Saturday, May 31, 2008

LOST Season 4 Finale: There’s No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3


Holy Mother, how I love this show! At the risk of sounding repetitive, if you are not familiar with LOST or you gave up on it, I urge you to give it a try or try it again. Last year’s finale gave us our first taste of a flash-forward. Incorporating that facet allowed the writers to create a whole new world of missing pieces that served the story well in Season 4.

In true LOST fashion, we have been left with as many unanswered questions and we have answered. The most burning, without doubt, is who was in the coffin. Well, to that we indeed have an answer. It is Jeremy Bentham.

What?!? Who?!?

Oh…! You mean John Locke! I did notice that in the future we are silenced if we utter that name aloud. And, by the way, we now refer to him as Jeremy Bentham. I guess it’s a better alias than “He Who Must Not Be Named”… Again, LOST has introduced a moniker associated ith an historical thought leader. In this case, a social reformer known for his support of utilitarianism, the ethics theory based upon the idea that the ends justify the means. I can definitely see this philosophy aligning with John Locke’s faith-based ideals and it makes me anticipate the appearance of future Locke all the more.

So, since I’ve already opened up the can of worms, here are some of the episode’s most memorable moments (which is really the entire episode):

On The Island

  1. LOCKE TELLS JACK HE’LL HAVE TO LIE ABOUT THE ISLAND: Locke tries to convince Jack to stay on the island. To believe in the power of the island and its ability to perform miracles. He tells him that he will see what he and Ben are about to do and then he will believe in miracles.
  2. MILES REVEALS CHARLOTTE’S CONNECTION TO THE ISLAND: As the survivors, scientists and Juliet prepare to evacuate the island, Miles asks Charlotte why she is so eager to leave when she fought so hard to get back. Remember, Miles has that “I can read your mind” spiritualist thing going on… Later, Charlotte changes her mind. As she sweetly says her goodbyes to Daniel, she tells him that she wants to discover where she was born.
  3. BEN KILLS KEAMY AND TRIGGERS THE C4 DETONATOR: Keamy, who was conincidentally wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot and left for dead, creeps down to the control center of the Dharma Initiative’s Orchid Station to tell Ben and Locke that his heartbeat controls the switch connected to all that C4 on the freighter… He then goes into explicit detail about how Ben’s daughter bled to death after he shot her. Ben goes completely psycho and kills Keamy, despite the knowlege that it would detonate the explosives on the freighter. He really is a cold-blooded bastard. And we sure feel it when he utters that one simple word after Locke reminds him of all of the people on the freighter: “So.”
  4. SAWYER WHISPERS IN KATE’S EAR, KISSES HER DEADLY AND JUMPS OUT OF THE HELICOPTER: Following the gunfire on the island, Lapidus, Jack, Kate, Sayid, Sawyer and Hurley climb aboard the chopper to make their much-anticipated escape from the island. En route to the freighter, they discover that bullets have pierced the gas tank and they are rapidly losing fuel. Lapidus tells everyone to unload any unnecessary weight – after unloading tool boxes and equipment, Frank says he’d feel a whole lot better if they could get another 200 pounds off the chopper. The pained expression on Hurley’s face speaks volumes. In a swift heroic action, Sawyer whispers to Kate. She looks at him and asks him why he is telling her this. His response is one last passionate kiss and a final plea of “Just do it, Freckles”. I guess this is the promise that she is attempting to keep in “Something Nice Back Home.” Sawyer then leaps from the helicopter into the sea. A leap of faith, if you will, because where does he swim to? You guessed it… La Isla Bonita!
  5. UBER ACTION-SEQUENCE: Meanwhile, back on the freighter, Michael, Jin and Desmond try desperately to freeze the battery in an effort to disable its charge. They hold the charge back just long enough for Desmond to scurry to the deck to warn the landing helicopter that there is a bomb. Frank lands for a quick refuel and tank patch, while Desmond, Sun and Aaron board the chopper. Kate runs to get Jin, is told there is no time and reboards the helicopter. Michael tells Jin to get on the chopper with Sun because he is now a father. Jin thanks Michael and runs to the deck. Jin climbs onto the deck, frantically waving his hands at the departing aircraft as Sun screams at Frank to go back. As the detonator ticks away, Christian Shephard appears behind the pile of C4 and tells Michael, “You can go now.” And the freighter goes BOOM!
  6. BEN SAYS GOODBYE: Ben creates another explosion in the vault of the Orchid Station, which opens a portal beneath the Orchid Station. After changing into his cold-weather gear (which he is wearing when he awakens in the desert in "The Shape Of Things To Come"), Ben bequeaths The Others to Locke, urging him not to make the mistakes that he has made. When John tells Ben that he is going with him, Ben explains that he is the only one that knows how to move the island and with that knowledge comes a price. The person who moves the island can never come back. He apologizes for his transgressions against John, shakes his hand and descends into the frozen catacombs beneath the station. Upon reaching the ice-encrusted wheel, Ben looks to the heavens and says, “I hope you’re happy now, Jacob!” He slowly moves the wheel, knowing that each step brings him closer to his departure from the island, an act that is as emotionally difficult for him as it is physically challenging. Meanwhile, above ground, Locke makes his way to the Others’ camp where Richard greets him: “Welcome home, John.”
  7. THE ISLAND DISAPPEARS: As Juliet sits on the shore of the island, nursing a bottle of Dharma Initiative rum, Sawyer swims ashore. Juliet points to the burning wreckage of the freighter on the horizon as an other-worldly humming sound and bright light grow in strength around them. The passengers on the helicopter, which is en route to the island, also hear the deafening noise and see the blinding light. Moments later, the island is sucked into the sea before their eyes. With nowhere to land and an empty fuel tank, they prepare for an emergency landing. Sayid throws the raft overboard and everyone, including the baby, makes it aboard. As the survivors float beneath the night sky, Kate observes that Aaron’s survival of the crash was a miracle. Hurley’s awe at Locke’s ability to move the island is quickly dashed by Jack’s dismissal of it. When Frank notices a search light in the distance, Jack quickly tells everyone that they will have to lie. About everything. It is the only way to protect the island and the people on it. Does that mean that our resident man of science has had a change of heart about miracles? Perhaps.
  8. THE OCEANIC SIX: As the boat pulls up alongside the raft, Desmond spots Penny on the deck. He bounds aboard the boat and plants one on his lost love with whom he is now reunited. Afterward, a plan is devised to throw the Oceanic 815 survivors back into the raft and point them in the direction of the inhabited island of Sumba where they are discovered as the Oceanic 6 and brought home. Desmond stays behind, vowing never to leave Penny’s side again, and Frank, who is not an Oceanic 815 survivor, stays behind as well. When Jack says goodbye to Desmond, he shakes his hand and says, “See you in another life, brother.” Something tells me that he will…

And A Whole Bunch of People Visiting Other People In The Future

  1. WALT VISITS HURLEY: Walt shows up at Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. He tells Hurley that he was surprised that nobody came to visit him after they returned from the island. He does, however, tell him that he received a visit from Jeremy Bentham and wonders why Hurley and the others are lying. Hurley echoes Jack’s rationale of protecting the island and those that have been left behind.
  2. CLAIRE VISITS KATE: In the middle of the night, Kate is awakened by a phone call. She hears a sound, instantly assumes her Rambo-like persona, grabs a gun from her closet and runs to the nursery. She sees a figure looming over Aaron and screams not to touch her son. The light reveals Claire, who begs Kate not to bring Aaron back to the island.
  3. SAYID VISITS HURLEY: Sayid breaks into Santa Rosa after visiting hours and urges Hurley to come with him, not to the island but to “somewhere safe”. He does not elaborate but merely tells Hurley that he is being watched and that he needs to going somewhere safer.
  4. SUN VISITS WIDMORE: In London, Sun, who has taken controlling interest in her father’s company, approaches Charles Widmore, stating that they have common interests. She tells him that she knows that he is aware of her connection with Oceanic 815 and reminds him that the survivors were not the only ones who left the island.
  5. BEN VISITS JACK: Unsuccessful at convincing Kate to return to the island, Jack, still drunk and high, breaks into the funeral parlor where Jeremy Bentham’s deceased body awaits release. Ben, who has been lurking in a dark corner, confronts Jack and tells him that he has some ideas about how to get back to the island but there is a caveat: they all have to return, including the body in the casket. By the way, in the event the casket reveal was leaked, there were two alternate endings filmed: one revealing Sawyer in the coffin and the other Desmond.

So the burning questions I have are:

  • Is Jin still alive? Did he make it into the water before the freighter exploded?
  • Where did Christian dismiss Michael to?
  • I think there is a lot explained by the Mirror Matter Moon theory. As such, could Jeremy Bentham be the dark to Locke’s light?
  • What is Charlotte’s connection to the island? If she was born there, how did her pregnant mother get there, since mothers that conceive on the island die before they can deliver?
  • What are the very bad things that happened on the island after Jack left?
  • Where did Daniel, Bernard, Rose and Vincent end up?
  • How will Jack get Bentham/Locke back to the island? And are there any connections to 815 when he had Christian’s body in tow?
  • What does the connection between Christian, Claire, Jack and Aaron have to do with the island? And how the hell is Jack going to convince Kate to bring Aaron back to the island?
  • Why does everyone trust Penny so implicitly when her father’s agenda seems to have a less-than-earnest motivation?

No matter, if you pardon that pun. I will happily mull over this last season and all its mysteries while we wait for the Season 5 premiere to arrive in early 2009. Until then, happy theorizing and, while you wait, perhaps you might consider contacting Octagon Global Recruiting, who ran an ad during the finale to recruit volunteers for the Dharma Initiative. Clever little buggers!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TBTA's Peter Pan: Helping Lost Children Find A Home

Thank goodness for the many theatreincrediblogs” in existence to keep you up to speed on Broadway’s awards season. Without doubt, it’s been an exciting year on the Great White Way and my esteemed friends are covering the news with great panache. I will leave all the handicapping and dishing to them, as the amount of time I can currently devote to my writing is minimal. My fellow theatre bloggers will be much more thorough, so you are left in capable hands if that is the purpose of your visit.

You ask, then, why no time to write? Well, a few weeks ago I watched over 70 actors sing and dance their way through auditions for the musical Peter Pan. The production, which I am directing, is part of The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts’ 2008 Season. Guiding the cast of 37 through rehearsals that include flight, swordfights, Heelys, major choreography, four different sets and numerous costume changes will definitely be a Herculean effort.

Despite the monumental task of mounting this musical, I eagerly accept the challenge for I believe that our production has had a bit of fairy dust blown in our direction…

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan. It is the story of the boy who would never grow up, who lives on a magical island where time stands still. Interestingly, in the first few weeks of rehearsal, it has become very evident the myriad ways we recall being told of Peter and his Neverland adventures. Most think of the
Disney animated feature or the televised versions featuring Mary Martin or Sandy Duncan in the eponymous role. For others, it might be the recent Cathy Rigby revival on Broadway or the numerous cinematic adaptations of the Peter Pan story.

Certainly, as you grow older, the story takes on a completely different meaning than it did when it was all about flying, Pirates & Indians and defeating the bad guy. I think that is the sign of a great story – when it is both timeless and universal. For me, it is a story about our search in life to find people to love us and to look after us. Whether searching for a parent, as in the case of Peter and the Lost Boys, or growing beyond the years of requiring parents and starting to seek a different kind of companionship, as with Wendy, this story is about developing relationships and trusting and relying on one another.

And here’s the bit of fairy dust…

Last year, the former President and Artistic Director of TBTA adopted a son through the
Department of Children and Families. The Department has now partnered with TBTA to utilize our gallery space for their Heart Gallery, a photo art exhibit featuring children in need of a permanent family connection through adoption. In my life, I’ve had the great fortune of seeing several friends who have created families through adoption. I truly feel the connection between my personal experience and this production is not accidental and I am honored the Heart Gallery will be displayed during the entire run of Peter Pan.

I leave you with this. Anyone who has ever done theatre identifies with the notion that those involved in the production become, for a time, your family. Being a musical that has so much focus on parents and children, I suspect that our production of Peter Pan will be no different, especially given the exhibit that will be hanging in our gallery. Without doubt, those sitting in the audience in July will be seeing a very special production of this classic musical. Because, you see, in our cast there are sixteen performers from six different families, including two sets of twins! If you also consider the cast members that have family helping behind the scenes, Peter Pan’s cast and crew will be a family in the truest sense of the word. And for this particular production, I think that speaks volumes.

Please, come see it… and be a part of the magic.
TBTA presents Peter Pan
Performance Dates:
July 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2008 at 8:00pm
July 13, 2008 at 2:00pm
Ticket Price (All Performances): $20.00
Reservations: 203-775-0023

Department of Children and Families: The Heart Gallery

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Does Cubby Smell A Tony In The Heights?

With this morning's Tony nomination announcement, perhaps Cubby will be looking to add Lin-Manuel Miranda to his success stories. Congratulations to In The Heights for their 13 nods and a special shout out to local boy Robin de Jesus for his nomination! The race is on, boys and girls. And I think it's gonna be a good one!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chatting with Sondheim

Since my day job is in the marketing field, I have to admit to getting a fuzzy, warm feeling inside when I see my two worlds, marketing and theatre, converge. In this case, the Roundabout once again shows its ability to come up with creative marketing targeted to what we in "the biz" call millenials. This time around they are offering the opportunity to pick the brains of the prolifically brilliant Stephen Sondheim and Roundabout's crackerjack Artistic Director Todd Haimes.

This should be a well-spent hour at the computer, don't you think?

Sign up quickly - there are only 500 spots available.