|Joe Delafield and Rachel Napoleon. Photo: Richard Termine|
By Ferenc Molnár
Directed by Davis McCallum
The Mint Theater
Through April 12
What's It All About?
In a high-class haberdashery in Budapest, owner Peter Juhasz (Joe Delafield), believes everyone is good at heart.
"Love and trust are always repaid in kind in this world," he says.
Let's just say that makes him vulnerable to those who would take advantage of his trust. Like his wife, Adele (Annie Purcell) who misappropriates some funds and runs off with the shop's top salesman, Oscar (John Tufts). Facing bankruptcy, Peter accepts a job offer from the main patron of the shop, a Count (Kurt Rhoads), who has had his eye on bookkeeper Paula (Rachel Napoleon). Peter is to manage the count's cheese business at his country estate (Daniel Zimmerman's set satisfyingly switches between the well-stocked, elegant clothing shop to a barn-like stone and beam office where cows make their presence known in wall paintings and in moos when the door to the pastoral setting is opened (Original Music and Sound Design by Jane Shaw; Props by Joshua Yocom).
Calculating Paula tags along to the country in the hopes that the count will act upon his attraction, marry her and make her a rich woman. Peter made a promise to protect her, though, so the count's pursuit of her is made difficult. Later, Peter returns to the shop and his kindheartedness is tested to the limit when a down-on-his-luck Oscar begs him for a job.
Rounding out the fine cast are Mark Bedard, Jeremy Lawrence, Michael Schantz, Maren Searle, John Seidman, Jill Tanner, and Gabra Zackman.
What Are the Highlights:
This is a sit-back and enjoy the feel of a simpler time with simpler problems and hope that people can work out their differences. Davis McCallum (2012 Pulitzer-Prize winning play Water by the Spoonful and Samuel D Hunter’s The Whale at Playwrights Horizons, directs with skill. Performances are solid across the boards.
What Are the Lowlights?
At two hours and 40 minutes (three acts/two intermissions) it's is too long.
Molnár is best known today for the mystical folk play Liliom (1922; the basis of the classic musical Carousel).
Fashions for Men plays through April 12 at the Mint Theatre, third floor, 311 West 43rd St., NYC. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7 pm, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are $55 with some half-price tickets (CheapTix) and Premium Seats ($65) available for most performances: 866-811-4111; www.minttheater.org.
Christians might also like to know:
--God's name taken in vain