Apologia is playing at the Laura Pels Theatre located at 111 West 46th Street. It runs two hours ten minutes with one intermission. The play closes on December 16, 2018.
Apologia noun, vindication, justice, explanation.
Alex Kaye Campbell is the playwright. He won a Lawrence Olivier Award for The Pride in 2009.
Stockard Channing is known for playing Betty Rizzo in the film Grease (1978) and the first lady Abby Bartlet on NBC series The West Wing. She won a Tony Award for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1985) and was nominated for six Tony Awards for Other Desert Cities (2012), Pal Joey (2009), The Lion in Winter (1999), Four Baboons Adoring the Sun (1992), Six Degrees of Separation (1991) and The House of Blue Leaves (1986). Stockard was nominated for thirteen Prime Time Emmys and won two for The West Wing and The Matthew Shepard Story (both 2002).
John Tillinger was nominated for a Tony Award for Loot (1986).
The time is Spring 2009, the place a cottage somewhere in the English country side.
Kristin Miller (Stockard Channing) is trying to cook a chicken but the stove isn’t working. She is having guests over. Her son Peter (Hugh Dancy) arrives with his girlfriend Trudi (Talene Manhon). Both ladies are surprise they are both from The United States. Peter and Trudi have arrived from Africa were they were working. They brought her a birthday present, an African face mask.
Kristin is a writer. Trudi tells her she has read her book and loves it.
The rest of the guests arrive. Claire (Megalyn Echkunwoke) is Kristin son, Simon (Hugh Dancy) girlfriend and Hugh (John Tillinger) Kristin longtime friend.
Kristin was a radical activist and political protester in the 1960’s.
Trudi tells Claire she loves her dress. Claire brags it by a famous Japanese designer and it cost 1,000 lbs.
While waiting for Simon, they order food.
Kristin picks up Claire phone by accident. She repeats the not so nice message.
The first acts ends with Peter asking his mother why they were never mentioned in her book.
Act two opens with Simon telling her an incident that happened when he was sixteen. He said he came to see her by train. She was not at the station. A man invites him to his place. She said she thought it was the next day that he was coming.
She tells Peter and the rest of the group she was told she was an unfit mother. Kristin said she had to choose be a good mother or continue as a radical activist. You can guess which one she chooses.
This might have been a great play but half of time I couldn’t hear what the actors were saying. The second half in the beginning there was a loud humming noise. That drowned out what Stockard and Hugh said. To say he least it was frustrating.
The acing was admirable.
The set done by Dane Laffrey was outstanding.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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