Let's Talk Off Broadway

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

Tag: Steven Carl McCasland

The Symposium: L-R Kimberly Faye Greenberg as Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Weems as Dorothy Parker, Kim Rogers as Agatha Christie, Kristen Gehling as Muriel Gardiner, Penny Lynn White as Alice B. Toklas.  Photo: Samantha Mercado Tudda

Review | Little Wars, A Workshop Production by Steven Carl McCasland | Directed by Thia Stephan Hyde | Beautiful Soup Theater | Roy Arias Stage IV

A symposium — a drinking party with dinner in the offing, only here the participants are not Socrates and the male literati of the “golden age” of ancient Athens, as in Plato’s dramatic dialogue.  This symposium is of 20th-century writers and — quite an update! — they’re all women:  Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Agatha Christie, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, along with Muriel Gardiner, well known for saving many Jews during World War II, and Bernadette, a young house maid.  The time is early in the war, and the gathering at the Stein-Toklas household in the French mountains.

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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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