La MaMa presents the New York premiere of Israel Horovitz's stage adaptation of his radio drama, about a retired man's return trip to Alaska's tallest peak. More…
David, mourning the loss of his young son, revisits Mt. McKinley in Alaska, which he summited at age 25. This time, he's guiding a group of Japanese honeymooners who hope to conceive a child under the spell of the Northern Lights. In this drama, we follow the varied passions of a family seeking resolutions to the highs and lows of the mountains we climb in life. Originally written by Horovitz 20 years ago for BBC Radio 4, 'Man in Snow' was reinvented for the stage by the dramatist.
“Prolific, record-setting author Israel Horovitz has turned his literate, moving radio drama ‘Man in Snow’ into a stage play which arrived at the East Village landmark cultural institution La Mama in a neat, dreamy co-production of the Barefoot Theatre Company and Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto...By the end of the play, directed with a cool, but telling hand by Mr. Horovitz, the complexity and wisdom of the ill-fated characters resonate deeply.” Full Review
"An exceptional work by the always intriguing Israel Horovitz in a sterling production...The play is in part humorous, in part poignant, and richly profound, poetic, and human throughout...The character of David is incisively and sensitively inhabited by Will Lyman in a powerful performance...All of these elements and the superb ensemble create a memorable and illuminating theatrical vision...A masterwork that will resonate with you long afterward." Full Review
"An extraordinary, exquisite and poignant story of one man’s grief over the loss of his son...The care in development is well reflected in the artistic and emotional gratification we receive from this superb production. At 77, Israel Horovitz, still vital in his originality, has created in 'Man in Snow' a piece that confronts our imagination, challenges our fears and complacencies and is, finally, immensely entertaining and heartwarming." Full Review
"What Horovitz did not tell us was that we were about to experience moments of perfect theatre; that we were collectively about to lose ourselves in his writing...Despite the heavy subject matter, 'Man in Snow' has some of the finest acting I’ve seen in a long time...Lyman exerts a tangible power over all that he does, always seeking something genuine, and never settling. Matched in this success is Sandra Shipley...To watch them work and create within Horovitz’ script is a pleasure." Full Review
"This play contains much introspection...The non-linear storytelling is very interesting and I got the impression that the characters who were not in a particular scene were observing and listening to the action...This play also connects the world of the living and the world of the dead. Those who are looking for a testament to lifelong monogamous love will certainly appreciate this show and the emotionally conversant characters." Full Review
"The confrontation between Emily and her father is one of the most agonizing and powerful scenes in the play…A very dense, haunting and beautifully performed and author-directed 80-minute drama. Its one drawback? David’s poetry. It made me think it might not have been such a terrible blow to literature for him to have given it up." Full Review
"Nicely acted…Some of this play’s most vivid writing concerns Emily’s anguished need for her father’s love…But the restraint that’s so becoming in much of this production gives way then to distracting excess. On a previously spare set, we see David encased in snow, which looks cheap and messy. The sound design shifts into obtrusively heart-tugging strings. This quiet, rueful little play needs to keep breathing in that final scene. Instead it suffocates." Full Review
for a previous production "Lyman’s performance as David is intelligent and classy, natural, and touching...Adding to the emotion of this pivotal final scene is a superb performance by Sandra Shipley as David’s wife Franny...You might never look at your cell phone in the same light again – and you might find yourself expressing your feelings to your loved ones more often. They say if you want to see your play performed exactly as you want it to turn out, direct it yourself. Horowitz has done just that – brilliantly." Full Review
for a previous production "'Man In Snow' goes to some raw and primal places, especially in its haunting finale...Brings a compactness and clarity to ideas that, in less capable hands, could come across as amorphous. Only periodically, when David recites a poem he’s working on, does a certain fuzziness materialize around the play’s edges...Will Lyman, who portrays David, is utterly convincing." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s a quick 90 minutes and packs a punch. Still, it encourages us to reflect on our own bit of mortality. We don’t probably take the time to do that enough; it’s appreciated...Nakahara is moving and thoughtful as Mr. Takayama, and Sandra Shipley is rich and wonderful as Franny...But it’s Lyman’s David, with frequent support from the rest of the cast, who is at the center of this drama. His performance is all heart, infused with a complicating frustration." Full Review
for a previous production "What a cast and crew...As director as well as writer, Horovitz makes 'Man in Snow' the affecting story of a man who wonders what’s next while contemplating what was...Moving, if not fully satisfying...There are also one or two clunkers among the scenes...Good or bad, the scenes seem like snapshots from a life...That said, 'Man in Snow' is never less than engaging." Full Review
See it if You're a fan of Israel Horovitz plays (as I am) & you're up for seeing a minimalist production that relies on the language of the characters
Don't see it if You' want a light evening or a "kitchen sink" drama. There are a few moments of comic relief, but MAN IN SNOW is mostly very serious and sad
See it if You want to see an intimate, deeply felt family drama about bereavement, fidelity (and infidelity), and aging.
Don't see it if You've recently lost a loved one--or ever lost a child. It will cut too close to the bone.
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