The Royal Family
Last night we saw our first place of the season. It was MTC's first production of the year called Royal Family. The room had a few stars sitting in the audience which I took as a good sign.
I glanced at a good review and was psyched. When we got there and found out the play was 3 hours and had 2 intermissions, I immediate thought ugh, this better be good knowing the play had been written in the mid-1920's so I was skeptical. Surprisingly enough, it was wonderful.
The play is centered around a crazy old world theatrical family. A supposed parody of the Barrymore family. The entire play takes place in a fairly large apartment in NYC in the East 50's. There is the staff, who is just as comical as the family. The butler is fantastic played by David Greenspan. The elderly mother who is played by Rosemary Harris is the matriarch of the family who was supposedly a helluva a Broadway actor in her day. Her daughter, played by Jan Maxwell is not only quite a theater actor herself but she is now the glue to the family. Her brother, who is played by Reg Roger is the playboy, actor, charming, celebrity. The side kicks are the agent, who manages the entire families careers played by Tony Roberts, the grand-daughter who is the next generation to keep the family name going and then the uncle (Fanny's brother) and wife who are also actors but not at the immediate families level. There are a few romantic interests but at the end of the day, its about being an actor in the theater, only.
The story, although supposedly about the Barrymore's, is really just about classic family nonsense which every family has. The yelling, the screaming over each other, the angst, the prima donnas, the drinking and their history which is comical but at the end of the day there are a few absolute stellar performances particularly from Maxwell, Harris and Roger.