Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Off-Broadway Theater Review: The Treasurer

Peter Friedman. Photo: Joan Marcus

The Treasurer
By Max Posner
Directed by David Cromer
Playwrights Horizons
Through Nov. 5

By Lauren Yarger
It's every kid's nightmare: who is going to take care of the parents when they get elderly? But for the son (Peter Friedman) in the world premiere of Max Posner's new play The Treasurer at Playwrights Horizons, there is an even more chilling question: How do you keep up a good front for your siblings when you have been tasked with making sure your mother is taken care of within the means she has available when you don't really love her?

This sad, but realistic premise plays out under taut direction by David Cromer (The Band’s Visit, Our Town, Adding Machine), who wrings out the emotions of the story and particularly, those of the "son." the character's only identity, besides that of "the treasurer" caring for the bank accounts of his mother, Ida (Deanna Dunagan). He has to deal with her and absentee brothers, Allen and Jeremy (played by Marinda Anderson and Pun Bandhu, who also take on other roles) as Ida needs more and more interaction. She doesn't grasp the severity of her financial situation or her diminishing entail capability and places unrealistic demands on her children who must come up with the funds to place her n acceptable senior living, While we're moved as the son finds himself between a rock and hard place, we discover that he is more emotionally drained than anyone having come to the conclusion that he will go to hell for not loving his mother.

Most of the conversations between mother and son and siblings (and one other between Ida and a meaningful wrong number) take place via telephone (with quick scene changes designed by Laura Jellinek, but Cromer's genius has a chance to shine in a scene where mother and son get together for a meal. The pain of the relationship is palpable.

Posner packs a punch in 90 minutes in this play, which was commissioned by Playwrights, 416 West 42nd St., NYC, where it has been extended through Nov. 5.

Additional credits:
Costume design by David Hyman, Lighting Design by Bradley King, Sound Design byMikhail Fiksel, Projection Design by Lucy Mackinnon and Wig Design by Leah J. Loukas.

Performances are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2:30 and 8 pm; Sundays at 2:30 and 7:30 pm.  Tickets are $49-$89: phnyc.org; 212- 279-4200

-- Language
-- God's name taken in vain

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York. Shifting from reviewing to producing, Yarger owns Gracewell Productions, which produced the Table Reading Series at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT. She trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run. She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She wrote reviews of Broadway and Off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She was a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com. She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice president and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (producer of the annual awards ceremony) and a member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, serving as Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter. Yarger was a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2024 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women or people of a certain race are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide, or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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