New Century Theatre. Theatre 14, Smith College.
I have managed to misplace the program for this, the fourth and last play in this summer’s NCT series. A nice, warm play about very extensively assimilated Jewish-American ex-patriots living in London, and living quite well, thank you. The subject is identity: what does it mean to be Jewish, American, successful, and terribly anxious about being Jewish-and-American-and-successful? A sort of New York comedy, by the recently deceased Wasserstein — who had a very good ear for all of this — that somehow translates well to unitarian (I use the lowercase “u” deliberately), multicultural, gay-and-lesbian-friendly Northampton. We had the largest audience of the season (not saying very much — Friday night audiences this summer have been rather sparse), and I saw in the lobby a Jewish colleague of mine, long retired, whom I’ve not seen at other performances.
I wrote Sam Rush, artistic director of NCT, a note a few days ago suggesting that next summer might be the time for an “American” season — a selection of four plays with particular claims to attention for what they have to tell us about being American in some way. Sam does not usually take my suggestions about what plays to select (although I have been on the NCT board for several years now); so I don’t have high hopes about this prospect. But it seems like an interesting idea.