Linda, a play about the “female experience,” holds universal appeal for theater-lovers of all persuasions.
As part of the Hampton by Hilton #Seekender team, Jerry and I love to make the most of our weekends, broadening our world–at home or when traveling–by enjoying the arts!
Whenever we go to the theater in New York City, the incredible talent of the performers and staff who bring these productions to life always amazes us. Linda, the new import from London now playing at Stage 1 at New York City Center, is no exception.
In a little over two hours, the audience witnesses the unfolding of Linda Wilde’s life story that takes place over a span of two decades. A circular platform on the stage (that looks like a giant lazy Susan) spins back and forth offering the audience glimpses of Linda’s worlds at home and at her workplace.
We learn that in 1997, Linda (played by two-time Laurence Olivier Award winner Janie Dee) was a struggling single mom. Ten years later, at the age of 55, she seems to have it all. She’s a captivating and well-respected marketing guru ensconced in the executive suite of a cosmetics company, called Swan. She has a loyal husband, two lovely daughters, and has been name the recipient of a major advertising award for her contributions to the company in 2007.
Then we are suddenly thrust into the role of observers who witness the unraveling of all Linda’s attained by midlife. She reaches that certain age when many women begin to feel invisible, no longer able to fall back on their physical appearance and beauty. Age becomes an albatross.
Without spoiling the twists and turns of this very timely, contemporary and intense plot, Linda is simultaneously confronted with challenges to her marriage and to the emotional well-being of one of her daughters.
As she begins to question an ageist society focused on youth, she begins to to question her own role in an industry that perpetuates stereotypes. Then she starts making waves in her workplace that has accepted the status quo.
Janie Dee, the star of the production, is a tour de force who artfully commands the stage surrounded by a talented ensemble cast. The casting, costumes and set design are brilliant. You will laugh with Linda, shed a few tears, and be moved by playwright Penelope Skinner’s meaningful script that raises serious questions about women, aging and beauty. The play offers an experience and message you will want to share with girlfriends, the men in your life and/or your adult children.
First presented at the Royal Court Theatre by The English Stage Company, Linda is now produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC), directed by Lynn Meadow in this intimate 350-seat theater (one of three at NYC City Center). Meadow has been the MTC’s artistic visionary and leader since 1972.
Because half of the cost of this production was borne by benefactors of the theatre, ticket prices are eminently affordable. But you’ll need to hurry! The show’s closing date is April 2, 2017.
IF YOU GO
Manhattan Theatre Club at New York City Center
131 W. 55 Street, New York City
Click here for additional information and tickets.
Disclosure: We were guests of the Manhattan Theatre Club but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.