Brooklyn Heights

Two key creators of Lincoln Center production of ‘The Coast Starlight’ call Brooklyn Heights home

April 11, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Keith Bunin, playwright. Keith Bunin is also author of the plays “The Busy World is Hushed,” “The Credeaux Canvas,” “The World Over,” all of which premiered at Playwrights Horizons. He was also a writer for the HBO tv series “In Treament.”

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — An Amtrak sleeper train called “The Coast Starlight,” which runs from Los Angeles to Seattle, is the setting of a play by noted writer Keith Bunin, a resident of Brooklyn Heights. The play, directed by another Heights resident, Tyne Rafaeli, is running at the Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater until April 16.

Bunin and Rafaeli were interviewed recently by Peter Stamelman for the new Brooklyn Eagle section, Cultural Community. Both artists expressed the universal appeal of living in a definable neighborhood, “like being in a small town so close to the city.” While Bunin has been a local in the Heights for almost 25 years, Rafaeli is a new arrival. As expected, each has staked out their favorite local restaurants and takeout spots.

Each praised the “walkability” of the neighborhood and the fact that numerous subway lines are within a stone’s throw. Interesting to note that each artist has active global connections working in the theater, travels frequently and proclaims a sense of coming back home when returning to the Heights.

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Tyne Rafaeli, director. Click photo for Rafaeli’s website.

NYTimes writer Alexis Soloski opens her review of the play with the following words:

A northbound trip on the Coast Starlight, a gleaming Amtrak sleeper, lasts about 35 hours. The train leaves Los Angeles in mid morning and delivers its passengers to Seattle late the next day. By contrast, “The Coast Starlight,” Keith Bunin’s play at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, fills just a fraction of that time. A gentle, rueful play, directed with a steady and sympathetic hand by Tyne Rafaeli, it settles down among six passengers sharing a single coach. Narrow, nimble, self-contained, the ride it offers is as smooth as it is wistful. Because Bunin (“The Credeaux Canvas,” “The Busy World Is Hushed”) knows that any trip involves leaving something or someone behind.

Read Peter Stamelman’s interviews with Keith Bunin and Tyne Rafaeli.

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