A really, really very good gem is frequently quite hard to find - even at Tiffany's, I am told. Friends of
the family have recently made that lament on visits to such high-end stores, as can be found in New York. Items there
are usually quite dazzling to the senses, as any cognizant mortal, who steps inside for a good look, would attest. However,
add to that extra-true reality some honest sensitivity to the experience of human truth telling, as per the spoken word and
liveliness of the stage, then you would - and for a lot less payment - just chance on having had made a recent visit to the
Irish Repertory on East 22nd Street, west of Sixth Avenue. On stage is the current presentation of Brian Friel's play.
"Freedom of the City
", neatly reminding us of the pain and trauma swept up in "The Troubles"
of a politically bitter existence - between Catholic and Protestant factions of Ireland. These were times when hearts were
volcanic on all sides- enduring a bitter, violent period which had long awaited a civil, and hopefully final resolution in
month - 59 E 59 Theatre gave us a sense of artistic fever, in a project aptly called "East To Edinburgh" There
were perhaps a dozen or so shows on the list over a few weeks; however I was a little regretful that I didn't see each
one. (Awful timing constraints). Apart from that, it is worthwhile to give good mention to just the 2 (two) shows I
did see, and enjoy: "Retreat" and "Righteous Money".
This was a well-realized, energetic production of young actors - though unevenly acted at times. In fact, some actors
failed to make their words fully heard, by never, ever having their lines fall trippingly on the tongue. In spite
of that shortcoming, "Retreat" offers a good, interesting look at late 19th - early 20th century American mores
in the context of societal attitudes toward women's individual self-expression. In that context we get a glance
at some women beset with personal problems and what might clinically be called depression. The twist here
is that, at this particular retreat for treatment and for getting better, the all-female population in
attendance here is plagued by a condition that may have caused these attendants to end up where they ended up in the first