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Mystical Feet Company Presents "The Mar Vista" at Pershing Square Signature Center
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Mystical Feet Company Presents "The Mar Vista" at Pershing Square Signature Center

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Mystical Feet Company & EMVEE Productions, LLC
The Mar Vista

Written, Directed, & Choreographed by
Yehuda Hyman

Pershing Square Signature Center
Ford Foundation Studio Theatre
480 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

Yehuda Hyman, Amanda Schussel, Ron Kagan
Ryan Pater, Jacob Perkins, Ezra Bloom

Lighting Design: Zach Blane
Sound Design & Original Music: Ezra Bloom
Costume Design: Amy Page
Scenic Consultant: Lewis Folden
Co-Artistic Producers:
Allison Bressi & Madeleine Goldsmith
Business Manager: Octopus Theatricals
Production Stage Manager: Kate Ann Wilson
Production Manager: Will Jennings
Assoc. Director: Adin Walker
Public Relations: Press Play / Emily McGill
Marketing: Dan Bauer
House Manager: Lucy Consagra
Exec. Producers:
Barbara Nagel & Rosanne De Luca Braun

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 16, 2019

Yehuda Hyman, a Renaissance man, a writer, dancer, choreographer, and director, created, with his Mystical Feet Company, a gorgeous inter-genres production, called The Mar Vista. The title refers to a seaside neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, where his parents raised him as a boy. He loved the views and wading in the water, which took on new meaning when his mother was elderly and ill. Signature Theatre’s Ford Foundation Studio is a fantastic, intimate space for such an unusual production, that relies on dance to tell its spiritual tale. Joining Mr. Hyman are Amanda Schussel, an actress and dancer, who performs as the youthful, then aged and arthritic Sara, Yehuda’s mother, Ron Kagan, an actor and performer, Ryan Pater, an actor and musician, Jacob Perkins, a writer and dancer, and Ezra Bloom, who also designed sound. Zach Blane has created solid and patterned lighting effects to enhance the performances in impressionistic surrealness. In this intimate space, seated on chairs in close proximity to the performers, one becomes absorbed in the historical tribute, Yehuda’s to Sara.

Sara’s mother was a free spirit in her youth and had multiple men and travel adventures at the drop of a hat, including one in Istanbul, a great city in which to dance and explore mystical locations. For quite some time, Yehuda’s father waited until Sara would say yes to his offer in marriage. At one point in the production, Sara was given a gorgeous blue dress, the color of the sea, handmade by her soon to be husband. In that dress, Ms. Schussel floated about the theater to sumptuous recorded music. When Sara did say yes to marriage, Yehuda soon arrived, bringing joy and artistic expression, much of which he owes to his mother’s teachings. Much of the show is out of chronology, with flash backs and memory scenes. These vignettes are always thoughtful, wistful, and illuminating. The Company dances in a chain, a circle, a trio, a duet, or solo. The problems with Sara’s boredom and frustration in her marriage to a practical, low-energy man, not one of the dancing, dervish lovers she vividly remembered, were slowly and partially revealed. Also revealed was her sad physical downfall in her final years, eloquently reimagined in music and mime.

In addition to Mr. Blane’s fine lighting, The Mar Vista has authentic costumes by Amy Page and Ezra Bloom’s original music and expert sound. The actors also speak some Yiddish and Turkish with natural accents. The recorded music took on a life of its own in multiple musical arrangements, such as “Never on Sunday”, “Darn that Dream”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, “Bali Hai”, plus “Dve Gitari”, “Historia de un Amor”, and “Papirossen”. There was even a scene from Dumas’ “Camille”. I look forward to the next production from Mystical Feet Company.

The Cast of "The Mar Vista"
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

The Cast of "The Mar Vista"
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

The Cast of "The Mar Vista"
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

The Cast of "The Mar Vista"
Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

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