Koch @ The Ross

Ed Koch

Ed Koch

“Whenever I would fly home … there was the city of New York … And I thought … this belongs to me. Thank you God.” The incomparable Edward Irving “Ed” Koch loved New York City with abandon. The former Mayor is the subject of Neil Barsky’s documentary simply named Koch. We know his signature taglines, “How’m I doin’?” or “None of your fucking business” to questions on his sexuality or “No! The people threw me out, now they must be punished” on his defeat to Mayor David Dinkins in 1990. Along the way, Barsky sprinkles in ‘Koch’ a study in the yearning to be liked, recognized, and appreciated by a fickle public.

Koch's beloved city, New York

Koch’s beloved city, New York

The pugnacious city of New York is the backdrop, and Barsky plays the story well as he moves through the crags and crevices in the life of this controversial political figure. Bella Abzug, Mario Cuomo and Bess Meyerson, his companion in the 1970s, among others, make appearances, along with high-profile events, most notable, the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and the 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins in Brooklyn. Barsky decorously illustrates Koch’s formal engagement then marriage to politics forming a sturdy couple that endured for better or worse; yet, one cannot help but to want to strangle Koch’s better half to get to Koch, the man. Koch’s history in politics, however, is overwhelming—even tedious–and the Mayor’s fidelity to his lifelong partner leave Barsky no choice but to cram it all in.

Koch plays through March 21 at the Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

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Audio version from Friday Live! at the Mill @ 39:47 http://tinyurl.com/c88fdlq

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