Playing at the Theatre St Clement located at 423 West 46th Street. This is part of the Peccadillo Theater Company. It runs two hours thirty minutes with one intermission. The play will close on July 14, 2013.
It opened at the Golden Theatre on December 26, 1926. It ran for 232 performances. The play was made into a movie in 1933 starring Irene Dunn and Joel McCrea.
The playwright is Sidney Howard. He won a Pulitzer Prize for the play “They Knew What They Wanted”. Sidney is best known for his screenplay for “Gone With the Wind” and “Dodsworth”. He is the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize and Oscar for Best Screenplay in the same year (1940) for “Gone With the Wind”. He won those awards posthumous.
The play is in three acts. It takes place in the living room and Davids bedroom in Mrs. Phelps’s home in an eastern American city, February, 1926.
David Phelps (Thomas Matthew Kelley) has not been home in over two years. He has brought home his wife Christina (Victoria Mack) to meet his mother (Dale Carman). Robert Phelps, David’s brother fiancée Hester (Caroline Kaplan) is there also.
Mrs. Phelps falls all over David when he comes in. David announces his wife is four months pregnant. His wife is a scientist and they live in New York.
Mrs. Phelps’s is a devious, two face and possessive of her sons. She wants them for herself, turning them against any women who are in their lives. This is not a healthy or normal relationship. She wreaks havoc on Robert’s relationship with Hester. Robert is manipulated by her. Hester breaks up with him. Mrs. Phelps’s then starts on David. However David comes to his senses and leaves the next day with Christina and Hester.
This is a good show but it could be better. It lacks fire.
There are two scenes which I’m sure were not done like the 1926 version. In Act two scene two Mrs. Phelps’s is in bed with David, his arms are around her shoulder. They kiss in a way no mother and son would or should kiss. I’m sure if this was done in 1926 the show would have closed down. In another scene Robert takes off his clothes. He is naked from the back. Well that’s nothing today but back then?
If you are doing a play with the clothes, hair and set of that time period shouldn't you keep the whole thing in harmony?
Dale Carman takes his character over the edge to make her too campy for me.
Caroline Kaplan and Victoria Mark do a good job in their roles.
This is a nice period piece with great set and costumes.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.
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