Who Was That Woman?

So, yeah, we saw a play on Saturday afternoon at Playwright’s Horizons right there on 42nd Street, across from that huge parking deck as you come out of the Lincoln Tunnel. It was called After The Revolution. It centers around a young woman, Emma Joseph who is headlong in carrying on her family’s Marxist beliefs and the conflict she faces when she learns a long silenced truth about her grandfather, who was a spy for Stalin’s Russia. It was a little political for me to follow with any great accuracy, but I do have a quote from Ariel, who asked me to share it with you, as his reaction to the performance.

The play was an absolute winner. I lived under the communist yoke under Castro and at least, while I sat in that seat, I was almost buying into their spiel–that speaks volumes of the pathos the characters portrayed as they brought to life an unbelievable play. The dialogue and its direction alone were a thing of beauty.

Like I said, it’s political undertones were lost on me, but from the opening scene I was mesmerized with the naturalness of the cast, interacting with each other. It was refreshing to not see something overacted for the sake of making a point; the point was made in the words they spoke. And it was a minimalist set, which I appreciate, because the play doesn’t have to rely on flash to distract from a non-existent story, like a movie overrun with special effects.

The Playwright’s Horizon is like a workshop theater–it’s where we saw that rather ridiculous Me, Myself and I, about twins OTTO and otto whose mother was played by Elizabeth Ashley. In this play, After The Revolution, the draw was Mare Winningham, who played Emma’s stepmother and whose role was rather small. And standing outside the theater, waiting to go in,looking at the lobby cards (for lack of a better term) there was another woman in the cast who we both recognized, but could not definitively place. It was Lois Smith and she played the half-deaf, widowed grandmother. I could see her in my mind’s eye, in a recent role where she had a look of inner torment and sadness. Turns out, after looking her up in the Playbill, we knew; she played Tom Scavo’s mother on Desperate Housewives.

All in all I enjoyed the show and gave it a 7.


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