Vintage hard times
“Rumor has it that playwright Lanford Wilson sat in a gritty all-night diner on the Upper West Side of mid-1960s Manhattan and just wrote down what he heard,” and the result was Balm of Gilead, says veteran theater artist Phil Soltanoff. He describes the play as “a world of lost souls—pushers and junkies, hustlers and whores—struggling delicately and brutally on the edge of poverty.” Soltanoff, a longtime theater faculty member in the 1980s and ’90s, has been back on campus to guest-direct Balm of Gilead for the spring mainstage production at Skidmore’s Bernhard Theater. He has updated it to the 1970s and added a soundtrack of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Frank Sinatra, and other iconic songsters of the era.
Tickets are available here for performances April 14, 15, 19, and 20 at 8 p.m.; April 22 at 7 p.m.; and April 23 at 2 p.m. Admission is $12, or $8 for students. Also, the Theater Department hosts a 1970s-style house party with refreshments, bands, and more immediately following the April 22 show.