Sunday, November 11, 2018

PlayFest: My Lord What a Night

The final PlayFest rehearsal I sketched was, My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. The author was present and actively working on rewrites during the rehearsal. For the first half hour of the rehearsal the cast sat around the table going over new lines added or subtracted from the script. At first I thought I would not have enough time to sketch this process but then I leaped in and thankfully this part of the rehearsal lasted for more than the projected time allotted. For the second half of the rehearsal, all the actors stood at the music stands.

When famed African-American singer Marian Anderson (Sheryl Carbonell) is refused lodging because of her ethnicity, she finds an unlikely friend in Albert Einstein (Eric Zivot). Quick witted debates attempt to solve the nation’s problems over tea. Inspired by true events, this story explores the racial, religious, and gender-based struggles plaguing two of the most iconic entities of the 20th century.

Einstein wants to use his fame to protect Marian from the racism in America. He is so adamant about the cause because he narrowly escaped the Nazi racism against Jews during World War II. At the tie of this drama he worked at Princeton University and Aberham Flexner (J.D. Sutton) Abraham wanted to dissuade Einstein from letting Marian stay at his flat. The request seemed racist but he also felt it would seem inappropriate since both Einstein and Marian were unmarried. Another concern was that the college might loose funding because of the controversy. Flexner seemed like less of a villain when he explained that he was attempting to get Jews out of Germany with these funds.

Mary Church Terrell (Trenell Mooring) was arrested when she was trying to get into the Marian Anderson concert in Princeton. Trumped up charges claimed she was causing a disturbance when she asked where the theater was. When she finally got there, she found that these was only seating left for whites. Though old, she was a strong willed woman who wanted Marian to use her fame to address these racial injustices.

The rehearsal was not a straight forward read through, so the timeline I saw was disjointed, but on a whole I was fully engaged as I discovered more about each character. This PlayFest production seemed to involve the most movement and blocking which was beautifully orchestrated by the director Kel Haney. Some scenes had to be run over and over to get the lines to work with the action. This show has an intriguing premise and is sure to be be fun to watch on the stage.

Stage Manager: Justin Little, Stage Directions Reader: Rachael Lord

Be sure to catch this final PlayFest production. Be part of the creative process.
My Lord What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. Sunday November 11, 2018 at 1pm. At the Orlando Shakes, Margeson Theater (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803).
Tickets are $10.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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