The Great God Pan is about Jaime (Jeremy Strong), a cool, cold journalist who realizes that he might have been sexually abused when he was four after talking to a childhood friend, but cannot remember anything. The realization that he might have been abused exacerbates problems with his girlfriend, Paige (Sarah Goldberg). The title comes from the poem “A Musical Instrument” by Elizabeth Browning about Pan, the Greek god of nature (and theatrical criticism!), who rips a reed out of a river bed to play it and make beautiful music. The other gods are sad because they focus on the price of the new thing Pan has created—the dead reed. This sentimental darkness is appropriate for a play about memory. [click to continue….]
The Great God Pan is a terrible and wonderful new play written by Amy Herzog. It is terrible in that it tells the story of a young man who finds out he may have been sexually exploited as a young child. However, it is wonderful in that the discovery of this and the emotional journey that Jamie (Jeremy Strong) goes through is so wonderfully acted and scripted. [click to continue….]
Marin Ireland and Peter Kim in "Maple and Vine." Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.
Jordan Harrison’s play Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons, directed by Anne Kauffman was a very intriguing story. Marin Ireland plays Katha a woman who has nightmares and hasn’t been the same since she had a miscarriage. That day changed her life, since then she felt empty with no path worth taking, she wasn’t sure who she was. She is married to Ryu played by actor Peter Kim who stood by her side all the time. One day, Katha meets Dean played by actor Trent Dawson who shows her a different life, the path worth taking towards happiness, or so Dean promises. [click to continue….]
Playwright Jordan Harrison on set for "Maple and Vine." Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.
Maple and Vine, a play by Jordan Harrison, tells a complex story as it compares and contrasts life in 1955 and the present. We are offered an intriguing premise of a society and organization that endlessly perpetuates a lifestyle from 1955. The play manages to show us the suburban culture from this era but fails to deliver a unifying message or to demonstrate an overall theme. The overall narrative ends in two directions at the end. [click to continue….]
Marin Ireland, Jeanine Serralles and Trent Dawson in "Maple and Vine." Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.
Ever feel like you were born in the wrong time period? That’s an understatement for Katha and Ryu. Maple and Vine, written by Jordan Harrison and directed by Anne Kauffman, is the story of a married couple named Katha and Ryu (Marin Ireland, Peter Kim) living in the modern world. They are living an average life but like most people, they don’t enjoy it. They feel that they are “allergic” to the 21st century. Katha meets a man named Dean (Trent Dawson). There is something suspicious about this man. He is dressed in a suit and hat with a brief case. They spoke about a community that was supposed to be a replica of one in the 1950s. Eventually the couple moves to the community but they are forced to give up all of their modern day necessities such as computers, cell phones, and foreign takeout. In the 50s, multiracial couples weren’t accepted, so Katha and Ryu had to deal with racial slurs and discrimination. The play also dealt with same sex couples. Dean and his “friend” Roger (Pedro Pascal) are hiding a big secret! Dean is married to Ellen (Jean Serralles) who is part of Dean and Roger’s big plot.
Maple and Vine was probably the best play I’ve seen in a while. Unlike most plays nowadays, the characters had emotion. They sold their parts and I found that they were believable. The play was laced with humor yet had a serious touch. I enjoyed the set, even though it required stage-crew. The center of the stage was automatic and would move up and down when there was a need for a change. Although when the centerpiece of the stage went down, I had a feeling somebody was going to fall into the hole. Thankfully nobody fell and the play ran smoothly. The only negative was the “15” minute intermission. The intermission was actually 30 minutes. This was due to the great amount of work the stage-crew had to do. Plus, the show I attended was only the 1st day of previews and hopefully will be resolved later on in the show’s run. Otherwise, Maple and Vine is a great play and is totally recommended!
Marin Ireland and Jeanine Serralles in "Maple and Vine". Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.
Katha lies awake in bed, unable to fall back asleep. The screech of cars, their loud neighbors, the soft rush of the sound of nature (must-haves for all insomniacs) echo in the small theater at Playwrights Horizons and Katha, played by the vivid Marin Ireland, lies awake in the middle of this all, unable to go back to sleep. Maple and Vine, written by Jordan Harrison and directed by Anne Kauffman, follows the life of a burnt-out editor at a publishing house who had recently suffered a miscarriage. She moves through her normal life as if in a dream, awkwardly acting out the motions of modern day domestic life with her husband, Ryu (Peter Kim), a soft-spoken plastic surgeon.
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Marin Ireland and Peter Kim in "Maple and Vine". Photo Credit: Sara Krulwich.
Stop. Take a breath… relax. The frenetic pace of modern American life is overwhelming. Nostalgia for a simpler, happier time is rampant in today’s megalomaniacal society. Jordan Harrison’s “Maple and Vine,” directed by Anne Kaufman at Playwrights Horizons follows a young married couple—Katha and Ryu (Marin Ireland and Peter Kim, respectively) who abandon the hustle and bustle of the 21st century for life in a gated community whose residents immerse themselves in a 1955 middle-class American mindset and lifestyle. “Maple and Vine’s” satirical depiction of the ‘wholesome’ 1950s routine reminds the audience (the vast majority of whom appeared to have been alive during the ‘50s) we romanticize the past much too readily, choosing to forget the less-attractive, less-accepting aspects of previous epochs.
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Your character is who you are when no one is looking, yet your character isn’t derived from thin air. It’s gradually sculpted and formed by the people you know. Whether for good or the bad, your family and friends mold you into the person you will become. So how much can a neurotic best friend and an agoraphobic mother tell about a couple’s relationship? A whole lot, actually.
Kin, beautifully written by Bathsheba Doran and produced at Playwrights Horizons, follows the romance between a Columbia English professor (Kristen Bush) and an Irish personal trainer (Patch Darragh) through their kinships with their inner circles. Interestingly, the play is unfolded through the giant, white rectangle that acts as a frame (among other things), capturing important events in the character’s lives. [click to continue….]