Go To See Anna Deavere Smith's New Show

Folks who live in New York City or who are passing through during the holidays have can take advantage of a special treat — actor Anna Deavere Smith‘s latest one woman show about death, health and human vulnerability called Let Me Down Easy, which is playing at the Second Stage Theater off Broadway. This is another of the actor’s one woman shows and its a virtuoso performance. Smith channels a number of people — some famous some not — and presents their ruminations, or rants on life and health. We have Lance Armstrong talking about his bout with cancer and a sports journalist commenting on his extraordinary athletic accomplishments. We have Deavere Smith doing Eve Ensler talking about guess what — you got it vaginas. There’s supermodel Lauren Hutton and a bull rider reflecting on rodeos and risks. There’s a doctor who worked for a pubic hospital during Hurricane Katrina and patients who face death and harsh treatment to avoid it. The play itself is a kaleidoscope of energy, and, amazingly for such a small stage, action. It’s full of interesting, if at times disjointed, reflections. Deavere Smith, who plays a nurse manager on Nurse Jackie (more on this in other postings that recount my experiences on the set of the show and interviewing its actors) is an amazing actor and it is a joy to watch her transform herself into the characters she portrays. The play, which is a result of her interviews with dozens of people, is well worth the cost of the ticket. And fortuitously its run has been extended — for the second time — till early January.

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