For many productions these days, the transfer to Broadway seems to be accomplished with ease and run smoothly.
Helped by having some of the same crew on board, including director Joe Mantello, “The Other Place” made its move, with stops in the Nationaltheater Mannheim and on the West Coast along the way, to MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, where it will play through February 24th, with its staging intact.
|Laurie Metcalf as Juliana. Photo by Joan Marcus|
That’s more than can be said for award-winning playwright Sharr White’s main character, a scientist in emotional and physical free-fall.
“Not knowing who I am is oddly who I’ve become,” Juliana Smithton (Laurie Metcalf, reprising her role off-Broadway) announces.
Her husband Ian’s (Daniel Stern) frustration as she unravels is understable. His patience is admirable.
(For a review of the world premiere MCC production at the Lucille Lortel in 2011, visit http://www.vevlynspen.com/2011/04/sorting-things-out-in-other-place.html.)
Metcalf is a fine dramatic actress, with celebrated comic timing. (Her three Emmys as Jackie in “Roseanne” attest to her comedic chops.) Juliana’s acerbic accusations of Ian’s infidelities, including one with her doctor who is also Ian’s colleague (Zoe Perry), are both funny and devastating.
|Zoe Perry (Metcalf’s daughter) as her doctor with Laurie Metcalf
as Juliana. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Ian and Juliana have suffered an unspeakable loss. In the throes of her illness, Juliana rubs salt in their wounds. Ian, as poignantly portrayed by Daniel Stern, exudes a measure of exasperation with his love for Juliana.
Zoe Perry stands out especially in her role as a stranger, (billed abstractly as The Woman), who comforts Juliana in the climatic scenes of “The Other Place.” Rounding out the cast is John Schiappa once again comfortably and naturally taking on several roles in support of Juliana’s story.
In the passion of the moment watching “The Other Place,” it is easy to overlook the melodramatic coincidence that the drug Juliana has researched and brought to market is the treatment administered to her. “The Other Place” is a heartbreaking and thoroughly engrossing experience.
For more information about “The Other Place,” visit http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/