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Heartbreak House is playing at Theatre Row located at 410 West 42nd Street. It runs two hours thirty minutes with one intermission. The play closes on September 29, 2018.
George Bernard Shaw is the playwright. The play was published in 1919. The play premiere at the Garrick Theatre, New York in November 1920.
Karen Ziemba won a Tony Award in 2000 for Contact.
Tom Hewitt was nominated for a Tony Award in 2000 for The Rocky Horror Show.
Alison Fraser was nominated for two Tony Awards for The Secret Garden (1991) and Romance/Romance (1988).
To quote playbill “First we find ourselves in the basement of the Ambassadors Theatre, London September 1940. Then we’re magically transported to Captain Shotover’s Villa in Sussex, England September 1914.
We are handed a pamphlet “In Event Of An Air Raid” so we know what to do if there is one. Well there is one. Actors are coming down into the basement where we are. Some are coming from other theatres. They are talking among themselves. In harmony the say let’s sing a song! Pack Off Your Troubles is sung. The audience is encouraged to sing along. The lyrics are in the pamphlet we were handed.
They decide to do a play. Heartbreak House is chosen.
Ellie Dunn (Kimberly Immanuel) is visiting Captain Shotover (Raphael Nash Thompson) villa with her father Mazzin Dunn (Lenny Wolpe) and her finance Boss Mangan (Derek Smith).
Captain Shotover is in the balcony of his house. He tells the maid Guinness(Jeff Hiller) to remove the tea he brought for Ellie. His daughter Hesione Hushabye (Karen Ziemba) strikes up a conversation with Ellie. She asks her if she really wants to marry Boss. Ellie admits she is in love with someone else. This is a marriage of convergence. He took over her father’s business. They are poor, he is wealthy.
Hector Hushabye (Tom Hewitt) Mazzini husband walks in all cheery. It turns out that he is the man Ellie is in love with. Mazzini brushes it off. It seems he does it all the time. He flirts with women, making up stories about himself.
Lady Ariadne Utterword (Alison Fraser) arrives. She is Mazzini sister and has not been in the house since she got married. Lady Ariadne loves to flirt with men. Her brother-in-law, Randall Utterword (Jeff Hiller) arrives. He is smitten with her. She could care less.
Boss Mangan is a cold hearted man who questions why Ellie is marring him.
After intermission we sing another song Smiles. Later we sing Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
Things shift around on what happens to each of the characters, nothing drastic but interesting. I’m not spoiling it for you.
This is a new adaptation of this WW 1 play. It is well done and worth seeing.
The cast is outstanding. Jeff Hiller does an amazing performance playing three different characters.
Brian Prather (scenic design) and Barbara A. Bell (costume design) added to the plays enjoyment.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.