At the New York Fringe–Robert Moss Theater (Venue #15) . . . Lisa Lewis bringing in ‘Schooled,’ directed by James Kautz, with his usual ability to cast the right actors: visit http://www.schooledtheplay.com/ . . . Moviedom or bust story . . . unmonied girl from A.C., N.J. dares go to film school. . . . Caught between her prof–a B-movie director–and her main squeeze–a wealthy golden boy, who vies with her for a grant–she’s ready to live loud. In the '40s, Lewis’s sharp dialogue, walk-the-talk characters, and Lajos Egri structuring would have provided a vehicle for Joan Crawford; even if the part were given to Katharine Hepburn, she also would have had to masochistically give up her dream. . . . By the ‘60s, Jacqueline Susann turns career girls into drug addicts or clerks or both . . . now, women, caught in a sea of feminized political correctness, can’t break the Hollywood vise–which they thought they were cracking. . . . Lewis knows the ending of her story (and is authoritative on film history) but doesn't show us how her character's movie actually gets made . . . maybe only someone like Barbra Streisand, Sherry Lansing, or Jennifer Lee actually has the seceret. ‘Schooled’, which should be a bigger play, tells us courses somehow get passed and jerks redirected, but maybe only wealth allows people to become artists (or play at being them). . . . What’s important to “hear” is that the con is on—and that Hollywood’s heart really is Satan’s ice. . . . Lewis, achingly, doesn’t seem to emotionally believe that, even if she intellectually does. That’s why we can think her story is ours—and why she’s landed where juicy best-sellers and even Stephen Sondheim have been before her. For now, though, in reality and on Lewis’s page, there must be a second act. Thankfully, for the genre, the answers remain unresolved—for our culture, the discrimination is an embarrassment.
With Lilli Stein, as the “nobody’s fool” young screenwriter; Quentin Mare, as her disheveled mentor; and Stephen Friedrich as the boy with a future.
SCHOOLED by Lisa Lewis
Directed by James Kautz
Tyler M. Perry (Set Design & Props)
Evan Roby (Lighting Design)
Christopher Metzger (Costume Design)
Jeanne Travis (Sound Design & Production Stage Manager)
Judy Bowman CSA (Casting
Matthew Schneider (Original Dramaturg) and Form Theatricals (General Management)
Press: David Gibbs, DARR
(c) 2015 by Bob Shuman. All rights reserved.
Photo: Quentin Mare, Stephen Friedrich & Lilli Stein. Photographer: Darren Cox
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