Bild des Monats

photo of the month

Fansite online seit
dem 4. April 2007


The Fiery Furnace

Autor: Timothy Mason                                Kritik Nr.1                             Links zu weiteren Kritiken dieses Stückes:  1  2  3

Infos zum Theaterstück:
Datum der Aufführung: 1993
Stadt: East Hampton
Theater: John Drew Theater
Infos zu diesem Bericht:
Quelle: Website der New York Times
Autor: Alvin Klein
Veröffentlicht am: 22.08.1993

Kritik zu diesem Stück von Alvin Klein:
In "The Fiery Furnace" at the John Drew Theater in East Hampton, the playwright Timothy Mason is trying to ignite a once-popular genre known as kitchen-sink drama. A deceptively dawdling first act hardly prepares one for the incendiary intentions of the second, with its eruptive domestic violence and muddled details.
And beware of rampant symbols. Mr. Mason shades a story of personal unfulfillment on a broader canvas of spiritual crisis and sexual oppression. But "The Fiery Furnace" remains a small play trying for size.

The time is 1950 to 1963, and the playwright is charting the stultifying effects of existence in Chippewa Falls, Wis. on Eunice and her second and third daughters, Faith and Charity. The firstborn -- yes, she was named Hope -- died at the age of 4 days.

In the first scene, Eunice, 56, makes a "last chance" overnight decision to walk out on her husband, a patriotic zealot and Joseph McCarthy worshiper named Gunner. His unseen presence hovers threateningly over everyone. The Star Quality.

As Eunice, Julie Harris is a ceaseless wonder. Let it be redundant to dwell on the transformational gifts of an actress whose incandescence and genuineness have been acclaimed for more than 40 years. A performance like this one shows why.

Eunice persuades us of a wife's need to break free, of an unutterably sad resignation to a new beginning after her escape maneuver is thwarted and her will crushed. She communicates an empathic perception of her daughters' predisposition to unhappiness and a final commitment to a wretched dying husband.

So first there is Ms. Harris. Then there is "The Fiery Furnace". Although the director, Norman Rene, fails to muster the theatrical momentum to cut through a playwright's scarcity of original vivid language, he has elicited discerning, honest work from a very good supporting cast.

Ashley Gardner (Faith) grows from low self-esteem to real composure. Susan Batten (Charity) is a pent-up mess of fear and denial until her breakthrough moment.

William Fichtner (Jerry) boils over scarily as Charity's abusive husband, and Zach Grenier (Louis, a Jewish Socialist who marries Faith) is a lively emissary of enlightenment who, handily, does magic tricks.

While Mr. Mason provides conscientious motivational accounts for Gunner and Jerry, the consequences of their macho excesses are so dire that Louis is the one saving male character among the three compassionately drawn women.

In the end, as in the beginning, it is Miss Harris who honors a play on its tentative journey from metaphoric to melodramatic excess.

Ein Zeitungsbericht zu diesem Theaterstück (Zeitung und Datum unbekannt). Zum Vergrößern bitte anklicken:


Faith . . . Ashley Gardner
Jerry . . . William Fichtner
Charity . . . Susan Batten
Eunice . . . Julie Harris
Louis . . . Zach Grenier                                 Links zu weiteren Kritiken dieses Stückes:  1  2  3

back . . . .