Review Roundup: I AM MY OWN WIFE at Long Wharf Theatre - What Did the Critics Think?
Performances began on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 and will run through Sunday, March 1, 2020. Opening night is set for Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 PM on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre (222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT).
I Am My Own Wife is the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about survival and identity under the cloak of World War II Germany. A tour de force performance, in the vein of Long Wharf Theatre favorites An Iliad and Satchmo at the Waldorf, I Am My Own Wife tells the inspiring true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. As an openly transgender woman, she bravely survives both the Nazi and Communist regimes of East Germany with her unique mix of strength, savvy, and grace. This powerful and life-affirming masterpiece-in its first major revival in a decade-will leave you speechless.
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant: Park moves like a dream, dancing and scolding and flirting and walking right off the stage with the donation box from the museum, cadging spare change from audience members. In this production, Charlotte gets to make several costume changes, from one simple attractive dress to another, with black lingerie underneath. There are no clunky wigs; that's the actor's own long hair, dyed gray. Park is comfortable and graceful, attractive and sweet.
Donald Brown, New Haven Independent: Very deliberately paced, I Am My Own Wife keeps us interested with its surface story of dramatic events in the surprising life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf while gently urging upon us a deeper story - of how a playwright named Doug found in his subject an occasion to reflect upon our ambiguous complicity with social codes and historical situations we refuse to let define us.
Fred Sokol, Talkin' Broadway: Through Rebecca Martinez' proactive and specific direction, Mason Alexander Park is a youthful revelation as Charlotte. The actor is light, graceful and, at once, dynamic on his feet. He takes on a variety of vocal accents to portray mean-spirited individuals but also people in Charlotte's family and her close friends, such as Alfred Kirschner, with whom she communicates while he is jailed. He easily moves from one outfit to the next, provided by costumer Daniel Tyler Mathews. Park is often active and so the production feels breezy and vital.