“What the kindertransport asked of these parents was, ‘do you want to keep your children close to you, but risk them being in danger among such antisemitism? Or do you want to send them away to the unknown in hopes of keeping them safe?’”
An excellent five-person cast led by Hari Dhillon — and beautifully directed by Kimberly Senior — starts the play with swagger and confidence, building to horrific exchanges in which they are at each other’s throats, and then ushering a fall, much like a Manhattan “God of Carnage.”
“The first movement is a metaphor for the beginning of time or how you might feel when weighted by grief or the inability to move forward, similar to Neanderthals,” Robards says. “But the second movement moves away from that. It really escalates, which was a challenge choreographically to keep that energy going, but hopefully we achieved that.”
“It’s an absolute blast scaring people,” Smart, sporting white contacts as to hide just about all of her pupils, says. “I hate going through it myself, but I love scaring people.”
“It might sound stupid,” Masada says.
Terrance McNally’s play is not so much a love letter from a shy, smitten admirer as a mash note sent by a stalker who’s written it in capital letters and smeared it with what may be bodily fluids.
While the pureness of the allegories the story explores makes it ripe for theater, it’s a helluva tale to successfully take from page to stage. From the opening toss of the conch, the show is an all around marvel.
“The first step in dealing with this is in a larger social context is to acknowledge our kinship with these people,” said Shapiro, a Brown University graduate who earned a master’s in playwriting from New York University in the spring
Aside from that grisly initial image, the New York production of the multiple Olivier Award-winner that opened Sunday night at the Barrymore Theatre evolves into a charming, intricately choreographed and dynamic theatrical experience.