Friday, March 12, 2010

Opening Night

I'm the gorgeous, leggy redhead

Newsflash: "Lost" didn't create the sideways world, where characters live in an alternate universe of possibilities.  I did.  I've been living sideways since birth.  There's me, the Short Jewish  Gal.  And then there's the other me.  The more gifted me.  The famous me.  In my current sideways planet, I'm a tall, gorgeous, impossibly leggy shiksa with red hair.  I'm living "this close" to Central Park. I'm Connie Ray, star of stage, screen and telly.  I just opened on Broadway in "Next Fall," by Geoffrey Nauffts.  And I just met Elton John. Or should I say, he just met me.  He's producing "Next Fall."  Plus, he's a long-time fan of my work. My angst-ridden rendition of "Your Song" continues to haunt Sir. E years after I first performed it, as a seventh grader stretched out on my twin bed on Lindbrook Drive.

Check out Bill Brantley's rave in the NY Times this morning:

... You could say that “Next Fall” is about religious faith, and how even in everyday life it separates people as much as it unites them. But the play doesn’t wear its theme like a merit badge... Mr. Nauffts has created a finely graded scale of the forms and degrees of such faith within his cast of characters, all conceived without judgment and much compassion: Adam’s best friend, Holly (Maddie Corman), a single woman with a fondness for gay men; Butch (Cotter Smith), Luke’s fundamentalist, manly father from Florida; Arlene (Connie Ray), Luke’s mother, a reformed wild woman; and Brandon (Sean Dugan), a friend who fell out of Luke’s life when Adam showed up.

... “Next Fall” has achieved the tricky and necessary feat of retaining its subtlety while increasing its clarity in making the transfer to Broadway... The performers, all original cast members, have now moved into their characters as if they had taken lifelong leases on them. They are, to a one, as big as they need they to be, without ever sacrificing complexity. Seen on the deeper stage of the Helen Hayes, they look a little lonelier and more vulnerable than they did off Broadway, which helps to make “Next Fall” the funniest heartbreaker in town.

Mr. Brantley's review is going up on my wall, next to all my other accolades.  So next time you're in New York, come see me in "Next Fall" at the Helen Hayes.  I'm the gorgeous leggy redhead.  I'm Connie Ray.

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