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The Assembled Parties
The play is at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre located at 261 West 47th street. It runs two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission. The play closes on June 2, 2013.
Richard Greenberg is the playwright. He won a Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Drama Desk Award in 2003 for Best Play “Take Me Out”. Richard was a finalist for Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998 for “Three Days of Rain” and 2003 for “Take Me Out”.
Santo Loquasto has received fifteen Tony Award nominations for his work in either costume or scenic design. He won three for best costume design, 1990 for “Grand Hotel: The Musical, 1989 for “Café Crown” and 1977 for “The Cherry Orchard”. In this show he is doing scenic design.
Jane Greenwood has been nominated for the Tony Award for costume design sixteen times. She won the Lucille Lortel award in 2001 for “Old Money” and 1996 for “Sylvia”.
Peter Kaczorowsku was nominated in 2012 for a Tony Award for Best Lighting design of a Play for “The Road to Mecca”. Most recently he has done lighting for “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, “Venus in Fur” “Wit”, “Anything Goes” and “A View from the Bridge”.
Judith Light has won a two Emmy Awards in 1980 and 1981 for her role in the soap opera “One Life To Live“. She also has won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award in 2012 for “Other Desert Cities”.
Jeremy Shamos was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for “Clybourne Park”.
Jessica Hecht is known for her television role as Susan in “Friends”.
The play opens in a fourteen room apartment on Central Park West. The year is 1980, Christmas Day.
Julie (Jessica Hecht) is having Christmas dinner in her apartment. She is showing her sons friend Jeff (Jeremy Shamos) what she is preparing for dinner. Ben (Jonathan Walker) her husband sits down with them. Joining the family at dinner is Ben’s sister Faye (Judith Light), her husband Mort (Mark Blum) and their daughter Shelley (Lauren Blumfeld). At one point Jeff finds his friend Scotty (Jake Silverman) in his bedroom.
Different scenes the family members interact with each other. In one scene Mort tells Ben that he wants the ruby necklace his mother gave his wife or he will expose the fact that he was having an affair. He has pictures to prove it. In another we are introduced to Julie’s much younger son Timmy (Alex Dreier) all too briefly.
Julie and Faye seem to be close to each other. At the kitchen table they share things with each other.
Act two it is ten years later. Julie, Faye, Jeff and Timmy are the only family members alive. As the second act progresses we find what happen to the rest of the group. The secret of the ruby necklace comes out. Unless I missed something we never find out why a Jewish family celebrates Christmas.
Santo Loquasto set is fantastic. It rotates around as a kitchen, front hallway of the apartment, dining room and two bedrooms. In the second act it only one big room. The dining room is in the background, living in the front.
The cast is great together, even though some of them are not on the stage all the time.
Judith Light has some of the funniest lines. You won’t be disappointed in her performance, she does a remarkable job.
Jessica Hecht is wonderful in the role. She is convincing as the housewife who is oblivion to what is happening around.
Jeremy Shamos is outstanding. His compassion for Jessie shows, as if she is his mother. He does such a great job it tugs at you heart.
The only thing I felt they should have done in the second act was to tighten it up a little bit. It dragged a little until they told what happened to the characters not there.
You won’t be disappointed in this fine production.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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