From a BAT-fan

BAT finished its first post-fire weekend of shows anf found this email in our in box.  It made BAT smile.

Hi Rochelle & Maggie, Eric, and BAT,

Congratulations on relaunching Coney Island Christmas three days after fire rendered the community center unusable for further performances in its current state.

I’d call BAT being able continue the show without missing any nights a “Miracle on 153rd Street”…except that miracles are ‘unexplainable’ phenomena. I’d imagine this can be readily explained: as due to an enormous amount of tireless work on your parts, and the work and support of BAT, its volunteers and the community at large.

Special thanks should go to Cyndi and the Highline Historical Society, who with short notice graciously offered a space for BAT to continue the run; and to Dukesbay, who contributed critical support and equipment donations in time.

The show itself was delightful, a warm and very timely take on faith, cultural identity and shared community, themes that resonate at all levels of the national conversation today. The script criss-crosses themes, periods and moods. I thought the holiday plays-within-a-play were hysterical with inspired nuttiness; yet these were balanced by scenes of quiet pathos and raw, heartfelt emotion. A great cast brought this variety of roles to life, making it easy for the audience to find identification with the Abromowitzes and their community.

I wasn’t able to see Coney Island Christmas in its original incarnation at the center. But last Friday, it certainly seemed that we were experiencing an echo of the old adage that–with strong directing and acting–a great show can be staged anywhere and still work as theater. In fact, sitting amidst Depression-era artifacts and images, while watching performers enact a play set in that time using a facility literally named “Hope in Hard Times”, I was struck by the whole meta-experience. The characters were finding that hope, and so was the audience, and so was the theatre.


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