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A Very Long But Creative Revival of The Skin of Our Teeth at Lincoln Center

A Very Long But Creative Revival of The Skin of Our Teeth at Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center Theater’s Broadway revival of The Skin of Our Teeth, the 1942 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Thornton Wilder, has definitely been re-imagined. The play that use to run just a little over 2 hours, now runs 3 and feels like a  ring circus. Like a lot of plays this season Lileana Blain-Cruz who directed this piece and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who helps re-write the script, reinterprets the Everyman family to embody the Black experience. If this is the case they seriously lost me. Why can’t people just write their own plays instead of re-imaging someone else’s work?

The show is definitely creative, but feels like it was done taking hallucinogenic’s. Like the original Sabina (Gabby Beans) tells the audience not to take things seriously and even she doesn’t understand this play. She often breaks the fourth wall to tell glimpses of the truth.

Ms. Beans, who is highly funny, in a way sounded and looked like Judy Denmark from Ruthless.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Before every act there are news reels by Projection designer Hannah Wasileski, which are clever and tell us a little of what to expect. Meet George (James Vincent Meredith) and Maggie (Roslyn Ruff) Antrobus of Excelsior, New Jersey, married for 5,000 years, think that first husband and wife, Adam and Eve: the two Antrobus children, Gladys (Paige Gilbert), perfect in every way,  and Henry (Julian Robertson), who likes to throw rocks and was formerly known as Cain and Sabina, the eternal seductress). The first act is about the ice age approaching. Enter the their pet dinosaur and mammoth (played by puppeteers Jeremy Gallardo, Beau Thom, Alphonso Walker Jr. and Sarin Monae West). So adorable and a fun addition. Later on a large cast enters like “Exodus.”

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

In Act Two we have arrived at Sodom, Gomorrah and later Noah’s ark on the boardwalk of Atlantic City.  George has been election as president of the Fraternal Order of Mammals, as a psychic (a fabulous Pricilla Lopez) predicts his infidelity. I seriously wanted to slide down that fabulous slide.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

In Act 3, a devastating war has hit and father and son are on opposite sides.This whole act is about redemption and forgiveness. Due to the set design by Adam Rigg and lighting design by lighting by Yi Zhao, I wanted to break into singing “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The cast all fulfill their roles with talent and panache, especially Ms. Lopez.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes Pricilla Lopez

The Skin of Our Teeth is filled with biblical references “and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.” After seeing this over extended version I felt the same way.

The Skin of Our Teeth: The Vivian Beaumont, Lincoln Center Plaza until May 29th.

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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