The Waverly Gallery is playing at the Golden Theatre located at 252 West 45th Street. It runs two hours fifteen minutes with one intermission. The play closes on January 27, 2019.
The play originally premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival on August 4, 1999. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001.
Kenneth Long is the playwright. He is known for the movies Manchester by the Sea (2016) and Gangs of New York (2002).
David Zinn is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for The Humans (2016) and was nominated for five Tony Awards for SpongeBob SquarePants (2018), A Doll’s House; Part 2 (2017), Airline Highway (2015), Fun Home (2014), In the Next Rom (or the Vibrator Play) (2010).
Ann Roth is the costume designer. She won a Tony Award for The Nance (2013) and was nominated for five Tony Awards for Shuffle Along (2016), The Book of Mormons (2011), The House of Blue Leaves (1986), The Crucifer Blood (1979) and The Royal Family (1976).
Elaine May did improvisational comedy with Mike Nicholas in the 1950’s. She was nominated for two Academy Awards for the screen play of Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Primary Colors (1998) which was directed by Nicholas.
Joan Allen won a Tony Award for Burn This in 1988.
Michael Cera was nominated for a Tony Award in 2018 for Lobby Hero.
Davis Cromer won a Tony Award in 2018 for directing A Bands Visit.
The play takes place in New York City, Greenwich Village and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan between 1989-1991.
Gladys Green (Elaine May) is in her gallery on Waverly place with her grandson Daniel Reed (Lucas Hedges). Daniel has to keep repeating things to her. Gladys keep saying the same thing over and over, like his mother is crazy then his mother is nuts. She was a lawyer. The gallery is where she spends her time. When her grandson leaves Don Bowan (Michael Cera) comes into the gallery. He is a painter and shows her his paintings. She decides to hang his paintings. Since he has nowhere to sleep, she says if he gets a cot he can sleep in the back room.
Gladys grandson lives in the same apartment building, on the same floor that she lives in the village.
Every Wednesday she has dinner with her daughter Ellen Fine (Joan Allen) and her husband Howard (David Cromer) in their upper west side apartment. They both want to meet Don before she lets him stay in the back room.
From time to time Daniel will talk to the audience and tell them what has happened.
As time goes by Gladys behavior gets worse, she makes no sense, repeat things, forget things etc.
The family is frantic.
The owner of the building where the gallery is wants the space, claims a restaurant wants to go there. Since she has no lease he can make her leave. Daniel asks him if they can have another year. He refuses.
Having nowhere to go she spends all her time in the apartment. She is driving Daniel crazy. She keeps knocking on his door at all hours.
Eventually she moves in with Ellen and Howard. She is not capable both physically and mentally to take care of herself.
This is a heart breaking story. Makes you wonder what the signs are for Alzheimer and Dementia. The pay is well done and worth seeing.
Elaine does an amazing performance. Lucas Hedges and Jon Allen are outstanding.
The set is clever. When the scene changes the curtain come down. It looks like a brick wall with some windows. There are reflection of cars, buildings, people and the Washington Square Arch. When the screen goes up we are at a different location.
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.