The other night, I attended a show… IN A GYM. This was not one of my kids’ shows, but rather an exquisite bare bones production of a new Michael John LaChiusa musical that whisks you away to another world. Queen of the Mist is the true story of Anne Edson Taylor who, in 1901, attempts to jump down Niagra Falls in a barrel. Tony Award nominee, Mary Testa, literally leaves you speechless as Anne Edson Taylor. In her mind blowing tour de force, she is perfection in this role. As Anne says, “I am a phenomenon.” And she is. Mary Testa is supported by a larger than life cast and a brilliant vehicle of dense music, lyrics and direction.
The audience becomes completely invested in Queen of the Mist from two sets of bleachers opposite each other, just feet away from the action. There is a small orchestra down one end behind a screen, and the set consists of little more than an old piano on wheels, a bath tub, and pieces of wood on wheels (which they use to “row down the river”). The strong ensemble cast of Broadway vets each convincingly transform into multiple roles throughout the show. The brilliant music by Michael John LaChiusa, of The Wild Party Fame, is rich and sophisticated. A real treat after so many empty rock musicals of late. And the direction, by Jack Cummings III, ties it all together seamlessly.
Treat yourself to date night in the gym. You will laugh and cry and are guaranteed to talk about something other than the kids the whole way home.
Queen of the Mist
The Gym at Judson Memorial Church
243 Thompson Street at Washington Square South
General admission tickets start at $58;
Premium reserved seating tickets start at $65
For tickets and information: www.transportgroup.org or phone 866-811-4111
DISCOUNT CODE: $10 off with code TGMAMA
For more blog posts on Broadway’s Godspell visit MamaDrama.