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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Master Class with Tyne Daly

Tyne Daly is one of the most talented actresses working today and I was so thrilled that she was going to be back on Broadway in a revival of Terence McNally's play, Master Class.

The play tells the story of opera diva Maria Callas and a class that she taught young opera singers. I thought it was strictly a dramatic play, but it was very funny. Daly interacts with the audience, and one particular moment after she discusses how people need "a look", she tells someone that that person "doesn't have a look" and then she asks the man sitting behind the person why he is laughing because "he doesn't have a look either" elicited much laughter from the audience.

Daly is perfect in the role, playing Callas at a time in her life when her opera career was essentially over. She is imperial, and her interactions with the students are sharp. Alexandra Silber plays a young, exuberant student. She reminded me of a bounding puppy dog, and she was terrific. She played off Daly so well.

Garrett Sorenson plays a garrulous tenor with confidence and swagger. His character did not have much technical expertise, but the reaction he arouses in Callas is emotional. His voice is spectacular.

Sierra Boggess shows up in a formal gown, something that Callas harangues her for. Her character is at first terribly intimidated, but she has a confrontational scene with Daly at the end that is powerful.

Daly has two monologues that give insight into her rise to fame and her turbulent relationship with millionaire Ari Onassis, who dumped Callas to marry Jackie Kennedy. Daly's performance in those two monologues is amazing and emotionally draining; you could hear a pin drop in the theater during them.

There are only two weeks left in the run of the show, and I highly recommend that you see this show. Daly is magnificent, and her interactions with the rest of the cast elevate their performances as well.
Alexandra Silber signing after the show

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