SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE and other songs
Aurora Fox Arts Center: 2/21 – 3/15
Jordan Leigh and Mary Louise Lee
As written by Marc Acito, Secrets of the Universe and other songs is awash with provocative and humorous dialogue and glorious song that invite us as audience to sit back and revel in the beauty of the mysterious Universe in which we live.
This play about the lifelong friendship between Albert Einstein and opera singer Marian Anderson is not to be missed.
After one of her operatic successes in 1937 Ms. Anderson was unable to get a room in a hotel because of racial discrimination. Hearing this news, Einstein gave her an invitation to stay at his home. Out of this brief moment, a friendship grew that would last a lifetime.
Walking the tightrope of sly intellect and wry humor, Jordan Leigh nails the role of Albert Einstein with a performance that’s indelible!
Mary Louise Lee is luminous as Marian Anderson. Adorned by Linda Morken’s costumes, Denver’s first lady’s acting shines and her vocals soar.
The acting of Sharon Kay White as Einstein’s housekeeper, and of Marc Rubald as Ms. Anderson’s gay accompanist are as brilliant as always. And although they also play other famous people, one can’t help wishing that the playwright had given their characters more to do, so that their roles allowed for them to be onstage more. In numerous roles, Andrew Fischer slips with chameleon-like ease from one character to the next by the flip of a scarf or the donning of a hat.
The stunning technical work is a character all unto itself.
Brandon Phillip Case’s scenic design rises up above the usual level of the stage giving us Einstein’s cozy intellectual living space with mahogany furnishings backed up by a grand piano one level up and behind it.
Seth Alison’s lighting design, including delicate projections of stellar sparks in outer space and fluid ribbons of Physics formulas and equations, enhance the show immeasurably.
CeCe Smith’s sound design delivers the sonic equivalents of the shifting tides of time and space superbly.
Helen R. Murray’s direction is superb. Her casting is impeccable! Ms. Murray creates the illusion of a vastly multidimensional universe in which time and space are truly “relative” and utterly simultaneous. If one might offer one suggestion it would be that there be no intermission, allowing the illusion of the cosmic flow to continue to expand right up until final curtain.
Ms Murray’s direction of this production reminded me of the excitement I used to feel at the Denver Center Theatre Company back in 1995 when there were such experimental productions as “Beethoven and Pierrot” and “The Stories of Eva Luna,” directed by such Czech directors as Pavel Dobrusky and his Norwegian counterpart, Per-Olav Sorensen. Shows in which the elements of wonderment and surprise were so great they would lift you right out of your seat!
Don’t miss this show!
For tickets call 303-739-1970 or go online at AuroraFox.orgMarlowe's Musings