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Conversations During Difficult Times at The Michaels Table

Conversations During Difficult Times at The Michaels Table

Haviland Morris, Brenda Wehle, Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders Photo by Joan Marcus

Like the Apple and Gabriel plays, Richard Nelson brings back the residents of Rhinebeck, New York, a liberal community, where it seems life happens around intimate family meals. Now we get The Michaels, about Rose Michael (Brenda Wehle), a lesbian modern dance choreographer who is dying.

Matilda Sakamoto, Charlotte Bydwell and Haviland Morris Photo by Joan Marcus

The same cast is back with Maryann Plunkett, playing Rose’s new partner, Kate, who has become her caregiver and Jay O. Sanders, as David, Rose’s ex-husband. He is now married to former dancer Sally (Rita Wolf). Rose’s daughter, Lucy (Charlotte Bydwell) and niece, May (Matilda Sakamoto), re-create Rose’s work, as former dancer Irenie (Haviland Morris) comes to visit.

Brenda Wehle and Charlotte Bydwell Photo by Joan Marcus

For two hours, no intermission, they discuss life, art and death. Nothing really happens or gets resolved. This time however there is dancing by Ms. Bydwell and Ms. Sakamoto, which breaks the monotony. The choreography is based on the works of Dan Wagoner.

Charlotte Bydwell, Maryann Plunkett, Brenda Wehle, Jay O. Sanders Photo by Joan Marcus

It is hard to comment on the acting or direction (also Nelson), as it is so completely natural and honest. These plays are like sitting in a kitchen of artists and intellectuals having a conversation, which I do all the time. To me this is everyday life.

The Michaels Conversations During Difficult Times: The Public Theater, 425 Layfette, until Dec. 1st.

Off 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:

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