With resolutions aside and the deep-sigh-of-new-year-relief-air afloat, The ROUNDABOUT Theater Company enters the American Airlines Theater this calendar year with an everything-that’s-old-is-new-again revival of ‘MACHINAL.’
Although penned in 1928, Sophie Treadwell’s expressionistic drama concerning the unhinging of one’s mental-possibly-physciopathic stability has an eerily present resemblance. ‘MACHINAL’ explores the unhinged-tick-by-tick-we-all-have-crazy-ideas approach of how one’s thought process unravels in emotional states of loneliness and unknowing. In this particular story we follow the poetically disjointed journey in the life-in-the-head of Ruth Snyder, (played uncomfortably perfect by Rebecca Hall) a lower class, matronly stenographer who seemingly falls madly (yet apprehensively) in love with the company chief executive.
Finding solace in her disjointed mind, she explores rash action immediately upon discovering her true emotions when joined with a muscle-y town-by-town-girl-by-girl bloke in ‘LOVER’ played by the sadistically handsome Morgan Spector of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ & ‘Orange is the new Black’ fame. (May I also mention how great his arms look in a wife beater!)
Besides following a historical story of the first female murderess to be put to death by electric chair, this wonderful ninety-minute-no-intermission production explores the material in a poetic beat-style script which I personally appreciated (having extensively studied poetry in college), which pays homage to this great linguistic art, and although
It takes a moment, a moment it takes
to feel the beat of the moment
the beat of a moment in the beat of the show,
the audience seemed captivated by the rapidly smooth 'mechanical’ movement in the dialogue, it's the gorgeous silent tab lows of the ensemble, the seamless rotation of the ja-normous set by Es Devin and the fluid, energy thumped Broadway debut direction of Lyndsey Turner that don’t miss a beat.
As usual Roundabout productions (especially those with truly unique theatrical integrity but without creatively endowed audiences to buy seats to extend runs), this show will not last long. With it opening on Thursday and closing on March 2nd I highly recommend
that you see this show
this show you see see this show, the beat
Rebecca’s beats, tab lows you should see
Treadwell’s words, beats and words and words
and beats, see this show this show you should see.
Tickets can be purchased from Roundabout’s website at: https://www.roundabouttheatre.org/