that I liked it a lot. The set was rather bland, and I didn't really get the reason for having mirrors, but it didn't really bother me. But it was great to see a true actress at work.
trombonist
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RentBoy86, thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't get that it was about healthcare! I agree I thought the prop carrying did detarct. They didn't play the music during the musicologist part last night? I'm almost positive that was playing on Tuesday. Maybe there was a technical glitch last night?
mar6411
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Bump

Based on the Second Stage website, it looks like there is a discount code for this week. I have tried all the usual places I look for discount codes, but I cannot find one. Does anyone know what it is?

It looks like there are a fair number of seats still available.

Thank you.
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vodkastinger
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Second Stage usually gives out their discount codes to their Facebook fans and Twitter followers. I would suggest getting on their list if you want discounts, as they often only are given out there and are usually fairly last minute.
mar6411
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Thanks. Will do.