A review of the play awake and sing

She feigns weakness from emotional upset.

awake and sing playwright clifford

Director Serge Seiden transforms eight actors into a tight ensemble, keeping the energy flowing at a snappy pace throughout and handily emphasizing the nonstop movement between each character and his or her dreams. This comes to fruition during the third act, when Moe and Hennie confront their latent attraction for each other, and Moe's message rings out as a clarion call for all the Bergers to grab what they can while they can, and let the future sort itself out later.

awake and sing quotes

Mandell vibrantly illuminates the highs and lows of Ralph's existence, his bouts of despair giving way to euphoria. And the larger group scenes are a bit less focused. Even tattered, they endure. What must be done must be done.

awake and sing reviews

Some actors have more chemistry than others, and others struggle to be heard in the small theater. He is frustrated that he can't see a way to alter his life without breaking away from his family.

A review of the play awake and sing

Played with forceful intensity by Cindy Gold, matriarch Bessie dominates her kin. Money is tight, and young Ralph feels stuck in his impoverished family. Ned Eisenberg, an actor who has not received sufficient recognition over the course of his notable career, radiates ruthless wisdom as Uncle Morty, a man whose double-breasted suit is spanking new and obviously not the only one in his closet. This bizarre lapse is all the more discouraging given what Sher gets right: His bustling, busy staging of the fifth-floor walk up family home perfectly situates the Bergers in locale and era, he treats them with great respect and poignancy, and his work with most of the actors excepting Schreiber and a hysteric Richard Topol as Hennie's harried husband results in a generally exquisite ensemble. Beginning after the first intermission Awake and Sing! The symbolic point is well taken: as the family unit begins to disintegrate, the Bergers become more exposed, as poor Bessie has feared, to the cold winds of economic uncertainty and existential angst. Costumes by Catherine Zuber. Although Channing looks too manicured to be entirely plausible as a woman who once slaved in a stocking factory, she captures perfectly Odets's complex attitude to this domestic tyrant. On the Olney's large main stage, the Bergers' living room contains a sofa and two overstuffed chairs. You always believe that she believes her choices are for the best, which makes it impossible to completely reject her often monstrous actions: She finds the heat within the icy Bessie, and tempers her fire with cool, irrefutable resolve. As Ruffalo plays him, he transcends the caricature of a man who's balanced the Bessies and Jacobs of the United States into a workable system, and becomes instead a man of immense sympathy and passion. Jacob is a tremendously important moral force in the play, and Foucheux portrays him with passion, as a simple but deeply ethical man. Laura Harris plays Hennie effectively as a self-centered, diffident young woman who is restlessly searching for happiness. Sadly, the effect is the opposite of what Sher intends, and a play that needs a claustrophobic atmosphere suddenly loses just that quality.
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Awake and Sing!