Last night's first working performance of the world premiere of "The Intelligent Homosexual" was a new experience for the cast & crew as well as for me. I'd never before seen a working performance of a new play and they'd never had the experience of their set pieces not moving when they were supposed to. That was the only major problem. The director, Michael Greif, handled it with humor and wit and within a few minutes, the only major glitch had been solved. Humor. Sometimes it solves everything.

It was kind of odd to go to the theater, the Guthrie, and see an "unfinished" work. I'd never really considered what it's like to see an "unfinished" piece of theater because I'm used to going to the opera, recitals, orchestral concerts, etc., and the pieces are done. The composers are typically dead white men (sometimes they used music from their talented sisters) and, well,

not much can or ever will be changed. What I've never considered twice is going to a performance of works-in-progress like the Rough Cuts performances at Nautilus Music-Theater in St. Paul. It's always one or more works-in-progress, it's self-understood that the end product will vary somewhat from whatever it was the audience experienced that evening. I'd never experienced that with theater before.

What also struck me was the timeliness of the language, the use of popular cell phones, internet/chat slang, the evident generational differences between the characters. The topics and viewpoints are timely, a couple of the characters even live in Minneapolis! I began to wonder why the timeliness of the language struck me so much. Language is its own living, breathing being and changes with time and hey, here it changes with the weather--it's true, in winter it's so cold we talk even faster. Well, there is also the fact that I lived in Germany for five years. So I literally missed five years in the development of American English.Historic bridges are part of Minneapolis' attraction.

I'm glad I won't be missing the development of "The Intelligent Homosexual." And I'm glad that Tony Kushner, the cast and crew have developed it as they have. May they have a fantastic, humorous run!

(I'm not going to tell you anything else about it because I think you should go see it. And have a great time!)

"The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism & Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures" by Tony Kushner runs now through June 28, 2009 at the Guthrie with such fine actors as Mark Benninghofen, Kathleen Chalfant, Sun Mee Chomet, Michael Cristofer, Linda Emond, Michael Esper, Charity Jones, Ron Menzel, Michelle O'Neill, Michael Potts, and Stephen Spinella.

One view from the Guthrie.