Fire and Air is playing at the Classic Stage Company located at 136 East 13th Street. It runs one hour thirty minutes with no intermission. The play closes on February 25, 2018.
Terrence McNally is the playwright. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1994 for A Perfect Ganesh. He won four Tony Awards for Ragtime (1998), Master Class (1996), Love! Valour! Compassion! (1993). He was nominated for three Tony Awards for The Visit (2015), Mothers & Sons (2014) and The Full Monty (2001).
John Doyle is the director. He won a Tony Award in 2006 for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and a Drama Desk Award in 2015 for The Color Purple.
John Glover won a Tony Award in 1995 for Love! Valour! Compassion! He was nominated for a Tony Award for Waiting for Godot in 2009.
Douglas Hodge won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award in 2010 for La Cage Aux Folles.
Marsha Mason nominated for four Academy Awards for Only When I Laugh (1982), Chapter 2 (1980), The Goodbye Girl (1978) and Cinderella & Liberty (1974).
Maria Mazzie was nominated for three Tony Awards for Kiss Me Kate (2000), Ragtime (1998) and Passion (1994).
The play is based on Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes which he founded. It existed from 1908 to his death. Sergei was born in Russia in 1872 and die in Venice, Italy in 1929 of diabetes.
Sergei (Douglas Hodge) wakes up thinking he is dead. Dunya (Marsha Mason) is his caretaker, assures him he is not. His protégé Nijinsky (James Cusati-Moyer) is sleeping on the floor in front of his feet.
They fled Russia having sensed something was about to happen. He left with no money. His cousin Dima (John Glover) asked him for his help. He left Russia penniless. Sergei tells him he is not a businessman would want to manage the ballet business affairs. Dima says yes.
Sergei tries his best to put together the ballet with the little money he has. He becomes friends with Misia (Marin Mazzie). She is a free spirted woman who marries a man of wealth. Her husband gives Sergei money for the ballet.
The production he does, the music and dance is to avant garde for the public. His love Vaslav Nijinssky doesn’t like the control he has over him. He leaves the group and marries.
Sergei is devastated until he meets Leonide Massine (Jay Armstrong Johnson). In love again he pulls himself together and starts the ballet again with a new production.
The cast does is outstanding. Douglas Hodge is breathtaking in his role If you look at a picture of Sergei with his mustache and patch of white in front of his head you would think it was Douglas.
This is an intriguing play. The stage is almost bare. There are chairs and two large mirrors. Props are brought out by the actors. It makes you concentrate on the characters. If you want to see a play that makes you think, this is the one.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.