|Michael Frederic, Christa Scott-Reed and Joel Rainwater Photo: Joan Marcus|
By C.S. Lewis
Adapted by Max McLean and Brian Watkins
Directed by Bill Castellino
Fellowship for Performing Arts
at the Pearl Theatre
through Jan, 3
What's It all About?
C.S. Lewis' comes to the stage to kick off the inaugural 2015/2016 season of Fellowship for Performing Arts with an adaptation by Artistic Director Max Mcean and Brian Wikins. Christa Scott Reed (The Pitman Painters), Joel Rainwater (The Lion King National Tour), and Michael Frederic (Bill W. and Dr. Bob) are three people who meet in a sort of limbo and take a flying bus on a journey toward heaven. But is it heaven? And if it is, how does one figure out how to get off the bus and separate from all that has been left behind? The plot has to do with spiritual choices -- the Great Divorce between heaven and hell. Among the characters appearing in the fantasy are an artist, a grieving mother, a mumbling grumbler and a bitter wife. How will the choices they made contribute to who they became and how they deceive themselves about God. Will they be able to see the truth and embrace what waits in heaven or will there always be something else they desire instead of joy?
There are two kinds of people, a wise, tartan-clad adviser tells us: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "Thy will be done."
What are the Highlights?
Well, you can't go wrong with C.S. Lewis. The British novelist who found faith later in life is one of the foremost thinkers about Christianity (He gave us such wonderful literary classics as "The Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe," "A Grief Observed," "Surprised by Joy" and "Mere Christianity," just to name a few. His study of how the enemy influences Christians, "The Screwtape Letters," also was adapted for the stage by McLean and had an Off-Broadway run several seasons ago (for which it received a "The Lights Are Bright on Broadway Award) and a national tour (see below for upcoming productions). Kelly James Tighe provides a backdrop that houses cartoonish projections (designed by Jeffrey Cady with lighting by Michael Gilliam) to enhance the fantasy setting. Nicole Wee provides costumes (many of them very quick changes) to clothe numerous characters and the always excellent John Gromada provides original music and sound design.
A good conversation starter.
A good conversation starter.
What are the Lowlights?
The allegory can be rather confusing at times, especially if you aren't a student of Lewis or of theology.
More Information:The Great Divorce plays through Jan. 3 at The Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd St., NYC. Run time is 90 minutes, no intermission. Tickets: fpatheatre.com; 212-563-9261.
The Screwtape Letters adapted by McLean and Jeffrey Fiske will play in New York Jan. 6-24 and will tour to these cities:
PORTLAND, OR — March 1-2, 2016
REDDING, CA — March 4, 2016
SAN DIEGO, CA — March 6, 2016
MESA, AZ — March 12, 2016
McLean will star in The Most reluctant Convert, an adapttion from Lewis' writings about his conversaion from atheism to Christianity Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21; Feb. 18-21 in New York.
Fellowship for Performing Arts produces theatre from a Christian worldview that engages a diverse audience. More at fpatheatre.com.
Christians might also like to know:
-- God's name taken in vain