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Date Night: A Play About a Woman’s Freefall

November 1, 2011

Every once in awhile, we like to write about date night on the blog. Sometimes it’s about a play we are invited to preview, or a quirky adventure at Brooklyn Boulders, or even a local spa night for two. We hope that you find something that might inspire you to try something new for date night. I know I get tired of just going around the corner for a glass of wine!

My parents took me to Niagara Falls as a kid and there are 2 things I remember most: the cool mist of the water on my face and the fascinating stories of daredevils who went over the Falls in a barrel. What I don’t remember is that one woman actually survived that.  The Queen of the Mist, a new musical by Off-Broadway’s Transport Group,  is the true, sad story of Anna Edson Taylor, the lone survivor of a barrel voyage, whose life, rather than filled with fame and fortune from her stunt, died in poverty.

Anna Edson Taylor with her barrel

Annie’s journey isn’t just about plunging over the Falls, but her immersion into a world of characters- of which she hopes to become one of the more famous ones. She risks her life to be “of consequence”.  It is a wild ride:  funny, poignant, lyrical and tragic. All of it takes place in the intimate Judson Gym just off of Washington Square Park. The gym space has been turned into a charming early 20th century lace-filled Chautauqua meeting. The setting is unique with the actors working within the space of the audience’s bleacher seating.

Seeking fame after her wild ride

The top-notch ensemble of 2 women and 4 men ably support the tour de force performance by Mary Testa (two-time Tony nominee) in the title role. I am sorry that I have not seen everything that she has ever done on stage.

The evocative music and beautiful lyrics, written by Michael John LaChisua (5-time Tony nominee), is woven with turn of the century themes. The story got a little abstract in the second act, mirroring Anna’s declining psychological state. Though the emotion was real and superbly acted, the story got a little muddled at the end.

I love biographies that are contextualized in a historical time and was impressed with the close reading of Anna Edson Taylor’s story. But what truly captivated me was the ensemble of talented actors and musicians that took me on a journey over the falls and into another time.

Tickets are $58 or $65 Discount Code: $10 off with code TGMAMA
Tickets can be purchased here.
Play runs through Nov. 20
The Gym at Judson
234 Thompson St. @ Washington Square South  NYC 10012

For more blogs posts on Broadway reviews and deals visit MamaDrama.

Joyce Szuflita


Reviewed by Joyce Szuflita. Joyce is the owner of  NYC School Help, and assists families in navigating public and private school choice in Brooklyn. Before she became obsessed with Brooklyn schools she was a Scenic Artist and Broadway professional for 25 years. (And why she can write good reviews!)