Let’s talk about the the cast shall we? As should always be the case, let’s give women pride of place, and begin with them:
How I do love these five women and their individual respective talents! And they need to be. In Mr. Kazan’s Book/Lyrics, there are no words that are superfluous. Every phrase and/or line of dialogue distils something about a character, their intent, motivation or emotional standpoint. To reveal the character written on the page requires actresses (not actors!) who possess both a consumate craft, an innate sense of timing, perception, stillness (usually ignored or underrated in importance) and embodiment of the core of persona in the role being inhabited. It’s hard! It’s doubly hard when you’re further working under a reduced rehearsal schedule (only 4 weeks).
What we love about watching these women evolve their characters in the rehearsal room is made more delightful due to the contrast of ingénue roles opposite roles of ‘women of a certain age’ and how those interactions are set up and explored through the narrative and plot. One of the great things about The Mapmaker’s Opera (both the Musical and the novel by Béa Gonzalez from which it is adapted) is that it has this diversity of roles for women protagonists.
To see what we’re seeing in rehearsal, well, I guess you’ll just have to come along and see the show at The Pearl Theatre Company space, 555 W42nd Street, New York: