THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW, written by William Nichols, author of The Shadowlands, opens September 7 at Town Players of Newtown.
First performed at the Chichester Festival Theater in October 1999, THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW is the powerful story of the end of a three-decade marriage and the emotional fallout that changes the lives of everyone touched by it.
The play takes its name from Napoleon’s invasion (and subsequent retreat) of Moscow – a topic that is the current obsession of the emotionally repressed Edward (Rob Pawlikowski of Roxbury), along with the daily crossword puzzle. Edward tries to keep things on an even keel in his marriage however possible, while his wife Alice (Laurel Lettieri of Norwalk), who has spent years putting together an anthology of poems about love, does whatever she can to extract any kind of emotional response from him. Their son Jamie (Ward Whipple of Stratford) is an understated melding of his parents while at the same time remaining his own person – and is in the unenviable position of seeing the situation from both his parents’ perspectives.
According to director Ruth Anne Baumgartner of Fairfield, “Nicholson says the play began as his attempt to understand his parents' divorce and its effects on him; but what he has written is a poignant picture of the human condition – of what Robert Browning calls (in a poem quoted in the play) ‘finite hearts that yearn.’ Because the play is true, it speaks to us all.”
Have Edward and Alice grown apart over the years? Or were they never truly together at all? This is what each audience member must decide for himself in a production John Simon says is “thought through to the finest psychological perception, and expressed in the most eloquently tender or exquisitely wounding language.”
In addition to director Baumgartner, the production crew includes producers Marge Rogers and Pam Meister Jones of Newtown, set designer Alexander Kulcsar of Fairfield, and lighting designer Rob Pawlikowski.
THE RETREAT FROM MOSCOW runs September 7,8, 14,15,16, 21,22,23, 28,29. Curtain times are 8 PM Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 PM matinees on September 16 and 23. Tickets are $20; $15 for matinee performances, and $10 children 10 and under. (Please note that this production may not be suitable for children under 12.)
Reservations may be made by calling the box office at 203-270-9144 or by sending an email email@example.com. For further information, visit www.newtownplayers.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.