A Stupendous Review from StageHappenings.Com on “The Jazz Age”
Another wonderful review! Thanks to fan member, Karen, for finding this! :)
The Jazz Age
by Carol Kaufman Segal
There have been many stories written about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. In fact, many of Fitzgerald’s books were actually based on their lives, much to Zelda’s frustration. But even if you feel saturated with reading or seeing anything about Zelda and Scott, it will not deprive you of the enjoyment of the production The Jazz Age by Allan Knee playing at the Blank Theatre Company in Hollywood.
Knee has written his play based on biographical materials of the three characters F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda and Ernest Hemingway. However, it is not certain how much of the entire story is true: some of it may be added purely for the dramatic effect of their relationships with one another. It begins when young Fitzgerald (Luke Mcfarlane), still in his army uniform, meets the charming, but young and flighty southern-born Zelda (Heather Prete) and immediately falls in love. She resists his advances at first, but finally succumbs and they are married. The time is 1920, the beginning of “The Jazz Age.” Fitzgerald is becoming a successful writer, but their lavish and free lifestyle keeps them in debt. He makes it a point to meet Ernest Hemingway (Jeremy Gabriel) and they form a love/hate friendship. Because of their self-indulgent lifestyle, Zelda’s and F. Scott’s problematic marriage begins to falter and he begins to imbibe more and more. The successes and lifestyles that bring them down are told in a perfectly written drama that tugs at one’s heartstrings. Should we feel sorry for them is not the point. It is the production itself that makes it so appealing, the stupendous acting by Gabriel, Macfarlane, and Prete under the excellent direction of Michael Matthews.
An especially added highlight to the drama is the background music performed by Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow Boys. The clever set design is by Kurt Boetcher; Tim Swiss’s lighting offers special effects. Michael Mullen’s costume and wig designs are scrumptious, the perfect 1920’s look. Highly recommended.