Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. The weather has been glorious here this week, 70 degrees in the first of November is all right with me.
1) Wendell Pierce is one my favorite actors, so I was excited to see him as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on Broadway this week. I lucked out and scored a $35 rush ticket and got a great orchestra seat to see this magnificent production. Pierce was absolutely mesmerizing, and his interpretation of an iconic role in American theater will go down as legendary. You could hear a pin drop in the house during his powerful monologue. Sharon D. Clarke was his equal as his wife Linda, a proud woman who fiercely loves her husband. Everything about this production was fantastic. It was interesting how differntly this play resonated with me at my age now than it did when I read it in high school. I admit I had tears rolling down my face at the end of the show, and I wasn't the only one, I could hear sniffles all around me. This show is a must-see, and I would have gladly paid full price to see it.
2) After watching Matthew Perry's interview with Diane Sawyer last week, I got a ticket to see him interviewed by former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief Jess Cagle about his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing at Town Hall on Wednesday. The discussion was fascinating (Cagle is a terrific interviewer), and Perry seemed more at ease and comfortable in this setting than with Sawyer. He also looked better in person I thought, other than his pants and socks were too short, which he joked about. He also joked when drinking his water saying "Vodka- that's an odd choice". Perry spoke of his twenty some-odd years he has spent in and out of rehabs, and the $9 million dollars he has spent on booze and drugs and rehabs trying to get sober. When Cagle asked him why he wrote the book now, Perry said that he finally feels secure enough in his sobriety to do it. He told of taking 1800 milligrams per day of opioids, a number that is unfathomable. He said he often felt three things throughtout his life that contributed to his problems- he felt needy, that he wasn't enough, and that he didn't matter. The crowd was made up of many millenials who began watching Friends during the pandemic, and they felt free to yell out Chandler's lines during the discussion. I started reading his book, and it is enlightening and well written. More on that next week.
3) Early voted began this week in NYC, and I voted on Tuesday night after work. The process couldn't have been easier, and the NYC Board of Elections did a great job making it run smoothly at my polling place. Tuesday is Election Day (why is it not a national holiday?), and if our democracy is to survive, we all have to play our part and vote. I hope you will.
4) I just watched the last few episodes of Netflix's Derry Girls, and I know I wrote about it a few weeks ago, but the three season series finale was so brillantly done it deserves another shout-out. This season concludes with the characters voting in a referendum on the Good Friday Agreement as to how Northern Ireland should be governed. It was hoped that this agreement would end the violence that plagued the country for years. There's even a special surprise guest at the end. Seriously, watch this series, you won't be sorry.
5) I'm still on my nonfiction kick, reading Ann Hood's memoir Fly Girl about her years working as a TWA flight attendant during the anything-goes 1970's. The things the women in that job had to put up with would shock people today. Hood shares her experiences at the training school in Kansas, where the competition to get into the school was tougher than getting into Harvard. They had to learn everything about all the different types of aircraft they would be working on, and any small infraction could lead to being dismissed from school. Once they got their "wing" (singular, only pilots got to wear two wings on their lapel), they could exit their flight only to find a supervisor waiting for them just outside the jetway ready to weigh them to make sure they were under the maximum required weight or measure their skirt to make sure it wasn't too short or long. One of the most interesting things I learned was that for first class passengers, the flight attendants had to slice chateaubriand tableside, and toss salads in the aisle. Now you can barely get a bag of chips. Hood loved her time as a flight attendant (until the end), traveling the world and frequently able to take her parents with her. The experiences she shares in Fly Girl will make you nostalgic for a time when people dressed up in fancy clothes to fly as you look around the airport and see people looking as if they are going to a sleepover at a friend's house and it's bedtime.
Have a safe, healthy week and don't forget to VOTE.