J. CHRISTINE GORDON
Favorite TV Show: Dexter
Favorite Broadway Show: Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Favorite Book: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Favorite Condiment: Hot Sauce (Pretty much anything that burns my tongue)
J. Christine Gordon was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is fresh out out of high school and currently taking a gap year before heading back to college, where she plans to study Public Relations and Computer Science. Passionate about the arts, it is an absolute pleasure to get the opportunity to write about her personal experiences. After a taste of just how wonderful theatre can be, throughTDF's Open Doors Program, she is excited to discover what more NYC's theatre community has to offer.
This story like most of August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle”, it is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - this time it is the 1970’s. The jitney business is set up by a man named Becker, since regular cabs didn’t travel into that particular neighborhood. There we get to witness a collection of stories with that jitney station as the backdrop. But deep down, the root of this story is one of hope and acceptance.
It's strange visiting the girls again. It’s been a year and although this visit had a bit more optimism, unfortunately Judith’s 75 year sentence hasn’t changed. Judith is 66 years old now and has served around 35 years for her involvement in a crime back in ‘81. Last I remember she told me she was 31 and the new mother of an 11 month old baby, when she screwed up.
There is so much weight left behind from what happens that night, that it can’t really be described without seeing it. It seems that chaos viciously follows the pair of brothers. Their sense of desperation is something I’m familiar with, which made me feel their end that much harder.
I have zero issues with nudity, I actually consider it one of the most beautiful things that can come from the human species so I really appreciate when it’s used in a tasteful and meaningful way. Although there were the occasional gasps throughout the performance, I could tell the nudity wasn’t just thrown in there for shock value, after all, the story being told takes place in the porn industry.
This play felt like I was seeing snippets of people's lives. I’ve always found snippets like that intriguing, rather than being told everything, since it let's my mind roam. There is something strangely comforting about not knowing the ‘ending’ to someone's story...
PXP writers Andrew and Christine went to the Opera and shared their entire experience with us - from getting ready to their post-show reactions.
People who don’t know anything about santeria, may consider this play as a realistic fantasy. Luckily, since the age of 4 (at least that’s as far as I remember) I’ve been exposed to those practices. I don’t wanna make this sound like I grew up in some black magic cult, it’s actually the complete opposite.
Since we Americans like to think everything is about us, let’s clear up that the Martin Luther on this trial isn’t our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (although he is in it), but the ballsy German monk. Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, then priest, then monk, then badass that led the Protestant Reformation with his 95 theses in 1517.
This isn’t Sixteen Candles - Molly is a mommy now. Weird part? She’s basically my mother. My mum shares a lot of similarities and very few differences with Aurora (Molly’s character). For example: She is her daughter’s best-friend, she’s a gossip, she’s a classy chick, and a borderline psycho- I'm kidding. Everyone’s mum is a little crazy….right? Please say yes.
Hedda is everything a women shouldn’t be, but just as inspiring as she is, she is also terrifying all the same. Like I mentioned before, she is bored out of her mind in a marriage of convenience with a load of time on her hands.
As much as we hate to admit that to ourselves, we know deep (deep) down we all have that little judgmental voice in the back of our head that we constantly try to suppress. I’ve personally come to terms with my personal history with racism. In my case, it roots from cultural ignorance.
“Honey, you have to wait for your mom.”
When it comes to describing relationships I’m a huge fan of analogies. Before seeing this play and just knowing that the premise of the story involved a 10+ year age gap, I wasn’t expecting kindergarteners on a playground as an analogy for Alex and Georgie.
Congratulations! On nothing, because all you’ve gained is an abundance of back problems and ruining shows for average people, like me. Okay, fine I’m sure it has it’s perks - just google any Buzzfeed list - but it’s particularly at shows where you’re killing my vibe, man.
Sonya is a - what I like to refer to as a ‘gift to the world’ - something like Ellen (but on steroids.) She recklessly falls for an alien within the span of 14 days. Now, when I read alien in the title I too thought she was a crazy woman who falls for an extraterrestrial creature and then it’s was gonna be all about unrequited love. It kind of was, just take out the extraterrestrial and insert an Australian women named Kate...
Whether the 10 hour Netflix binge was born out of pure boredom or because of a break-up (yes, it’s them, not you), treating yourself for a night out is probably the best way to deal with all those bitter ‘I’m never gonna find anyone’ thoughts.
It’s always a pleasant surprise to relate to a culture that I would have never expected to associate with. The last little quirk that made going to this play all the more memorable was the attention to detail the crew and cast had to its audience. Unholy hell was it literally Hell outside the church doors (puns on fire - puns on puns) and it's the first time I have ever been offered a free cup of cold water even rarer a frozen balloon. YES - a frozen water balloon.
The relationship gets even more complicated when Maurice finds it harder to part with his beloved dog, Maid Marian, than his wife, Jane. Just when I thought the dude was the crazy one, enter Henriette - winning psychopath mistress of the year.
Everyone is selfish, some more than others, but I can’t imagine myself not desperately seeking for some sort of normalcy when my life is as hectic as John's. John is a weak man. He has a wife yet his eyes linger too long on his 19 year old student, Anne.
The storyline itself was completely unexpected for me. I have zero recollection of the description for this show being paranormal, so I was just a little thrown off when a guy got possessed by some medieval soul. It’s a weird story. So many feelings.
One of the things I noticed, which made me kind of lose hope in myself as a decent human, is the fact that I don’t remember any character names. I pretty much identify them purely by their respective tragedies. Meaning I recall each person solely based on the worst moment of their life. Go me!
Seriously though, this play was some Quentin Tarantino shit. Living in NYC is reason enough to justify meeting some of the freakiest people that probably exist, but it also blinds me from thinking about all the hidden crazy shit that happens in places like... Texas. I honestly felt like I was watching Pulp Fiction on acid.
It’s hours before Oscar’s arrest and all he seems to be worried about is getting lunch. A man with priorities. It’s one of many qualities I found endearing about him, I was completely jealous of how chilled out he was knowing an arrest was hours away. I consider myself a pretty relaxed person, but if I was being arrested for loving the ‘wrong person’ I would have been flipping out.
Harper Regan is a bad ass. I think that’s pretty straightforward when when she stabs a guy’s neck. Backtrack to the start, Harper has a menial job that can’t come close to paying for a home in London, her boss is a weirdo, her husband is a registered sex offender, and now her dad is dying. Oh, the weirdo boss? Yeah, he won’t give Harper a day off to see her nearly dead father. Harper does what any rational and responsible adult does - runs away.
That’s something that really caught me off guard - the dancing. THE FREAKIN' DANCING! I don’t actually know if everyone was a dancer, but since this is broadway I wouldn’t doubt that these were the best. I didn’t ever think much of choreography in general since I don’t see many musicals, but I was so into that 80’s techno pop. I don’t think I looked away from the stage and the dancing until it was intermission.
Daphne (Vanessa Aspillaga) is a late 30 something single af bar owner - a badass chick. Daphne is pretty much the exact person I’ve always envisioned my mum in her before motherhood days. From the moment Daphne pulled out her aloe plant and ate a chunk straight from the vine followed by the rant about all the vitamins and amino somethings that nasty thing was magically curing, I was like “Mum?”
The story opens with Billy, a US soldier coming back from war. Quickly his homecoming gets depressing when he finds out that during his time overseas his mum had passed away. After being consoled by his father he goes into to town and meets up with Margo, an old childhood friends that may or may not have the biggest crush on him - pretty sure if Pinterest was a thing in the 40’s she’d have the whole wedding planned.
That’s really where Kitch and Moses are stuck, the bottom of society. Essentially homeless and jobless they keep to themselves as they make an effort to find their place in the world, but it’s the world (or the people) that surrounds them that doesn’t seem to help. To the world they are delinquents, criminals, and murderers yet they haven’t committed a single crime that hasn’t been served and so it becomes obvious why they are targeted. They’re two young black men.
It was really weird to watch Naomi fight them so hard on throwing away pieces of broken plastic and empty boxes. It was so frustrating to see her desperately try to save something that appeared to be useless. It seemed Kara felt the exact same way when she asks Naomi why she wants to live among all the junk (that seemed to consume her apartment as much as it did her entire life). They hold memories and serve as souvenirs.
Now, I grew up watching Telenovelas - Mexican ones - alongside my mother every weeknight. It’s actually a huge reason why my Spanish improved at all. Even now watching novelas is one of the only things she and I do as a way of bonding. So, naturally when I heard of Dona Flor y sus dos Maridos my mother was the first person that popped into my head.