A year ago this time, we were enjoying a successful run of After The Revolution by the white-hot young playwright, Amy Herzog. We were following on the heels of Studio Theatre’s 4000 Miles.
Baltimore Center Stage’s artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah was in our audience a year ago and deeply enthused by what he saw in Herzog’s world — an elegant fusion of the personal and political; the familial historical drama replete with deep inter-generational relationships fused with staggering revelations. Kwame’s producing both After The Revolution and 4000 Miles at Center Stage this season in a repertory staging that should be wonderfully illuminating (this time, with the character of Vera, the octogenarian Commie grandma) no doubt played by the same actress!
Should be amazing, right?
Last night we took in Herzog’s third NYC hit play (though a thornier story and, truth be told, not quite the regional hit that the other two plays have been; 4000 Miles being the short 3 character play that dozens upon dozens are producing and still producing all over the country.) Belleville over at Studio Theatre is a new genre play for Herzog, though it’s got staggering revelations of a different sort going on: It’s a thriller. Or I should say, it becomes a thriller. It starts as a character study of a couple; of two couples; a meditation on First World Problems of Entitlement meeting up with more Working Class Immigrant Concerns. But the play’s a lot more than a sociological study. And it’s a lot more than a hollywood nail-biter, though toe-nails do factor into the stagecraft.
Eager to hear responses!