Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: history of theater

Review | Fashions for Men by Ferenc Molnar | Directed by Davis McCallum | Mint Theater Company

 … back to Budapest with you! … 

I had the good luck to see Molnar’s Liliom recently off- off Broadway and it’s a marvelous play: in its way as good as the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel, based on it.  So (though I admit the title struck me as a little silly) I was really keen to see another Molnar play. Molnar, a Hungarian, was after all among the most popular playwrights in Europe and America for much of the first half of the 20th century.

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The carousel. Center L-R  Gerrard Lobo as Liliom and Morgan DeTogne as Julie.  Photo: Samantha Mercado-Tudda   

Review | Liliom by Ferenc Molnar | Translated by Benjamin Glazer | Adapted and Directed by Steven Carl McCasland | Celebration of Whimsy Theatre

This is the first full staging of Liliom in New York in 40 years and it’s such a satisfying play I feel gratitude to Beautiful Soup for producing it.  The musical it inspired, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, is among the best  of all time but in some ways the play is even more dramatically powerful.

Written in 1909, the play takes place in Budapest, Hungary, with a foray to Heaven.  Liliom is the nickname of a carousel barker, vibrant, handsome, but also edgy, impatient and prone to violence.  He’s loved by two women — well, all the girls “love” this good looking guy but there are two women important in his life  — Mrs. Muskat, the tough, experienced, older woman who owns the carousel, and Julie, the young, inexperienced serving girl who sets up house with him.

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