I knew Alex well at Yale. He took my lecture course in modern American drama, acted in my production of Frank McGuinness’s “Dolly West’s Kitchen” (an “Actor and the Text” course) and, as his Theater Studies senior project, directed David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross,” which I advised.
Alex was always the same person: smart, concise, attentive, FUNNY and irresistibly quirky. He was always sniffing out the edges of things and then finding something still edgier. I didn’t predict his starting Les Freres Corbusier, but I should have, or something very like it. (Typical Alex: Corbusier HAD no brothers.) One of his earliest productions in New York was a Wallace Shawn monologue in his family’s living room. Just like Alex. And who but he would have even thought of, never mind produced, the 2004 Obie winner, “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.”
I saw Les Freres’ latest, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” in its first (workshop) incarnation at the NY Public Theater in May of 2009. And now it’s about to open on Broadway. Does this mean that Alex and Les Freres have gone mainstream? Don’t you believe it. Broadway may never be the same again.
As for my “mentorship”: Yes, it’s true that I may have helped guide Alex through Yale College, and that I’ve been on the Les Freres board since it started. But there are only about ten of us there, and I don’t believe any of us tries to tell Alex his business. He knows it intuitively, and we just admire its results.