With all the expenses involved in getting out for an evening, it is a rarity that I leave the house after dark.
I was pretty excited when MamaDrama offered me the opportunity to see Maid of the Mist, a new musical written in its entirety by 5-time Tony nominee Michael John LaChiusa.
I must admit, when I heard that the play was about Anna Edson Taylor,a 63-year-old woman in 1901 who shot down Niagara Falls in a barrel, I snorted aloud. Then guffawed. Then opted to take the tickets anyway, assuming the show would be nothing more than a laugh.
The first act? I can’t tell you much about it…or at least nothing more than you can read in a synopsis
Having arrived a moment or two late due to a misunderstanding of the address, my friend and I were informed, in no uncertain terms that, due to the setup of the theater, we would not be let in until intermission…over an hour later.
Thankfully, we found Vyne
, a lovely wine bar, with even lovelier hand-cut french fries about a block away. Beautifully golden, crispy, perfectly salted french fries…put us in a much less ornery mood.
After an appropriate fix of salt and carbs, we returned early to the theater to make sure that we wouldn’t get shut out again.
When the doors opened, and I explained (again) that I was there to review the show, we were passed from confused usher to confused usher until we finally found the executive director of the theater company who informed us that our reserved seats had been given away. Growl.
However once we were found new seats, and the show began, I was swept away into another world entirely. Tony Award Nominee Mary Testa
, is intoxicating in a role that LaChiusa says he wrote with her in mind. (Imagine, a fabulous, meaty role for a non-20 something woman!) Even having missed the first act I had absolutely no difficulty being sucked right into the storyline. The long thin set is as much player as the 7 actor cast themselves, keeping the audiences gaze moving from upstage to downstage and back again as Taylor’s life unfolds. I must say, even after the abortion of the first act, I was completely enraptured by the innovative score and the power of the leading lady and her supporting cast.
**Disclaimer: I received tickets to this show in exchange for my honest review. **