Director: Christa Scott-Reed
Producer: Fellowship for Performing Arts
The Acorn Theatre
10/17/17 – 1/7/18
About the show:
In its first New York revival, William Nicholson’s award-winning play Shadowlands follows the unlikely and true love story of renowned Oxford scholar and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis and the much younger Joy Davidman, a Jewish-American writer, former Communist and Christian convert.
The smart, brash Joy burst into Lewis’ sedate, middle-aged life and upends it. Lewis is as shocked as anyone to discover that he and Joy have fallen deeply in love – and then almost immediately he must contend with the equally deep pain of losing her when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Full of great humor, and keen insight, the play is a moving portrait of love and loss, faith and doubt, as inspired by Lewis’ own A Grief Observed.
From Fellowship for Performing Arts, the producers of the international hit C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce and C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, comes the first New York revival of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands the love story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman.
There is something about watching a play in New York that is full all kinds of magic and surprising reflection towards your own inner change. Think of the excitement of getting to the venue, in this case – Theatre Row. Finding your seat and waiting for the curtain to rise for play about C.S Lewis.
‘Shadowlands’ from Author William Nicolson is one of those slow, romantic and feel good plays that are not for the faint of heart. The dialogue is short and sweet but echoing of content far deeper that we can all relate to. A thought of a love affair perhaps long packed away with dusty scholarly books only to be re-opened and experienced like a cleansing waterfall by an unlikely international connection.
The audience inhales in the relationship of Joy as she travels to Oxford to meet Jack (Daniel Gerroll) who is a 50-something bachelor, already famous for the “Chronicles of Narnia” series. A quiet fellow with some strong views on religion, politics and the like. Upon sight of Joy (Robin Abramson, in her New York debut) we see a shift. She comes with her own baggage. A marriage that has broken down and a child in awe of Jack that runs deeper than fields in Narnia.
Their love affair experiences some bumps as the audience witnesses the couple in their confined home space. But we also begin to see a love bloom between two people that could have been a tad unconventional for the time that will make you want to cheer for their success from the front row.
Theatre Row does a wonderful job of building a set design in a space that is convincing, cozy and genuine. We see the actors in costuming that is perfectly curated to the mood and ambiance of the play. The actors work seamlessly in sympatico with one another. Finally with a take away ending that you sense part way through the performance will make more of a game changer than a mere mention on a post card home.
The chemistry between Gerroll and Abramson is warm, kind and compassionate. One can not help and reflect on their own relationships with loved ones through their scene work. Romance aside, ‘Shawdowlands’ exposes the audience to themes of forgiveness, moving forward and cultivating an open mind and heart. ‘Shadowlands’ is a wonderful feel good play as we head into the holiday season to bring family and out of towners for the holidays.
Use code TRSAVE20 at fpatheatre.com and save 20% off on your tickets! Catch the production before it ends on January 7, 2018 at the Acorn Theatre, Theatre Row.
Theater Row – Acorn Theater
410 W. 42nd St.