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Michael Hardart

End of Summer

October 22, 2016

While S. N. Behrman was one of the leading Broadway playwrights from the twenties through the early sixties, he went into an eclipse after his death in 1973. Since 2000, however, there have been New York revivals of his major comedies "The Second Man," "Biography," "No Time for Comedy" and "Rain from Heaven." Set in the living room of a summer cottage on an estate in Northern Maine where the rich Frothinghams go to get away from the problems of the world, circa 1936, End of Summer resembles Chekhov’s "The Cherry Orchard" in that they both concern wealthy people refusing to recognize the changing social order. However, S. N. Behrman’s play is very much a comedy with its cool, urbane witticisms and very American in its outlook and content. [more]

The Awful Truth

October 5, 2015

If this story sounds familiar, it is the plot of the classic thirties screwball comedy "The Awful Truth" which starred Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. In fact, Arthur Richman’s 1922 play of the same name has been filmed four times including a 1925 silent version, a 1929 sound version with original stage star Ina Claire which has been lost, and a 1953 musical version with Jane Wyman and Ray Milland. As part of its 24th Season devoted to “Hope,” Metropolitan Playhouse is producing the first New York revival of this unpublished play, surprisingly as the original production ran a successful 144 performances. [more]

Injunction Granted

June 18, 2015

The recent national rallies to raise the minimum wage have made the Federal Theater Project’s 1936 "Injunction Granted" relevant all over again. This play created by the Editorial Board of the Living Newspaper Unit of the FTP depicting the conflict of labor versus capital in the U.S. over almost 300 years turns out to be powerful theater in this revival by Metropolitan Playhouse. The third of the FTP Living Newspapers to be revived by this theater following "One-Third of a Nation" and "Power," Alex Roe’s lively and inventive production uses six actors to play 200 characters in a vaudeville-like atmosphere. [more]

The Indelible: The 11th Annual East Side Stories

April 26, 2015

Rodriguez, Brown and McNeill all go that extra mile to establish a connection - and make eye contact with every single audience member contained on the three sides of the theater. As they share their stories, the emotion and passion used to bring out the truth in each of these East Village residents is well translated from a period in time to the present day. While the historical elements are fascinating and provide context, the ultimate theme of acceptance, finding a guiding light to outshine the world's cruelty, and celebrating life creates a lasting impact. [more]

Rollo’s Wild Oat

December 9, 2014

Michael Hardart, who piloted Metropolitan Playhouse's successful productions of "Within the Law," "A Man's World," "The Great Divide" and "Under the Gaslight," has staged this play as a drawing room comedy. However, as the plot will demonstrate the play is a farce and should be staged as such. While the play remains amusing, a great many of the jokes do not land as they ought to while some of the acting is much too genteel for this sort of play. [more]

Within the Law

June 3, 2014

What is the most famous play currently running in New York that you have probably never heard of before? Bayard Veiller's Within the Law, Metropolitan Playhouse's final entry in its "Justice" season, has been filmed six times since its Broadway debut in 1912, most famously as Paid with Joan Crawford, revived once on the main stem, and still packs quite a punch. [more]