Broadway Features and Reviews
The Duchess Is In
By Shaina Gopen, Broadway Magazine
Audiences can catch of a rare piece of classic theatre right in the heart of Broadway. The Red Bull Theatre is staging a production of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi until March 28th at the Theatre at St. Clement's. Jesse Berger's direction of this classic marks the first New York revival of the play in over 50 years.
The captivating drama was originally published in 1623 as The Tragedy of the Duchesse of Malfy. It is a familiar story of forbidden love and the separation of classes in a society and a lesson in the tragedy that comes when anger and revenge capture the human heart. The play is a unique experience for the audience, however, in it's raw portrayals of desire, integrity, madness, and manipulation.
A widowed duchess in the Italian city of Amalfi in the sixteenth century is warned by her powerful brothers never to marry. Though she gives them her word the duchess, a figure of independent will, does the unthinkable and secretly weds her honorable but lowly servant Antonio. She must be quick and creative to keep her marriage and eventually her pregnancy a secret. Otherwise she risks her life and the life of her beloved.
The play is well known for the harrowing scenes of the duchess' cruel twin brother, Ferdinand inflicting his sister with vengeful psychological torture. The potential emotional pulls for the audience are well worth the efforts to participate in the limited engagement of a Jacobean masterpiece.
The reprisal will include original music by Scott Killian and an impressive cast including Christina Rouner as the Duchess, who might be recognized from Coram Boy, Caberet's Mathew Greer as Antonio, Gareth Saxe, seen in The Homecoming on Broadway, as Duke Ferdinand, and Drama League Award Nominee Heidi Armbruster appearing as Julia, the wife of a lord and doctor.
The play officially opened on Saturday, February 27 with a reception and special guests such as playwright Lee Blessing, actors Randy Harrison and Roberta Maxwell, and several other figures of the theatre world. The current run has been extended to March 28.
Performances of The Duchess of Malfi will be Tuesday & Wednesday evenings at 7 pm. Thursday & Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, Sundays at 3pm & 7pm (schedule varies - visit redbulltheater.com for complete calendar). Theater at St. Clement's is located at 423 West 46thStreet, between 9thand 10thAvenues.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.redbulltheater.comor by phone at 212/352-3101. Tickets are $60 Regular / $80 Premium Seating / $30 Age 30 & under (w/ID) / $30 Industry (w/ID) / $20 Student (w/ID)/ 20% discount for seniors (all discounts must be purchased at the Box Office with proper ID one hour before curtain time).
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