PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: The Snow Geese Gone With the Winged

By Harry Haun
25 Oct 2013

Evan Jonigkeit
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"The attraction, for me, was working on Sharr's play — I love the play — working with Dan Sullivan and working with Mary-Louise. My scene is with her, and the scene is fun — fun to play — but there are also glimmers of the problems he has underneath it."

Their war-bound firstborn is played by an empathetic Evan Jonigkeit. "I really enjoyed the character," he said. "He's somebody I can personally relate to in a lot of ways because, in my family structure, I was sort of the showman for many years of my life. Duncan comes in and sorta has to put on a show for everybody. It's like the false bravado that so many young people bring home to their family, and it's kind of a joy to be that image for a family. In my own family — all of whom I love very much — I always get a kick out of making them laugh and watching them enjoy themselves."

Terrific Broadway bows are made in The Snow Geese by Brian Cross, the No. 2 son who unearths the father's frivolous sense of finance that put the family homestead up for sale, and Jessica Love, a maid who comes from where they are headed.

"I serve as a musical counterpoint to the main melody of the play," the actress explained. "I'm the personification of everything that they are terrified is going to happen to them: I've lost my money, I've lost my status, I've lost every marker I had previously used to identify myself. It's all gone, and I'm now without title, without wealth, without family. And this family — the Gaeslings — is poised on the precipice of having to have a similar reckoning themselves, and so my presence in their household is a constant reminder of everything that they are most afraid of.

Danny Burstein
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"My character is a Ukrainian refugee from the front of World War I. She's from an area of Poland which was partitioned by the Austrian-Hungarian empire and was, basically, the worst place to live in Europe at the time. It was poorer than Ireland before the potato famine, but her family was very aristocratic — near nobility — but, when the Russians rolled through, she lost everything, fled to the United States and is now working as a completely untrained maid for this family in the play."

It being a bitterly cold and blustery night, first-night revelers were glad to know they had only a short stroll across West 47th Street to the Copacabana after-party.

The opening-night audience was top-heavy in high-profile playwrights, some of them Pulitzer Prize winners like Doubt's John Patrick Shanley, Driving Miss Daisy's Alfred Uhry and the soon-to-be-revived Dinner With Friends' Donald Margulies (who's so excited about the reviews of his latest revival, The Model Apartment at Primary Stages, he's hunting for a theatre to put it in for an extended run; Broadway may apply). Similarly, Richard Maltby Jr. is so excited about how well Taking Flight, the aviation musical he wrote with David Shire, took off at Montclair State University recently he plans to tune it up for a NYC landing. And A.R. Gurney, there with wife Molly, said his latest, Family Furniture, will world-premiere Nov. 24 at The Flea Theatre with Carolyn McCormick, Peter Scolari and Andrew Keenan-Bolger.

McCormick, whose hubby Byron Jennings is off boiling and bubbling as a witch to Ethan Hawke's Macbeth, was also present as was Taye Diggs, newly Tony-ed director Pam MacKinnon, Donna Murphy and Shawn Elliott, director Jo Bonney and her cast of Small Engine Repair (Keegan Allen, James Ransome, John Pollono and James Badge Dale) which opens at the Lucille Lortel Nov. 22, Ron Raines, who has yet to shave his dome for Daddy Warbucks which he'll play Dec. 10 to the end of Annie's run Jan. 5, Adam Duritz and, returning together to the scene of their last triumph, The Assembled Parties, Jessica Hecht and director Lynne Meadow.