Theater and Concert Reviews.
by ROBERT MASSIMI 7 months ago in ENTERTAINMENT Dealing With The Herd Mentality.Robert Massimi.
"Judgement Day" has many lessons to be learned in it. The body of the play and its core nexus, however, is how people are; whether it be in Germany pre World War, or Timbuktu. In a small town in Germany, people are negative; the economy has slowed to a crawl, few have good jobs, (although throughout the play, few have many worries). One of the few good jobs left in this small German town is that of the Station Master, Thomas Hudetz (Luke Kirby). Hudetz is diligent, hard working and a dedicated employee of the German Government. In a small town where everyone knows your business, he is both liked and felt sorry for. Thomas Hudetz married a woman thirteen years older than himself. Frau Hudetz is emotionally unstable and demanding of her younger husband. Unable to have a social life, we never fully know as an audience how and even if this has had any effect on him.
In what is a superbly executed play, the beautiful Park Avenue Armory, with it's massive stage, put forth a great production about a train accident that was more than just eighteen people getting killed. "Judgement Day's" underlying message dealt more about people than great lighting, stage settings and Direction. Lighting designer Mimi Jordan Sherin amazed the audience with the train scenes and they were both innovative and incredible. The lights made the trains fly bye; Daniel Kluger added to this with incredible Sound Design and the awesome feeling of these behemoth machines. Feeling the trains go bye in real time, we were able to fully settle into the accident that occurred because it was so real and affecting to each and every audience member.
Anthony McDonald's Costumes were equally effective as to the time period and how we saw each and every character in this deep and exciting play. From the bar maids at "The Wild Man Inn"; Thomas Hudetz's meticulous costume, degraded like he was; to what he became, from what he was. Not rich people but working class people, they have a sense of pride about who they are and what they do to make their town the best that it can be. The towns people's cloths may be old but they are well kept. More to a superficial upkeep, what is on the outside far supersedes what is in the inside of these people.
In a town that is unforgiving; people waiting to pounce on each and every person for what is seen as an affrontary to the masses, people move sheepishly, they move cautiously. Any rumor can put a person on the chin wagging rumor mill. This town is so vicious that it holds family members as well to task. When Frau Hudetz was accused of perjury, her brother, Alfons (Henry Stram) was also outcast ed in the town as well. A pharmacist who like Thomas is a loyal person. He is loyal to his sister as well as his brother-in- law. Alfons avoids the gossip in town, goes about his business and always is willing to help other people.
In a play that takes you along for the ride, this play moves along at a great pace, the ninety minutes; seven scenes are all interesting and attention grabbing. The actors are all excellent in their roles and the production is first rate, something we have become accustomed to at The Armory. The massive sets are able to bring the reality of these people to life, to the forefront. What seems like a town that is open to embrace outsiders, or even insiders is anything but. Much like today, these people almost seem at the ready to destroy their neighbor without any proof or concrete evidence as to what really happened.
"Judgement Day" runs till January 10, 2020.
Richard Jones Directs
Written by Odon von Horvath.
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue, New York City, Herd Mentality, Germany, Trains, Thomas Hudetz, Richard Jones, World War 1, World War 2, Luke Kirby, Henry Stram.