Losing Touch and Letting Go

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. [Read more…]

A Great and Terrible God

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. [Read more…]

Life Will Always Get Better

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. [Read more…]

Life in 1955 on Maple and Vine

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. [Read more…]

Bringing the Fifties to the Twenty First Century

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!