Grant and Twain, by Elizabeth Diggs. Directed by Regge Life.
----- NOT A REVIEW ----- by J. Peter Bergman.
This afternoon I attended the fifth and final performance of a first-class workshop production of Elizabeth Diggs' play Grant and Twain at PS21 in Chatham, New York in their new black box theater which deserves a review of its own some day soon. The play, which was tweaked and changed after each performance according to the director, Berkshire Theatre Award nominee Regge Life, is just about two hours long and deals with the final months of Ulysses S. Grant's life during which he wrote his memoir, mostly about the Civil War and his involvement in it. Mark Twain made a bid for publishing the book and that is the crux of the plot for this play.
An excellent, all Equity company consisting of Todd Gearhart, Nicholas Haylett, Michael Sean McGuinness, Carole Monferdini, Riley Suter and Kevin Craig West, wearing the wonderful costumes designed by Berkshire Theatre Award nominee Govane Lohbauer on a set designed by Berkshire Theatre Award winner Brian Prather under Michael Giannitti's beautiful lighting, with stage management by union members J.P. Elins and Hope Rose Kelly, performed the play in a production that is clearly almost ready to move into another venue and try for a run.
The show was not available for review, but the work of this fine company on the final day of the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association's "year" needed to be noted. Congratulations to all involved.