re: But really - what ABOUT that ending? —- OK....MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!
Last Edit: tmdonahue 03:09 pm EDT 10/06/19
Posted by: tmdonahue (tmdonahue@yahoo.com) 03:05 pm EDT 10/06/19
In reply to: But really - what ABOUT that ending? —- OK....MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!!!!! - Genealley 01:57 pm EDT 10/06/19

To start, I saw "Inheritance" in London and it may have been altered.

It's far from a perfect play. The comparisons in marketing of "Inheritance" to "Angels in America" are unfortunate exaggeration. "Angels" was new and startling in story, comedy, dramaturgy, in all ways, that "Inheritance" is not.

But the notion that the first act closing is stolen from "Longtime Companion" is uninteresting. (Everyone knows the play is "inspired" by E. M. Forster's novel "Howards End" I hope. If you want to claim literary stealing...) But for comparison: what about the projections that ended the recent revival of "The Normal Heart"? Or the afterword scene at the Normandy cemetery that ended the movie, "Saving Private Ryan"? Or to really go back in time (1984), the church scene and the surprise congregants at the end of "Places in the Heart"?

When a generation faces mass death, there is little other effective response but to remember. When I visited the Normandy cemetery a few years ago, I approached it by climbing the sand dune that backed Omaha Beach, some of which is still beaten up with shell holes. Then the sight of the crosses, row on row on row, white against green, on a perfectly beautiful day, moved me to tears. The first time I saw the Vietnam War Memorial in DC, all those names moved me to tears. In Israel, to come at the end of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center and see the notebooks filled with the names and stories of the dead...It's beyond moving.

In an audience, people differ in their responses. I thought the weakest sequence of "Inheritance" was near the end of the second part, the long speech spoken on the West End showing by Vanessa Redgrave. Of that, I'll describe nothing specific. No more spoilers. But I was moved by the ending of the first part of "Inheritance," moved to tears which is rare for me at the theater. Maybe "Inheritance" worked on me because I'm an old man who was 29 in 1981 when the first news of AIDS was released, who somehow did not get infected yet saw many friends succumb. More friends died than have survived due to the new drugs. And I live in a small Southern city.

So-o-o-o, the real question: Should YOU see "Inheritance"? I don't know. Going to the theater is always like casino gambling, the roulette wheel where you lose more than you win. But when you hit a moving show in the theater, the payback is big and deep.

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