Written By Larri Parker Tonelli of Parker’s Climb
“I’m not ‘gonna lie, when I get hungry, I get stupid.”
“I need a nap!” I just could not keep up with the other Parkers. The walk in the Park was a “Walk in the Park”, but I was exhausted. I could not keep up with Geoff or Pam as they greeted old and new friends at the 17th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk in Central Park. George also showed no sign of slowing as we reached the finish.
I just had to sleep; I needed a nap or my grumpy, crabby, Mr. Hyde side was going to erupt. I excused myself from the planned luncheon for the Parkers on Park Avenue and headed for the Belvedere Hotel. My head hit the pillow and after three hours, I woke renewed and refreshed.
“I am hungry!” We soon headed out to Dafni Taverna for Greek food. I foolishly ordered too much food, but ate everything, including Greek salad, grape leaves, spanakopita, gigantes, grilled shrimp, rice pudding and Sokolatina. I almost put myself into a food coma. Since I had used my nap quota for the day, I ordered a double espresso and soon we were off to the theatre.
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo starring Robin Williams is a dark production about two US marines, an Iraqi translator, a Bengal Tiger and a host of other ghosts of war-torn Baghdad. This production, written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Moises Kaufman is playing at the Richard Rogers Theatre in New York. The set is sumptuous, including large-scale topiaries of animals, including horse, giraffe and elephant.
At the center of the stage is a cage, showing wear from the war. There we first see Robin Williams, sporting a mane worthy of a lion, but he is a tiger, and he hates lions! I enjoyed his stage rants, “why am I here?“ This is the ageless question central to the play, as each character seeks meaning and hope in the face of atrocities and desperation. The cast is talented, including Arian Moayed as Musa the topiary artist turned Iraqi interpreter, Glenn Davis and Brad Fleischer, both Marines, and Hrach Titizian as Uday.
The show was serious, and we warned George, a Vietnam Veteran, that there would be gunfire. None of us wanted to see him low crawling about the theatre floor. George, a talented helicopter pilot, has many war stories, often told, all demonstrating the insanity and absurdity of war. Therefore, we were prepared when Uday paced the stage with his brother’s head in tow.
This play captures the dichotomy of the conflict of the primal self, struggling to survive and the spiritual self, seeking to understand. The play provokes the audience to think about the consequences of war, as the drama unfolds through the tiger’s eye. Ltp
I cannot think of a better way to end our New England trip than with George and Larri! Thanks for climbing two mountains with us (gotta keep up the training), and thanks for helping us promote Parker’s Climb across New England! It was an amazing trip! pkp