The Red Fern Theatre Company
(Red Fern Theatre Company Website)
All through the Night
By Shirley Lauro
Directed by Melanie Moyer Williams
Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater
West Side Y
5 West 63rd Street at Central Park West
Managing and Artistic Director, Kimberly Loren Mulvaney
Featuring: Theo Allyn, Hana Kalinski,
Michelle Lookadoo, Lesley McBurney, Andrea Sooch
Assistant Director: Shaun Dozier
Scenic Design: Adrienne Kapalko
Costume Design: Emily DeAngelis
Lighting Design: Jessica Greenberg
Musical Director/Arranger: Kristen Lee Rosenfeld
Stage Manager: Laura Luciano
Props Master: Danielle Schultz
Press: Peter Cromarty, Cromarty & Co.
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 5, 2009
All through the Night has an all-woman cast of five, portraying four German Gentile characters, Theo Allyn as Gretchen, Hana Kalinski as Angelika, Michelle Lookadoo as Friederike, and Lesley McBurney as Ludmilla, all under the thumb of several female Nazi commanders, and Andrea Sooch as all the Nazi commanders. It presents a series of vignettes, woven through the narrative of Ludmilla, who faces the audience from her work station. Ludmilla, the rural frau, keeps secrets from the characters, but not from the audience. She’s a friend to all, at least ostensibly, as she sparks our imagination through the torrid events that predictably unfold. There are overt plots about the course of the War and Hitler’s regime, and there are covert plots, about a hidden baby, a predatory commander, a burning romance, dissention, survival, and retribution.
Shirley Lauro has created this work from interviews with surviving World War II, German Gentile women, lesser known victims of this tragic historical time. The cast is persuasive, youthful, and refreshing. Adrienne Kapalko’s raw, rough set is an expressionistic take on the gritty surroundings that envelop this ensemble. Jessica Greenberg’s lighting provides spotlights on one or two characters at a time, while others remain still, in the shadows. Kristen Lee Rosenfeld’s musical arrangements add stark, ethnic highlights to the ambiance of bonding, loss, alienation, obedience, rebellion, and despair. But it’s the naturalistic acting of these five women that elevates the tortured events to artistic dramatization. Especially noteworthy moments come to mind, such as Theo Allyn’s sad acquiescence to her Nazi Regime promotion requirements, Michelle Lookadoo’s renunciation of wealth for risky rebellion, and Andrea Sooch’s callous, razor-sharp, icy commander, who follows the Reich with blind obedience and buys illicit pleasure with brutal power and confiscated jewelry.
Most interesting is the character transformation, as the stories unfold. Melanie Moyer Williams has directed with attention to nuance of expression, gesture, tone, accent, and projection. The Red Fern Theatre Company took good care of Shirley Lauro’s recent work, that premiered in Chicago and was nominated for a Jefferson Award.
Cast of "All through the Night"
From bottom clockwise:
Lesley McBurney, Hana Kalinski,:
Theo Allyn, Andrea Sooch and Michelle Lookadoo
Courtesy of Nathan Johnson
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