Reveling in Stories on Stage

A RICH Sunday afternoon Reveling in theater. 

My long time friend Kaye is visiting from San Antonio and we are having fun reveling in memories and stories. Memories shared from 1954 when we both arrived for the same Class in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing up to today. We have new stories to tell each other and "fine-wine" stories to remind us of earlier fine days.

We headed downtown for an afternoon of excellent theater at Theater J - first we dipped into The Final Session - a last conversation between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis - which was superb. The beautiful set supposedly of Freud's London consultation room reminded me of the actual Freud apartment Jim and I visited in Vienna. The FINE acting and challenging conversation of the play draws you in.  At the end the audience stood to salute the actors and the play.

Then we saw The Prostate Diaglogues, our prinary reason for coming to Theater J. Jon Spelman's new one-man show is absolutely marvelous. Spelman commands the stage. This is the 3rd time I have seen it during its several year  development - first at a house concert in Baltimore and then at the opening in Baltimore when I wrote a review for DC Metro Theater Arts.  

The Prostate Dialogues has ripened. Spelman has tighted it and made it more deliciously funny without weakening any of the power of his story. Spelman is skilled in choosing just the right words to bring the story home. Jon is successfully walking a marvelous line to marry storytelling and theater (staging, lighting and use of sound) to en-trance the

Spelman set himself a daunting challenge when he set out to take his journey with cancer and turn it into a successful play - but he has done it! Don't miss it. 

Kaye and I stayed for the "Talk-back" afterwards - and the conversations promoted by the experience of the show were amazing in their revealing and sharing comments. Ari Roth, Artistic Director, joined the group. He commented on the power of talk back opportunities, especially when the performance opens controversial or emotional topics. All agreed - sitting in a circle of strangers  listening to the personal stories prompted by the play was indeed a rewarding finale. 

Kaye and I continued to talk about the performances and the talk-back through dinner. I imagine we will continue mulling it over -  especially as we visit Johns Hopkins Hospital on our sentimental journey this week. 

I know I will pull out a few of Jim's books by and about Freud as I think about The Last Session.

Kaye summer it up. "I love plays like this that make me think as well as entertain me."

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