Apr 22 , 2019

Off the Page: Side Man

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By Warren Leight
Directed by Richard Van Slyke



Set in 1953 and traveling to 1985, this lovely and poignant memory play unfolds through the eyes of Clifford, the only son of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and Terry, an alcoholic mother. Clifford narrates the story of his broken family and the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. For Gene, jazz is not just a job; it's his life. When an adult Clifford visits Gene in a rundown jazz club after years of separation, he requests that the old man play his mother's favorite song, the old standard "Why was I Born?" It becomes Clifford's last, heart-breaking plea for his father's love.
 Winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play.

 

"Side Man…is an elegy for two things—a lost world and a lost love...[and] evokes their loss with sweet, but never sentimental, poignancy. It has the depth of feeling of an exile longing for home." —NY Daily News

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