Nantucket Sleigh Ride is playing at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater located at 150 West 65th Street. It runs two hours with one intermission. The play closes on May5, 2019.
John Guare is the playwright. He won a Pulitzer Prize do for Drama in 1992 for Six Degrees of Separation. John won two Tony Awards for The House of Blue Leaves (1986) and Two Gentlemen of Verona (1972).
Jerry Zaks is the director. He won four Tony Awards for Guys and Dolls (1992), Six Degrees of Separation (1991), Lend Me a Tenor (1989) and The House of Blue Leaves and was nominated for four Tony Awards for Hello, Dolly (2017), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996), Smokey Joe's Café (1995) and Anything Goes (1998).
David Gallo is the scenic designer. He was nominated for a Tony Award for The Drowsy Chaperone (2006).
Douglas Sills was nominated for a Tony Award for The Scarlet Pimpernel (1998).
Will Swenson was nominated for a Tony Award for Hair (2009).
John Larroquette won a Tony Award in 2011 for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He won four Primetime Emmy for Night Court in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1990.
Edmund Gallery (John Larroquete) is a successful businessman. His secretary (Stacey Sargeant) comes in to talk to him. He sees a psychiatrist Dr. Harbinger (Douglas Sills). Edmund tells him of the play he wrote that was a success but he never wrote another one again. The secretary lets two people into his office. Poe (Adam Chanler-Berat) and Lilac (Grace Rex) they are brother and sister. They act like puppets with no personality. The hand him a copy of the book of his play, it’s autographed inside. He asks them how they got it. Poe tells him they meet when they were seven at their house in Nantucket. They want to know what happened that day because they have no memory of it.
Going back twenty years Edmund lawyer Gilbert (Jordon Gelber) tells him about a house for sale on Nantucket. He knows the owner and there is a tenant in the house. If he buys it he would then have a steady income. Edmund buys the house. Meanwhile he is having an affair with Gilbert’s wife Antonia (Tina Benko). She claims she is leaving her husband for him.
Edmund receives a call from the police officer (Stacey Sargeant) telling him he will be arrested if he doesn’t come to Nantucket. It seems the tenants are running child porn operation there. He protests, she tells him you own the house you are responsible.
When he arrives he is told they performed his play and invited him to come. Why didn’t he show up? Edmund said he never got the invitation. McPhee (Will Swenson) takes to the house. He is marrying the owner Elsie (Clea Alsip) as soon as she gets a divorce from her husband Schuyler (Douglass Sills). Leo and Lilac are out of it. Dad is a child psychiatrist. He steals his wife first edition of Disney books to sell.
While Edmunds there he gets two different jobs offers to write a movie. He call another girlfriend Alice (Tina Benko) well more like they just have sex. He asks her to do him a favor.
Things happen, don’t want to spoil it for you.
We are back in the present. Edmund tell Poe and Lilac their mom left a poem on the door for them. He tells his secretary to look up the poem of Jorge Luis Burges (German JaraMillo). She brings in a print of it. Edmund reads to them.
The set is impressive. When it is his office there is only a desk. The wall behind the desk looks like panels. They open opens and different characters appear. The Nantucket house we see one side of the house. The panels are still there, again characters appear. On the top of the panels is the tip of the house, trees are on either side.
The cast does an outstanding performance. Stacey Sargeant, Tina Benko, Douglas Sills and Clea Alsip do an impressive job considering they play several characters. You would never know they were the same person.
This is a delightful play, quirky sometime times but in a good way. Go see it.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annzor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.