Never in my life would I have known that the most important review of my life was about to burst infront of me like a rainbow from heaven. Never in a review of a play has one felt so compelled to share a journey like Wit. Sometimes you don’t choose a play it chooses you!
Having a mother diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer, a play about cancer would not have been my top choice. Call it fate, TKTS 1/2 price best seat choice or a friend who just has that extra show ticket, fate will take its course and does in the ending of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit. A Theatre Chat Top Pick for Best Play of the Broadway season. Wit has a limited three month run with a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) so see it now. It is truly life changing. Wit is now at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
The producers choice to resuscitate Wit has given it new life, and this time on Broadway. Wit is daring, facing any terminal illness would be. But cancer shares the message of this brave story. Could Wit have been a cancerous decision?, especially when the economy shows that ticket sales call for showstopping tap dancing musicals. No worries because this Wit is stunning, witty, funny, treacherous, bold and beautiful. You know the ending of any termianl illness but you don’t know the ending of Wit untill you wit-nessed it.
If Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon is not nominated for Best Actress for the Tony Awards it won’t really matter, as Nixon has already won the Tony for Wit in the hearts of countless theatre patrons whos lives will have been changed forever. Cynthia recites Donne’s Holy Sonnet X, “Death Be Not Proud,” through Wit she is exquisitely Directed by Lynne Meadow.
(Vivian Bearing, Ph.D) Cynthia Nixon agrees to Michael Countryman (Dr Kelekian Harvey Kelekian, M.D.) experimental chemo therapy treatment with no options. Now, imagine yourself an English poetry professor (Vivian Bearing, Ph.D) Cynthia Nixon who winds up in the doctors office with her student, A student who the poetry professor gave an A-minus grade in collage and is now the best in his experimental cancer field.
The script and journey is brilliant with exquisite detail to the choice of metaphoric words that any English professor’s meticulous vocabulary would be. Words chosen like a daily thesis to drive into her students heads. But now who is the teacher? Her student, Greg Keller now (Jason Posner, M.D.). Dr. Jason Posner a specialist in his field of cancer who remembers well that A-minus grade from his meticulous poetry professor but her love of academics.
Greg Keller (Dr Jason Posner) choice of words to diagnoses his teacher’s stage four terminal ovarian cancer must now show that he should have recieved an A+ not A-minus. Which (Vivian Bearing, Ph.D) Cynthia Nixon admits after hearing her very detailed horrific diagnoses from Keller whos thesaurus decription is delivered with intense humor that gives health to ones soul and that A+ perfromance. The relationship of these two actors comes to life in a quirky yet powerful message that will stay with you for eternity.
The scenes with nurse Carra Paterson (Susie Monahan) is heartwarming and touching with just a simple sharing of a popsicle stick. Cynthia Nixon’s vulnerability shows as the cancer takes over and when Suzanne Bertish (Dr Ashford) reads The Runaway Bunny “‘Have a carrot” you know the end could be near… Vivian flatlines and the choice to resuscitate may not go as planned… see Wit.
Sometimes you know when a celestial message hits you like thunder, the magic of live theatre can never be replaced, nor will the journey of those living with a terminal illness. Anyone who has been exposed to a health death sentence or those dealing with losing ones dignity medically will understand the irony of Wit, the differance between words is, what is said and what was meant. Wit will help others grieving in simular situations as it did me.
Wit uses cancer as the voice that higlights shock, despair and anger but any illness that could take you or someone you know still parallels in Wit. Just like my own mother’s fait with cancer who found laughter in pain, giving profound depth to our superficial lives. This powerful production and brilliant script will take you to the holiest of theatre sacred ground. My mother Jan Cameron passed just hours after seeing Wit.
This review is dedicated to my Mother Janice Carol Morgan Cameron who passed on Wit opening night. Sometimes a play chooses you! Special Thanks to Matt Davis www.utahvalleyfurneral.com and those who give back to arts and terminal illnesses like cancer, Aids…
Cast: Cynthia Nixon (Vivian Bearing), Michael Countryman (Harvey Kelekian, M.D./ Mr. Bearing), Suzanne Bertish (E.M. Ashford, D. Phil.), Carra Patterson (Susie Monahan R.N., B.S.N), Pun Bandhu (Lab Technician/Student/Fellow), Jessica Dickey (Lab Technician/Student/Fellow), Chiké Johnson (Lab Technician/Student/Fellow), Zachary Spicer (Lab Technician/Student/Fellow), Greg Keller (Jason Posner. M.D.).
Irene Sofia Lucio (u/s Lab Technicians/Students/Fellows), Elizabeth Norment (u/s Vivian Bearing, Ph D./E.M Ashford, D. Phil), Stephen Schnetzer (u/s Harvey Kelekian M.D./Mr. Bearing).
Production Team: Margaret Edson (Playwright), Lynne Meadow (Director/Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club), Santo Loqasto (Senic Design), Jennifer Von Mayrhauser (Costume Design), Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), Jill BC Du Boff (Sound Design), J. David Brimmer (Fight Director), Barclay Stiff (Production Stage Manager), Kelly Beaulieu (Stage Manager), Barry Grove (Executive Producer).
For tickets to Wit on Broadway Call (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250 outside the NY metro area. Visit www.witonbroadway.com or Telecharge.com. Wit now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (formerly Biltmore Theatre) located at 261 W 47th St New York, NY 10036.
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