The Mint presents Elizabeth Baker’s 1913 comic drama about a businessman who is reluctant to sell his shop for conversion into a dance hall because of his objection to dancing. More…
Mr. Scott and his wife, son, and daughter have long hoped to sell the declining family business so they can pursue dreams now out of reach. When a buyer finally appears and makes a rich offer—Scott hesitates. If he sells, the old shop will become a dance hall—and Thomas Scott believes that dancing is immoral.
“Each and every role...is expertly cast, with all of the actors not only looking the parts, but fully inhabiting the characters, capturing the right British accents and demeanors, and delivering the divergent viewpoints that Baker has defined with empathy and clarity of thought and emotion. Under Bank’s well-paced direction, the excellent cast brings a perfect balance of controlled drama and subtle humor to the interactions and conflicts inherent in Baker’s story.” Full Review
“Bank’s direction keeps this 80 minute play to a clip. the excellent cast brings a perfect balance of controlled drama and subtle humor to the interactions and conflicts inherent in Baker’s story. Still holds weight in the universal conflict between money and ethics, as does the theme of traditional male dominance...and the elder generation’s impact and control over the younger. Each and every role...is expertly cast...This excellent cast makes this a delightful evening.” Full Review
"Even at only 90 minutes, it is repetitive and slow. Nevertheless, it is also quite involving. I found myself rooting against my own beliefs because Baker does such an excellent job at showing the roots and honor of other people's beliefs. As always, the Mint production is top-notch and well-directed, although there are two dance numbers that are just wrong." Full Review
“As usual, The Mint has assembled an excellent company to play the various roles...What’s especially interesting is the play’s understated tone, set both by the writing and the respectful direction...What Baker achieves is a candid portrait of a family with strong ties but in crisis as a result of the need of the father to adhere to his principles. You may think those principles idiotic but the family depicted is prepared to honor them even though they conflict with personal needs and goals.” Full Review
"The finely-acted production is attractively designed for its Edwardian period by Vicki R. Davis and Hunter Kaczorowski, and though the two-act play has been trimmed to an intermission-less ninety minutes, The Mint's traditional style of presenting older works in their original context, barring contemporary interpretations, remains true, making 'The Price of Thomas Scott' a very engaging introduction to a rarely-heard theatrical voice." Full Review
"It has a couple of very good performances, excellent period costumes, and a conflict around an issue that has no relevancy in today’s world...Unfortunately, the play is too firmly rooted in its day by language, custom and culture for it to be engrossing to modern audiences. And there’s nothing else to focus on – no witty banter or great romance." Full Review
"A fascinating curio from another time, its revival here yet another feather in the Mint Theater Company's multi-feathered cap...The marvelous actor Donald Corren has wisely decided to play Thomas Scott not as a sour, dyspeptic prig...Corren is far too skillful and intelligent an actor to have fallen into that trap...The only significant flaw in this play: The narrative suffers from the fact that the action is entirely confined to the back parlour of Thomas Scott's shop." Full Review
"The Mint usually mounts the highest quality off-Broadway productions and 'The Price of Thomas Scott' is no exception...The actors do a nice job embodying these relatively simply drawn characters...'The Price of Thomas Scott' is not a great play somehow rediscovered for the ages. It is, however, a very thoughtful meditation which does not come across as preachy." Full Review
"The idea of wrestling with one’s conscience with matters that affect family and the community still is relevant today. There are rarely easy answers to these types of conflicts and the play does a very good job of showing that...Overall, it is interesting that this play was written by a woman at a time when few were involved in business...The set for this show is beautifully done...Casting for the show has a fine group of actors." Full Review
“By paring the script down to the under two-hour single act format favored by today's audiences, the questions Ms. Baker posed—but intentionally left without a conclusive ending— are likely to kick up questions relevant to the ethical dilemmas faced by these characters' present day counterparts...While the actors all fit their parts well, the men fare best, especially Donald Corren as the titular main character and Mitch Greenberg as Wicksteed.” Full Review
“Relatively subdued in terms of dramatic action, ‘The Price of Thomas Scott’ is a thoughtful, neatly crafted study in personal convictions that is reminiscent of John Galsworthy’s works. Serious students of drama will especially appreciate this quiet yet interesting play...Bank, the Mint’s producing artistic director, gives the drama a well-paced staging that is solidly performed by an eleven-member company.” Full Review
"It's not a great play, especially compared to other works that the Mint has produced recently, which are often surprisingly relevant to the modern day. This one feels more of its time...Conversations about morality are not exactly the stuff of riveting drama. That said, dance numbers choreographed by Tracy Bearsley liven things up and the production values are high, as one can always expect from the Mint." Full Review
"What’s lost in this plot is the arc of the children, where the playwright begins her story. (Though choreographed dance breaks bring the young energy delightfully back on stage from time to time)...Several additional characters, while performed delightfully, don’t propel the plot...We may be working our way backwards to Elizabeth Baker’s best work. I’m on board." Full Review
"The play, nicely directed by Jonathan Bank, is a delightful look at the millenary business just after the turn of the 20th century and the men and women who work in it. The drama is a sturdy look at the lives of women in that era...The play is full of skilled actors who deliver fine performances in the play...The play does have its problems. The first twenty minutes are terribly slow moving...Despite those weaknesses, 'The Price of Thomas Scott' is certainly worth the price of admission." Full Review
"'The Price of Thomas Scott' is, until its ending, more light comedy…than drama; that ending, though, is likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth. That's not only because of Scott's unilateral decision-making but because of the disappointingly innocuous reaction to it of his wife and daughter…Banks's production, polite and pleasant enough, slogs along with lots of small talk about women's hats and necklines but few emotionally rousing moments. It's all pleasant enough but it often drags." Full Review
“It’s difficult for the modern theatergoer to empathize with Thomas Scott’s dilemma when it seems so out of step with common sense...Most of the characters feel unnecessary and...it takes too long to get to the point of the play...Still, one can’t dismiss a production that’s acted and designed so well. It’s best to appreciate ‘Thomas Scott’ as an archaeological dig - what people liked and were like in 1913.” Full Review
“When is a man completely out of step with his own time and standing in the way of progress? If the Courtneys do not buy his shop they will buy another one down the road, so that he is not keeping them out of the community. It will also make it more difficult for him to sell in the future. It is difficult for a modern audience to side with or care about Thomas Scott, considering when one sees the harm it will do his worried wife and the careers of his children.” Full Review
“A 1913 comedy-drama that features a top-notch ensemble of NY actors in a handsomely designed staging....The fact that Baker’s protagonist never questions the merits of his convictions — or prejudices — makes ‘The Price of Thomas Scott’ a vexing 90 minutes of theater...It’s more curiosity than treasure, but this long mislaid work is evidence of Baker’s knack for dialogue that’s vivid and arresting, even in the stodgier sequences of her narrative." Full Review
"This is a perfectly enjoyable production, with a solid cast, attractive staging, and choreography that makes the most of this one set, single-act show. But...'The Price of Thomas Scott' lacks depth and nuance...This 90-minute production feels more like a novella of sorts that mixes up a variety of familial subplots that suddenly comes to an abrupt end...If the production had been part of an evening of one-act plays, its simple tale might’ve felt more appropriate." Full Review
“The audience's temptation is to project the moral standards of our post-‘Footloose’ world onto Scott...But I'm willing to accept that we're supposed to sit a little longer with the question that Baker poses in her dialogue...Unfortunately, not much of that intellectual or emotional tension remains inside ‘The Price of Thomas Scott’ itself...By the end of this moral back-and-forth, I couldn't help but wish that Hartley had just gone full Kevin Bacon and settled it all on the dance floor." Full Review
"'The Price of Thomas Scott' is a disappointment. The show is well-acted, beautifully staged and terribly predictable...'The Price of Thomas Scott' is a quick turn, and again the acting is great. Director Jonathan Bank does a great job with the material. But the show doesn’t connect and there is a complete lack of tension. I wish it were different." Full Review
“Baker’s drama is not very good...Under Bank’s sympathetic but listless direction, the show feels both overstuffed and undernourished...At a trim hour and a half the evening leaves little time for the characters to be fleshed out or the actors to truly shine. And while the show brings up tantalizingly thorny issues of faith, hypocrisy, sacrifice, and selfishness, they are like dark clouds hovering above the story without ever breaking into a full-fledged dramatic storm.” Full Review
See it if You like classic plays with the wonderful mastery of the Mint Theater Company with all that’s keeps things fresh for today’s audiences.
Don't see it if You want to see contemporary shows.
See it if Enjoy beautifully staged old plays that you have never seen before. The morals of the tale are right out front, well done with the original
Don't see it if You don’t want to see a play from early 20 th Century lovingly restored.
See it if You enjoy beautifully staged and excellently acted dramas that will resonate with you regardless of your political views.
Don't see it if If you only like musicals, comedies, or plays that are thought provoking and may challenge your beliefs.
See it if you like expertly acted period pieces even if themes are extremely outdated, but relevant to how much one will stick to one's convictions.
Don't see it if you only like contemporary settings and are unable to connect to old-fashioned ideas.
See it if you're a fan of the Mint & enjoy the discovery of forgotten plays from the early 20th century, linear, socially-relevant plots
Don't see it if plays from early last century are not your thing, prefer less talky, more action plays, don't enjoy linear plots
See it if Great acting, beautiful set and costumes. A little slow at first but I like how it builds to a nice end of staying true to ones' beliefs.
Don't see it if You don't like period pieces or want more activity in your plays. This is more food for thought.
See it if You want to see play that remains amazing even though it was written in a very long time ago
Don't see it if You don’t have the ability to put your mind back 100 years ago and be able to feel what much simpler times were like
See it if you enjoy Mint's brand of resurrected vintage dramas. It is of historical value and nicely done, if not particularly riveting.
Don't see it if you expect lively drama or don't like talky period pieces. It is preachy and old-fashioned, but rather interesting and diverting in its way
See it if fine production values such as lovely costumes & excellent direction appeal. The Mint never disappoints in these areas. Always lovely!
Don't see it if you want theater with current themes, political relevance or social commentary.
See it if you want to see a slice of life in 1913 of a family all involved in a drapery shop where the father is riddled with religious prejudice.
Don't see it if if you don't want to see a slice of life in 1913 of a family whose deeply prejudiced, religious father upsets their future and their lives.
See it if you enjoy Mint Theater Company works; want to see a female-written play with a spirited female lead, or travel back in time for an evening.
Don't see it if expecting exceptionally riveting, shocking drama; dislike early-20th-century British “parlour-room” plays; or you need something longer.
See it if you value long-lost female-written plays from an earlier time but with relevant themes comparing religious fads vs deep conviction. 90 min.
Don't see it if you have no interest in a one-room old-fashioned family drama with only one major concern: dancing as a tool of the devil.
See it if I love all the mint Productions. For me this is the jewel of New York Off Broadway Theater.
Don't see it if Prefer something more current. This play takes place in early 1900.
See it if you are interested in the social concerns of 100 years ago. Nice, enjoyable play but no fireworks.
Don't see it if you have no interest in anything from the past and only like modern plays.
See it if you want a play that has some heavy ideals, but still has some light moments. Basically, if you like "regular" plays, you should like it.
Don't see it if you are tired (the person next to me fell asleep...1st row...oy) or want a more modern comedy or musical. Light fluff, it is not.
See it if you enjoy seeing old plays brought to new life in beautiful productions, with fine acting and direction, though seemingly dated issues
Don't see it if you only like contemporary plays and are not interested in issues of another period that MIGHT actually have relevance to our own.
See it if you like old-fashioned plays that are light & not too challenging. This is a very slight offering, but has its charms. Goes by quickly.
Don't see it if you don't like old plays that are somewhat creaky, regardless of being well-mounted. The author seems to be divided on her central thesis.
See it if You are a fan of the Mint Theater (as I am). Acting was good. Fun to see a period piece (in the positive sense of the phrase).
Don't see it if You want something up to date. Of course there is usually something relevant in a old play and that is the case here.
Also 90 minutes
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