Relevance is playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre located at 121 Christopher Street. It runs one hour fifty minutes with no intermission. The play closes on March 11, 2018.
Liesel Tommy is the director. She was nominated for a Tony Award in 2016 for Eclipsed.
Clint Ramos is the scenic designer. Clint won a Tony Award in 2016 for costume design for Eclipse.
Jayne Houdshell was won a Tony Award in 2016 for The Humans and was nominated for three Tony Awards for A Doll’s House: Part 2 (2017), Follies (2012) and Well (2001).
Pascale Armand wan nominated for a Tony Award in 2016 for Eclipsed.
The place is a hotel in an American City, Present Day.
The play starts with three women on stage at a conference. On the wall behind them it says ACLC and below American Conference for Letters and Culture.
Kelly (Molly Camp) is the moderator. Theresa (Jayne Houdyshell) and Msemaji (Pascale Armand) are discussing their books. The subject deals with race, class, gender and how to improve you self despite what society says.
Theresa is constantly cutting in when Msemaji is trying to talk. We get the feeling because she is African American, that she is racist. When she lets her talk, Msemaji tells Theresa she was her mentor. Given her background of growing up poor and other non-luxuries, the book inspire her to do better in her life That’s how she came about writing her book. The discussion gets heated and goes viral.
Back at Theresa hotel room is David (Richard Masur). They both have weddings rings so you think they are married to each other. He tries to calm her down. What’s got her upset is she found out Msemaji isn’t who she says she is. Not only is that no her real name but she grew up going to a fancy school, bottom line she did not grow up poor.
Theresa wants to expose her so David teaches her how to use social media.
There is more to their relation but most important is he is her agent.
The last day at the conference Msemaji goes to receive best book of the year and Theresa is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. When she comes up to accept her award she turns it into exposing Msemaji on social media which is projected behind her. David and Kelly tell not to do it. Without giving anything away, things don’t go well.
It is an interesting play. It makes you think. The only thing and maybe I missed it, was I would like to have known more on what was in the book that was a help. It would have given me a better understanding of the character.
Depending on your generation you learn social media isn’t always that good. When you put something out there, it’s there for everyone to see. You’re entitled to your opinion BUT some people get carried away.
Clint Ramos does a remarkable job on the set.
This is the first time I have enjoyed the lighting design. It was done by Jiyoun Chang.
The cast is outstanding. Pascale Armand does an impressive performance.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.