Monday, September 20, 2010

I Had A Session With Freud

Eric and I had a pretty quiet weekend this past weekend, especially compared to last week! We mostly relaxed at home (including picking up BBQ and watching the Gators win over Tennessee from our couch) and didn't do too much of anything. Eric had to work on Sunday and I did some baking, we watched football, watched movies, etc. Lazy and nice.

The one thing we did venture out to do this weekend was see Freud's Last Session at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA (got all that?). I mentioned last week that we had tried to see this play last Thursday, as part of the off-Broadway "20 At 20" Promotion, which enables you to get $20 tickets to selected shows 20 minutes before showtime. We were unsuccessful last Thursday, and the promotion ended yesterday, so we knew we had to make it happen this weekend.

We got to the theater shortly after 1:00 p.m. to wait in line for 20 At 20 tickets for the 2:00 matinee show. We were the fourth and fifth people in line, and we were smart to have been so early because they only had seven tickets available for that show! Lucky us! So, we got in, purchased our tickets, and found our seats in the little theater.

The show was excellent. We really enjoyed it. The cast consists of only two actors, portraying C.S. Lewis and Dr. Freud. The play is set in Freud's office in 1939. Freud's career is coming to a close as he is dying of oral cancer at the age of 83 years, while 41-year-old Professor Lewis's career is just beginning. As of 1939, Lewis had not yet written many of the works he is most known for, including The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, or Mere Christianity. He had only recently converted from atheism to Christianity at the age of 33 years.

The play chronicles a hypothetical meeting between these two great minds, each espousing such different beliefs relating to faith and God. However, they do discuss other things, including Lewis's memories of the war, Freud's love of cigars (and the obligatory ensuing oral fixation jokes), father issues, Freud's escape from Austria, sex (it is Freud, after all), relationships, the ethics of physician-assisted suicide (how Freud eventually met his demise) and so on. It was surprisingly funny and very thought-provoking. It presented a look at these two men's opposing viewpoints without an agenda and with humor and wit. Of course, the psychologist in me loved to hear Freud's points of view, and as a Christian I enjoyed hearing Lewis's arguments. It was really a great play.

Martin Rayner as Dr. Freud and Mark H. Dold as C.S. Lewis

VIDEO: If you're interested, I found this selection of clips from Freud's Last Session online. These are the same actors we saw.

After the show, they hand out these snazzy buttons!

I don't know if this show ever does/will travel, but I highly recommend checking it out if it ever comes to a theater near you. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to see it here!

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