InViolet presents a new play inspired by the true story of fearless transformation and love; about the gender transition of Einar Wegener into Lili Elbe. More…
Set in 1920s Europe, 'Sommerfugl' is inspired by the true story of Einar Wegener, the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery and their wife Grete who stood by Einar's side through everything. It is a play about transformation and authenticity, but it is also about the power of love and the people in our lives who help us to become who we are truly meant to be.
"Ideally, this play is visited by an audience that is not already sensitive to or involved with the transgender community, who will be moved to understand the humanity in all of us. Regardless of your own experiences, and the debatable naïveté of the script, this tender production will leave your heart, mind, and eyes open." Full Review
"Elliot's play takes certain liberties with the story, but nonetheless tells a touching story of finding one's true identity, and the sacrifices that come with starting a new life. Director Stephen Brackett uses the tiny space well, keeping the action constantly moving with few breaks in the narration...While there are only four performers in the production, half of them playing multiple characters, this cast really delivers." Full Review
"In a note, the playwright writes 'I have taken great liberties with many details in order to illuminate the internal and emotional lives of the characters that inhabit this play.' Several such illuminating scenes are the strongest in the play...The inclusion of some more of the concrete and fascinating historical details might have done much to erase an air of vagueness that occasionally attaches to the play." Full Review
"On the whole, 'Sommerfugl' is a dramatist's whimsical, often humorous, wish-fulfillment dream of what never could have been...Stephen Brackett keeps his four-person cast moving swiftly through Elliot's streamlined script. Wilcox is a formidable presence and his virile persona, even when in drag, makes convincing both the character's uneasy adjustment to being a woman." Full Review
"There are times when these actors speak volumes with a stare or glance, no words uttered, just a silent communication as their eyes are flooded with pools of intelligence and emotion...Constructive criticism comes with noting there might be room for more development in story and character...It would be easy to find another relevant 15 minutes of interest and very welcomed, but for now, kudos to the entire creative team who make this gem shine." Full Review
"This is a well-constructed piece of theater; three talented actors move us through a big story without too much oversimplification and, for the most part, a lot of clarity...Don’t let the play’s imperfections stop you! All the love that went into this piece shows, my mind never drifted. I highly recommend this piece!" Full Review
"It offers a look at what she went through with her family and friends to find who she was, and where she felt she was meant to belong...'Sommerfugl' utilizes minimal sets and scenery to share Lili’s story, and the nine different characters are played by four people who bring different characteristics to each role." Full Review
"Elbe's fascinating tale, also the subject of an upcoming biopic, deserves attention. But 'Sommerfugl' succumbs to some awkward theatrical choices: generically old-fashioned speech and halfhearted European accents, for one thing, as if we need a smattering of ja's to remember the characters are Danish...This story would be worth telling even without the feel-good ending." Full Review
See it if you want to see a very talented cast. The writing is apparently taken directly from Lili's diaries it wasn't great but the acting superb
Don't see it if you have a hard time following many different characters played by only a few cast members
See it if you want to see a thoughtful and intimate play with GREAT performances (particularly from Wayne Wilcox and Bernardo Cubria).
Don't see it if you need a show to be fast-paced. The show takes its time (and that's part of what's great about it).
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