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Great news friends!
We finally got the privilege to see A Black and White Cookie LIVE. No, not in New York City due to the COVID pandemic, but during a live reading of this fantastic play by Gary Morgenstein courtesy of Ego Actus at their partners Facebook page Theatre of the New City!
Our experience occurred Friday January 21, 2021 on line to the absolute delight of myself and many others when John David West introduced us to the festivities at Theatre for the New City. The best news, an additional live reading of A Black and White Cookie is occurring Sunday January 24, 2021 at 3:00 PM eastern time! (Click HERE to join the live reading using Zoom)
Waiting ten months was agony for the admirers of Mr. Morgenstein to find out the details of this fine stage play that artfully deals with concepts that plague the world to this very day; bigotry, prejudice, corporate greed, and unneeded antisemitism.
Set amid a the COVID pandemic that has kept all of us, sadly, from leading normal lives, the premise of A Black and White Cookie has been updated since originally written to focus on the pandemic and includes some well thought out humor about President Joe Biden since Katherine of Rockwater Reports wrote our original review in February of 2020.
As we have all learned in life, trust can be a dangerous and frightening thing. However, as everyone knows it is only through trust that human beings can get to an achievement where lasting relationships may be created.
The two main characters are Harold Wilson (Mansoor Najee-ullah), an elderly black man who is the owner of a newsstand that has been his entire career for many decades specializing in friendly banter and ham and cheese sandwiches. At the opening of A Black and White Cookie, we learn that Harold’s newsstand is in the process of being shutdown by Harold himself!
Harold is observed interacting with his nearly life long customer Albie Sands (Morry Schorr), an older Jewish man who is down on his luck living somewhere between 5th and 9th streets in New York City for reasons that becomes manifest with A Black and White Cookie.
The two curmudgeons are somewhat strangers who have encountered each other over the years at Harold’s newsstand when Harold shares that he must close his newsstand due to the huge rent increase by the landlord. Albie becomes upset when he learns that Harold’s newsstand will close. Although Harold grumbles at Albie, something else is afoot that Harold will find out about that helps both set aside their prejudice.
A Black and White Cookie features supporting cast members Roslyn Seale as Harold’s daughter, Chris Collins-Pisano as an adviser to Harold, and Julie T. Pham as the “corporate landlord” who in the end plays a surprising role.
This intriguing play peals back the prejudices each hold. As Albie continues to press Harold, after many years Harold and Albie finally get to know each other. Harold, who has never taken a day off in his life, links up with Albie who after learning that Harold is being subjected to a huge increase in rent by the seemingly greedy landlord, that reveals another aspect of prejudice by both men. The events that will destroy Harold’s newsstand will ultimately become the Single Effect of the play, leading both to salvation.
A Black and White Cookie is ably directed by Joan Kane, the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus as she takes us through the rabbit hole with Harold and Albie who are often heard complaining about and to each other!
Within A Black and White Cookie we learn that both Harold and Albie have based their relationship on the falseness of prejudice that tragically infects the world over.
Fortunately, here in the United States we have an environment that has addressed prejudice head on. Despite those in our country who continue to use identity politics, the facts are plain:
Only those who refuse to measure the accomplishments made in the United States are still infected with the disease of prejudice.
Can we say the same about the Middle East between Israel and or the made up nation of Palestine where religion has kept the region at war for two millennia? A more contemporary example is the slavery of the Muslin Uyghurs by the China Communist where hatred between the same race that tragically goes on right now.
Updating A Black and White Cookie:
Gary stated the following about the contemporary update to a Black and White Cookie:
“For this new production, it was important to update A Black and White Cookie by layering in the terrifying burden of the pandemic to portray a city struggling to come into the light. While the play reflects hard truths about fear, disease and bigotry, it’s ultimately positive and uplifting. What the world needs now more than ever is love and understanding, and faith in ourselves, and each other. If these two stubborn old guys can come together, so can all of us. You just gotta believe”.
The rewrite of A Black and White Cookie sets the stage (pun intended) for the end of the pandemic when people will actually be allowed once again to visit Broadway, Off Broadway, as well as place the crisis of people forced out of business by draconian so called woke governments in the rear view mirror of life. We conclude with a suggestion to visit New York to see A Black and White Cookie when it hopefull premieres live on stage.
Lastly, we include an interview with Gary about A Black and White Cookie that we were fortunate to receive.
Thanks Gary and enjoy!
As we proceed to the future, Rockwater Reports will return with more special guests in our Round Table Series including select science fiction book reviews and outstanding plays like A Black and White Cookie. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, co-workers and or family and leave your comments! We look forward to you visiting our dedicated review and analysis web site here in the future!
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