This is the time of year when all theater seems to be really light. You get puppets and nutcrackers and department store elves and singing ogres.
But if you feel like a little counter-programming, allow me to direct your attention to some serious theater happening for one more week: The Tender King by my friend Ian Walker.
I saw it on Friday at the Phoenix Theatre (and paid full price, thank you very much) and was really impressed. There’s not much that I like better than sitting in a small 49-seat black box theater watching a tautly directed, tense drama where the actors really nail it — especially when it’s an intelligent and thoughtful piece about something like this:
The Tender King focuses on the hours immediately surrounding President Truman’s decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. The action spirals between a fictional meeting between Truman and William Baker, a young diplomat determined to further his career, and Will’s relationship with a French-German mistress in Berlin.
The historical basis of the play is derived from hundreds of declassified government documents, Truman’s personal letters, minutes of high level meetings, biographies, diaries, and historical analysis. Together, they reveal a war you never imagined.
No sugarplums or fake snow; just a really terrific play. Ticket info is here.
(Disclosure: Ian’s in my writer’s group, and I’ve had drinks with one of the actors. On the other hand, I was NOT comp’d. I even threw in a buck for a cookie.)