New Light Theater Project presents this drama about infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, which explores themes of greed, willful blindness to the truth, and the beauty and danger of absolute faith, either in God or in men. More…
"Imagining Madoff" finds Madoff in prison, determined to control his own narrative for history as he dictates to a visiting biographer stories about his childhood, his family, women, money, and an all-night meeting he had with Holocaust survivor and poet, Solomon Galkin.
“Remarkable, three-person play...It is an intense and fascinating fictionalized view of Bernie Madoff, the man behind the Ponzi scheme that devastated countless people's financial fortunes...The play's scenes shift deftly between Madoff's prison cell, the study of Solomon Galkin, and the witness stand where his secretary testifies...An outstanding piece of theatre...Audience members get a close up perspective of the drama and tension of the story.” Full Review
“This whip smart, tightly written, 2010 piece approaches everything through conscience...The deftly written play ends well, just where it should, posing questions that echo. Deb Margolin is a craftsman of high order...Director Jerry Heymann moves his cast seamlessly from one environment to another and skillfully within more limited environs. His three players evidence different speech patterns and physical attitudes. Timing is impeccable.” Full Review
"So engrossing and philosophically lively...The cast of this belated New York City première, directed by Jerry Heymann, is exquisite: as Madoff, Jeremiah Kissel prowls the stage like some eloquent but enigmatic animal; as Galkin, Gerry Bamman pinpoints the tragic intersection of wisdom and obliviousness. And Jenny Allen adds a rich third dimension as Madoff’s secretary, who struggles to presume her own innocence in her testimony at his trial." Full Review
"Putting her imagination into overdrive, Margolin sets the Ponzi prince inside a three-character drama...She's created a moving figure in Galkin and even more of a riveting tough in the focal Madoff...Anyone telling me that Kissel’s performance—directed for all he’s worth by Jerry Heyman—isn’t one of the absolute best on a Manhattan stage right now will have an argument on his or her hands...It’s here, ripe and raw for the rest of our theatergoers’ imaginations." Full Review
"Thoughtful, loquacious, and sometimes mystical and abstruse; it's also irregularly dramatic and, despite some emotional histrionics, only rarely moving…An intellectual fantasia relating the Madoff scandal to themes of ethics, morality, truth, Judaism, the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrash, faith, lust, guilt, trust, suffering, and betrayal. That's a lot to unpack in an hour and 35 minutes…Lively, if not always consistent, performances…More discussion than drama, more pilpul than provocation." Full Review
"Margolin’s somewhat stiff though entertaining three-character fantasia...Jenny Allen is entrancing...Ms. Allen exquisitely provides comic relief and an innocent everywoman perspective with her aching sincerity...Jeremiah Kissel swaggering in a power suit gleefully gives us the ballsy Madoff we desire...Margolin’s thoughtful dialogue is often amusing, the characters are vividly drawn, and the structure is a simple framework that gets stale due to the lack of plot." Full Review
"The show is not docu-theater. Unfortunately, the change also undermined the stakes by pitting a real villain against a made-up victim — especially one who feels as generic as Galkin...Even at just over 90 minutes, this production, directed by Jerry Heymann, feels baggy at times and takes a while to find its footing...Madoff is forcefully rendered by Mr. Kissel as a brash, vulgar and possibly insecure man, yet he yields little insight into why he did what he did." Full Review
"Margolin's play delves into the mind of a notorious criminal and comes up with not much at all...The Madoff presented by Margolin is garrulous and more than a little loutish, filled with conversation that only circles the ugly, uncomfortable questions that continue to hover, unanswered...Instead of confronting the everyday facts of Madoff's wrongdoing, the play is marked by a constant reaching for symbols and allusions that often seem weirdly off-topic." Full Review
"Every conversation seemed false. At first I thought it was because the actor playing Madoff played nine tenths of the play directly to me, literally...It was disconcerting...The conversation between Galkin and Madoff seems more like the tale of the big bad wolf and little red riding hood...The cast is competent. Director Herman does the best he can with the small space, but there was nothing new learned here and again nothing seemed based on reality...There is a much better story here." Full Review
See it if you’d like to experience a deep, imaginative exploration of what leads “great” men to deceive the people that trust them.
Don't see it if you only like traditional plays: This one plays with the form.
See it if You are interested in explorations of morality, and the breadth of moral responsibility, in light of Madoff’s crimes.
Don't see it if Spending 90 minutes with a reprehensible person is more than you can bear.
See it if You want a sharp piece of theater covering a horrible moment of greed that nearly completely collapsed our economy.
Don't see it if The subject matter is too painful or if you. Lot of lives were ruined by Bernie.
See it if Beautiful poetic language and terrific performances. Allen is wonderful.
Don't see it if You want a history play. This is a fictionalized memory play exploring motivation, greed, guilt, idol worship and a host of other ideas.
See it if you want a drama expressing what might have been some of Madoff's motivation and his total lack of morality, not historically accurate
Don't see it if you have no interest in Madoff either as a person or his motivation to do what he did. You were a Madoff victim and don't want any reminder
See it if you're fascinated with the mental state of someone who is charming and dangerous. Because it's imagined, it has genuine bite. Not a bio-play
Don't see it if you like theater that doesn't force you to be mentally engaged – or makes you think.
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Limited to 4 tickets per order. All offers subject to availability. Offer valid for performances of Imagining Madoff through 3/23/19. This offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Not valid with any other offer. Tickets cannot be reserved or purchased by e-mail. Service fees apply to all phone/internet orders for all non-59E59 Members.
Limited to 4 tickets per order. All offers subject to availability. Offer valid on all performances of Imagining Madoff through 3/23/19. This offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Not valid with any other offer. Tickets cannot be reserved or purchased by e-mail. Service fees apply to all phone/internet orders for all non-59E59 Members.
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