Disgraced at the Taper

Gordon and I went to Kendall’s for our usual soup and wine between going to the play last night and it was a disaster! We got our seats at the bar and the TV was on CNN. No big deal so far. Both of the usual bartenders were off and the poor substitute was run to death even though it was a slow night. We asked if we could change the channel at 7 to play Jeopardy (as is our habit) and he couldn’t find the remote. We ordered our soup and waited…and waited….and waited. So we had time to ask the man at the desk if we could find a remote and change the channel (CNN had the Orlando massacre and the poor kid taken by the gator on a loop; ran the same two stories over and over and over). The man informed us that the remote was in the office locked up so we were stuck. Who does that?! His tone left no doubt that we were unimportant and easily dismissed. We finally got our soup which was lukewarm and had to beg for bread. All the while the gator is taking the kid and people are getting shot. We finished our soup quickly because I just wanted to get out of there when Gordon decided he wanted to speak to the manager. Good for him! Unfortunately I was there. The manager came over and Gordon started explaining our difficulties but I was so mad I interrupted. I told the manager that we’d been coming to this restaurant for YEARS before the shows and we’d never had such a terrible experience. When I’m that mad I don’t yell or swear, I speak quickly, scathingly, and in clipped tones. I ran down my list of grievances and he made some comment about my blood pressure before assuring us that our meal would be comped. I don’t know if he was trying to lighten the atmosphere or condescend to me but I glared at him and he hurriedly left. Well, our meal was comped but now (as Gordon points out) we don’t know if they fired all the staff and CNN is the new rule. Then we could make an informed decision whether to go back or not. He was right but I’m still so mad I don’t want to go back anyway. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places to eat near the Music Center. Guess we’ll have to eat early someplace else.

I was in a pretty foul mood when we got to the Taper. Gordon told me he’d read the review of Disgraced in the LA Times and he said the critic didn’t seem to like it. I looked at the program and there was no intermission which is usually a clue that the play is such a dog people don’t come back if you give them a chance to bail. I debated leaving and cutting my losses for a miserable evening but we’d paid for the play, damn it, we had to see it. Sometimes the Midwestern “Can’t waste a thing” ethic wears ya down. I settled back to watch.

It was great.

The story is about an apostate Muslim lawyer working toward a partnership, married to an extremely Liberal artist, and seemingly living the American dream. His wife, at the behest of his nephew, talks him into consulting with an imam accused of laundering Jihadist money. He just offers the imam advice, is not one of the legal team, but the media names him as the lead attorney. Unfortunately, the poor guy works for a Jewish firm. So he’s in trouble. At a dinner party attended by a black woman coworker, her husband who owns a gallery where his wife would like to exhibit and the couple, all hell breaks loose. He explains his apostate position by quoting the Koran. The Liberals who haven’t really read it, argue that he’s insulting a beautiful religion. I won’t say anymore; the poor guy is trying to do the right thing but the Liberals kill him. Anyway, that’s what I got from it. The LA Times critic said it was a discussion of the evils of capitalism, the wage gap, the destructive Right-wing…I think he even threw in something about gun-control. What I saw was the radicalization of the nephew, encouraged by the Liberal wife. She was going to get the kid deported or killed with her well-meaning naivety. Maybe you see what you want to see. Anyway, it’s very thought-provoking. I’m surprised it got a Pulitzer. It doesn’t parrot the Liberal party line. As a matter of fact, it seems to argue quite effectively against it. As I said, you see what you want to see. The cast was excellent, particularly the lead. I recommend it.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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