When it comes to this theater group, I have so many favorite things. Most of my favorite things have to do with people interaction and the show going experiences, but the exercise of picking a show is also one of my favorite things. Not so much the obvious choices, like of course the group needed to see SIX and Funny Girl and POTUS, but I really love unearthing and selecting shows that the group might not otherwise see or hear about.
When landing on a new show I often have a palpable reaction to the selection and sincerely believe everyone should see it for a variety of reasons… because of a particular performer, because it will be part of the theater world water cooler discussion, because I know we will have fun and laugh (go see POTUS!) or because a particular topic needs to be explored. But my # 1 reason is when, in the act of occupying a theater seat, we can gain perspective on lives we may not otherwise understand.
By the time most shows are launched to you I am personally vested in them. This personal vesting can make it tricky for me to attend the show as my brain considers your reactions. What if I am wrong? What if my instinct was off and my affection ill placed? This was my concern last night at soft, presented by the MCC Theater. What if I dragged everyone (including my family) to the outer reaches of the West side for a show that disappoints? Or makes the group bristle and exit the theater annoyed by how they just spent their time?
Well any and all concern evaporated within seconds as the six students dressed in their correctional facility yellow circuitously and spiritedly made their way to their desks in Mr. Isaiah’s flower festooned English classroom. Just a few minutes in and there was no way not to be vested in these humans and their singular and collective experiences. No way not to care deeply about what was happening on that stage just 2 feet away from our seats. The show is an exposed nerve raw. It is uncomfortable. It is authentic. It is heartbreaking and it is hopeful.
I know a show nailed it when I have to restrain myself from hopping on stage at the end and thanking the performers (the last time that happened was at The Color Purple with Cynthia Erivo). I do quibble with the ending because I think it sends the wrong message – give me a call MCC and I will thoughtfully explain why. But other than that soft is performing arts perfection and I think everyone should see it. Many in the group including myself and my family agreed it was the best show they had seen ALL SEASON. If I could I would go again tonight.
Because it was off Broadway we did get to personally thank each gifted actor as they made their exit from the theater. The 20 somethings we spoke with were as gracious as they were talented. I can’t wait to see them all shine bright off and on Broadway for many years to come.
MCC Theater – thank you for bringing this story and these actors to your stage. You are making the world a better place – one brave show at a time. I cannot think of a better way to have closed our scrappy, gritty and sensational season than our evening at soft. If you were not able to make it on Wednesday and want to go experience this show, it’s run was just extended until July 10th. Use the code: soft to save some money on preferred seats. Click here to find a night or matinee and GO!