We’ve been blessed to have two great evenings in nearby Sag Harbor:the first a reading by Colson Whitehead, sponsored by Canio’s Books, the legendary bookstore where Mr. Whitehead as a young boy — bookworm,and resident — spent many hours of his childhood.
In his new novel, Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes a strand of American history through the story of two young boys, Elwood and Turner struggling to survive after beingsentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. The school — fictionalized but based on a real one, the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Northern Florida — is a grotesque chamber of horrors with a sadistic staff.More than a hundred children died at the school between 1913 and 1960.
In addition to Colson Whitehead, we got Irving Berlin’sAnnie Get Your Gun at the Bay Street Theater. One of the most beloved musicals of Broadway’s Golden Age, it is the story of sharpshooter Annie Oakley and her tempestuous romance with fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler featuring many of the vaudeville names of her day such as “Buffalo Bill” Cody. You’ll remember many of the songs: “Doin’ What Comes, Natur’lly,” “The Girl That I Marry,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,”“You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” and “Anything You Can Do.”
“Annie Get Your Gun” first opened on May 16, 1946 at the Imperial Theater, and ran for 1,147 performances. This revival is scheduled to move on to The Pasadena Playhouse.