Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Bookstore

Best Bookstore

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

'Waiting for Lefty': Proxy Theatre's revival of Clifford Odets' classic

Photo: Scott Andrews, License: N/A

Scott Andrews

Aaron Aguilar, Alex Coy, and Rodman Bolek in Waiting for Lefty

The premiere of Waiting for Lefty, by the legendary Group Theater in New York in 1935, was as sensational as the first performance of The Rite of Spring by the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1913. A bourgeois audience accustomed to the graceful movements and melodies of Coppélia and Swan Lake reacted violently to Igor Stravinsky's discordant music and the provocative gestures of Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography. And those who attended opening night of Clifford Odets' working-class drama walked out of the theater shouting, with the actors: "Strike! Strike! Strike!" The touring version of The Rite of Spring that the Joffrey Ballet brought to San Antonio last week attempted to duplicate the revolutionary production that shocked audiences exactly a century ago. The revival of Waiting for Lefty, the second production of Proxy Theatre's second season, is a facsimile faithful to the clothing, furnishings, accents, and music of 1930s New York. Lee Strasberg, who popularized the Method through the Group Theater and later the Actors Studio, might have applauded the naturalistic performances by Proxy's energetic acting ensemble.

Publicity for the production emphasizes how timely Odets' classic has become again in 2013. "I think this play is perfect to do today because it resonates so well with the feelings about our economy," states the repertory company's managing director, Kaitlin Graves. "Half the population is living paycheck-to-paycheck." Nevertheless, despite a sluggish economy and real hardship for millions, this is not the Great Depression or even the Great Recession. Outsourcing and downsizing, the twin banes of contemporary workers, are not the problems that the overworked and underpaid taxi drivers face during the union meeting that constitutes Odets' play. Union meetings seem a quaint anachronism in Rick Perry's Texas. And it is unlikely that a secretary today would attempt to console a frustrated job-seeker with a copy of The Communist Manifesto or that a doctor would be fired from a hospital because he is Jewish. Only a Cold War fossil such as Ted Cruz still baits reds. Except for the fact that the poor are always with us, that they sometimes are us, this new production of Waiting for Lefty is an homage to a signal moment in the history of American drama. It is a museum piece more than a piece of contemporary drama.

Museums, however, are not morgues. It is true that Lefty, the charismatic labor leader everyone is waiting for, is a corpse with a bullet in his head. But this concise production, barely an hour with no intermission, sparkles throughout with live energy. Even before the play per se begins, voices are raised and fights break out among a group of desperate, boisterous hackers whose livelihood is threatened by dwindling revenues and penny-pinching management. The tension never slackens until the final shout of "Strike!" Seated among the workers, each member of the audience is greeted personally on entering the theater with: "Thanks for comin' to the meetin'." Everyone — spectator, radical agitator, company spy, rank-and-file — is assembled to decide what to do about the plight of cabbies who cannot earn a living wage.

Recently in Arts & Culture
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus