From Joanna Horowitz, Communications Department
Opening night. I am emerging from the Kleenex-strewn haze of a cold. Was going to blog from home on Monday, in between tea and DVDs of Six Feet Under, but wasn't sure what kind of delirious drivel would come out of my (very low-grade, don't worry mom) fever. So, now that I am on the mend, I thought it might be a good time to reach out and, you know, touch someone. Coincidentally, Marya also sent over a blog today, so you're in for a whole lot of blog-y goodness.
So, tonight we open Gem of the Ocean. I saw it last night in previews. I was a little wary because I wasn't sure if I would be able to stay focused in my sniffly state, but I was completely engaged. Really, you have to believe that I say these things truthfully and not because I work here. Just know that I'm not a liar, so if I don't like a play, I'm going to write, "I'm so busy, I didn't have time to see it, but I heard it was awesome!" So, I can say in all honestly, that this is a really beautiful, excellently paced (i.e. not boring), surprisingly funny piece. The acting is really solid, and the actors (with Ms. Rashad's direction) have made some really interesting choices that bring astounding depth to the characters. The music is awesome. The writing, of course, is so eloquently woven. The friend I saw the show with said afterwards, "I don't know how August Wilson did it. Every line moves the story forward in such a beautiful way."
And, as always, you don't have to take my word for it. We send out surveys to our preview audiences to see what the initial response to the show is. The feedback has been really positive. Such as:
“Aunt Ester will be for me one of the great characters of American theater... [the play] is hauntingly beautiful...historically stark with invaluable lessons about the fragility and preciousness of freedom in our own time.”
“We told our family about our enjoyable evening at the Rep. It was nice to finish the August Wilson cycle with such a good production. The play stands well on its own but if you've seen any of Wilson's other plays it has a feel of family.”
“Lively and quite entertaining - very thought provoking”
“The production is amazing and profoundly moving. The acting is extremely fine. The play is stunning.”
“Excellent! A fine theatrical experience.”
“I thought Phylicia Rashad's production was superb! Very few actors or directors could do it so well. I hope she does more at the Rep. It was fabulous.”
Personally, I am grateful to Gem of the Ocean above all because it meant in celebration of the opening each department at work got a cake, and all day people have been wandering around in sugared-up stupor declaring, "The carrot is better than the white chocolate mousse!" Ok, I'm being glib. But you only be intellectually stimulating for so long. Someone get me a fork.