Next week we re-visit playwright Susan Bernfield's wondrous evocation of all things Nixonian--and its dependence on dependent women-- STRETCH (a fantasia). Runs through May 26. You need to decide as you read this to buy one of its cheap tickets (under $25), because it has just received an over-the-top review in The New York Times.
Last July, I wrote here about my amazement at how far the piece had come since its first, fledging outing. Now, in it's third re-working, it's having a longer run. Not long enough in my book. We have much to learn from the aging Rose Mary Woods, loyal secretary to Nixon, as she remembers the past from her wheelchair in an Ohio nursing home.
This richly detailed image (click to enlarge) of objects creating a Nixon portrait was designed for the show's advertising by Another Limited Rebellion who see their work as "design therapy." It's a veritable kitchen sink of elements from the play--contemporary campaign stickers, reel-to-reel audio tapes, cocktail glasses. And typewriters, so central to this political tale. All supports Susan Bernfield's view that connects yesterday and today in America's ongoing dysfunctional political landscape. The vintage click-clack of an IBM Selectric is one of several instruments in the Rachel Peters' music for the play.
Kristin Griffith plays Woods, young and old, and is terrific. "Commanding performance," the Times noted up front in its review. Another actress over 50, I'd add--and it's about time.
My wish in last year's post was that STRETCH would return for longer than a four day run. Okay, its one month this time. More, more, please!