Great review from Hollywood Today!!!

Source: Hollywood Today


Macfarlane Takes F. Scott and Hemingway in ‘Finding Neverland’s’ Knee’s ‘The Jazz Age’
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
By Misha Lander

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 2/22/09 — Much has been said, written and dramatized about the mythic lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. One wonders why we need to hear, read or see anything about them ever again. Then along comes THE JAZZ AGE, the captivating new play at The Blank Theatre Company in Hollywood. Playwright Allan Knee (whose previous play on JM Barrie became the film FINDING NEVERLAND), has done it again. His unique take on these overly-famous lives brings a fresh and unique spin on their stories.

Mr. Knee’s play is about inspiration. It is about the discovery that every artist needs to survive and thrive. It always seems so effortless when you see great artists work, but behind every artwork is a soul trying to comprehend the world around them. Knee captures this idea both beautifully and viscerally. THE JAZZ AGE is deeply felt and deeply played. This trio of actors is one of the most outstanding ensembles to hit the LA stage in years. Luke Macfarlane (from ABC’s hit TV show BROTHERS AND SISTERS) plays F. Scott Fitzgerald with cheerful bravado covering a deeply wounded soul. The depth of feeling in his performance is so personal that one feels strange watching, but can’t avert one’s eyes. His brave performance takes us further into the quest for inspiration. And leaves us there right in the thick of it all.

Jeremy Gabriel’s portrayal of the young Ernest Hemingway is filled with passion and fire and his animal magnetism is palpable. While Heather Prete, as the lovely and crazed flapper Zelda Fitzgerald, gives a wide-ranging performance and embodies what the Jazz Age was all about. Director Michael Matthews has done a superb job of creating their world and engaging us in it. Upon entering The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, one is confronted with live music; a three piece combo sits high above the stage, introducing ones ears to the sounds ahead. Ian Whitcomb and His Bungalow Boys bring historic authenticity to the proceedings. Their music enlivens the production with buoyancy and purpose.

This production crackles with authenticity and sparkle. The sets and lighting (by Kurt Boetcher & Tim Swiss, respectively) encase the play beautifully and Michael Mullen’s period-perfect costumes take your breath away.

For an unforgettable evening of theatre, get your tickets now. THE JAZZ AGE is sure to sell out.