A World Premiere Musical
Dates And Ticket Prices
A musical about a poem of one of the most iconic women poets
A musical about a poem of one of the most iconic women poets in the history of the USA is the new bet of the Transport Group. With a relentless life, a body of work that generates envy to say the least and an awesome story to tell, the life of Edna St. Vincent Millay needed a play of this caliber to show the life and the work of this great poet. Read on and find out who liked, who didn´t and why you should go see it!
The Poet, The Myth, The Glory
Edna St. Vincent Millay won the Pulitzer Prize at age 31 in 1923. She was one of only three American women to win such a prestigious award for poetry. She was also very-well known for being unapologetic in an oppressive reality. She fought for women´s rights as one of the first openly feminist women of her time and also opened up the door of women sexuality to the vast majority of her contemporary people.
The story, though, begins way before that and it all revolts around the 211-verses poem that names the play: “Renascence”. Edna submitted it for a poetry contest in 1912 and it was considered the winner by all except the judges, relegating it to the fourth place. Both, winner and sub-champion acknowledged her victory and the latter even offered her his 250-dollar prize but was rejected. This is where the play starts with a very young 18-year-old Edna who believes in her work and far from being brought down by the fourth position, she moved to New York (from Maine) and pursued a career as a writer.
Although it has had some mixed reviews, the idea behind the play is very well conceived and features some great names of theatrical scene. The music by Carmel Dean (American Idiot among many others) and book by Dick Scanlan (Tony Nominee) grant the audience that the frame for Edna´s poems is to be the one they deserve at least. The artistic directors are Scanlan and Jack Cummings the third and the cast features some very well-known names such as Hannah Corneau (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Mikaela Bennett (The Golden Apple), Jason Gotay (Bring it On), Katie Thompson (Giant), Danny Harris Kornfeld (Rent) and Donald Webber Jr. (Hamilton).
The first thing that strikes the spectator is the actor´s outfit being casual, contemporary and unpretentious. This is the first sign that the play is trying to bring Edna St. Vincent Millay´s words to the present and give it to the next generations. Hannah´s interpretation of the poet is strong and believable while the rest of the cast is, by no means, lagging behind. Men actors in the play turn into women characters with ease and the flexibility and quality of their acting shows throughout the scenes.
The voices and the poems are very emotional, charged with a heavy load but with a slight touch of irony, just like Edna´s voice was.
While the New York Times critics Alexis Soloski didn´t write a positive review about the play, Sandi Durell (Theater Pizzazz) critique is incredibly positive. Perhaps the most controversial side of it is the musical arrangement and the place that poetry has within the play itself.
It is true that the poet´s verses are very strong and have a way of penetrating the reader by themselves that anything that is put as an ornament on them might prove to be something to diminish its impact. On the other hand, the musical, the screenplay and the actors demand certain fulfilling crescendos and instrumentation to highlight certain parts of the play. It is your turn to go there and have a taste for yourself of what is going on in New York City theatrically besides the New York International Fringe Festival.
After you´ve gone and experimented the power of Edna by yourself, you can leave us a comment about what was your impression of the musical arrangement.