Staged Readings at Center Stage Playhouse

I've written before about how rewarding staged readings can be in theater. Center Stage Playhouse in the Bronx has presented some wonderful examples recently.  Last year they produced Dinner with Friends, Regrets Only, and The Food Chain. This season's staged readings began with Found a Peanut  and continued this weekend with the wonderful Honour by Joanna Murray Smith.

Nicely directed by Ed Friedman, it was perfectly cast with Quint Spitzer as Gus, Elizabeth Mialaret as Honor, and Jennifer Lefsyk as Claudia, with Michelle Elisabeth Brandt doing a marvelous job stepping in on short notice as Sophie for Zoe Rivka Panagopoulos.

Here's the description of the show: After thirty-two years, a marriage shatters into pieces. Acclaimed journalist Gus leaves Honor, a poet, wife and mother, for Claudia, a bright young journalist not much older than his and Honor's twenty-four-year-old daughter, Sophie. In the wake of new passion stands Honor, who must come to grips with the career she has willingly sacrificed for her husband and child, the evolution of a marriage, her abandonment and eventual resurrection. Gus must face the consequences of betraying his own long-held principles about duty and justice, of leaving a secure love for the raptures of passion. Claudia confronts the darkness of her own impulses and learns that to love truly and wisely is to understand moral responsibility. In a series of intense confrontations, the wife, husband, lover and daughter negotiate the forces of passion, lust, history, responsibility and honor. This story, Greek in its examination of the fundamental human experience, is also utterly contemporary. A familiar story is told in a distinctly original way, using theatrical language that is darkly comic, highly poetic and uncompromisingly savage.

If you missed it, the staged reading series will conclude with John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea on June 1 and 2, directed by yours truly, Nick Leshi.

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