All for jazz

By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 30, 2009

Playwright Leight was the son of a side man, himself. His script pulls no punches about the dysfunctions of that world, but it also conveys a genuine and delectably well-versed affection for it, and a sadness for the decline of its golden age. He knows intimately these characters and how to illuminate them, and Stelk's cast is beautifully attuned to the spirit. In one of the play's most exquisite scenes, Gene, Al, and Ziggy listen to a transcendent live bootleg cassette of their hero (and our protagonist's namesake), trumpeter Clifford Brown. Scarcely a word is spoken; for a full five minutes, we watch the musicians do nothing but respond to the music. In their bodies and faces we see shifting awe and giddiness, pangs and joy. It might be orgasm, or a narcotic's high, or satori.

Megan Grumbling can be reached at mgrumbling@hotmail.com.

SIDE MAN | by Warren Leight | Directed by Sara Stelk | Presented by Freeport Players, upstairs at 140 Main St, Freeport | through October 4 | 207.865.2220

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Entertainment, Performing Arts, Theater,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MEGAN GRUMBLING
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM  |  April 17, 2014
    Snowlion gets dark with a musical tragedy
  •   THE HYDROPHILIC LIFE  |  April 11, 2014
    The very winning world premiere of Underwaterguy , which Underwood both wrote and performs, runs now at Good Theater, under the direction of Cheryl King.
  •   THE PASSIONS OF PRIVATE LIVES  |  April 03, 2014
    Battle of the exes at Portland Players
  •   LEARNING TO HEAR, AND LISTEN  |  April 03, 2014
    The vicissitudes of identity and community are difficult negotiations in Nina Raine’s drama Tribes , dynamically directed by Christopher Grabowski for Portland Stage Company.
  •   THE DEAD DON'T LEAVE  |  March 28, 2014
    The complexity of familial love, regret, and shame, as seen between Charlie, who long ago moved to London, and his simple, sometimes confounding, working-class gardener father (Tony Reilly), are the crucible of Hugh Leonard’s Da .

 See all articles by: MEGAN GRUMBLING