Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When We Were Young and Unafraid

Sarah Treem has been busy these past few years and I didn't even realize it.   Aside from writing this mesmerizing and provocative new play, When We Were Young and Unafraid, she's been busy working as an executive producer on two very successful and poignant modern television dramas, HBO's In Treatment and Netflix's House of Cards.  Yeah, that's a big WOW.

In this stage play, Sarah brings a woman running a battered women's shelter together with a recent visitor to her secret shelter, an invading nomadic lesbian searching for meaning, a guest of the B&B she runs as the "front" and the girl she calls her daughter.  The year is 1972 and all the rules are different from today.  Packed like a stick of dynamite, this play is about ready to explode off the pages before you throw in the indomitable stage actress Cherry Jones (Agnes), the potent and explosive Cherise Boothe (Hannah), the mesmerizing Zoe Kazan (Mary Anne), the youthful powerhouse  Morgan Saylor (Penny), and the dashing Patch Darragh (Paul).  Light the fuse - and POW - it's burning the entire time.

The entire time is perhaps the only problem with this show - at 2h:20m, it's perhaps a bit too long for its own good.  Not a bad problem to have, however.  Find the least best thing (it's gonna be hard) and trim it down and I think you have the perfect run time for this powerhouse.  Check out the promo video which will help explain a bit further.  In the meantime - get your tickets now - Manhattan Theater Club's Stage I at City Center