Review: THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES at Bay Street Theatre

Performances run through June 16th.

By: Jun. 08, 2024
Review: THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES at Bay Street Theatre
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Bay Street Theatre's 2024 season kicks off with a thrilling incarnation of Frank D. Gilroy's Pulitzer and Tony-winning play, The Subject Was Roses. Under the masterful direction of Tony, Grammy, and Olivier award-winner Scott Wittman, this promises an enthralling evening. With performances running until June 16th - and if the exciting opening weekend was any indication - you're going to need to get your tickets quickly.

Set in 1946, the play is a heart-tugging exploration of family relationships. Expertly led by the extraordinary performances of Emmy nominee John Slattery (as John Cleary, a salesman), Talia Balsam (as Nettie Cleary), and their son Harry Slattery (as Timmy Cleary), the tale follows the Cleary family's journey. Timmy returns home from World War II but finds he becomes entangled in his parents' unresolved issues, delving deep into themes of love and reconciliation.

What sets this production apart is the authentic portrayal delivered by an actual family. The chemistry and authenticity they bring infuse the show with a profound sense of relatability. From the moments of conflict to the shared laughter, the Cleary family's story mirrors the possible complexities of our own family.

Behind the scenes, the creative team is flawless as they bring 1940s Bronx to life. Derek McLane's stunningly crafted set transports the audience into the heart of the Cleary household. This is complemented by Cha See's atmospheric lighting and Laura Bauer's period-perfect costumes. Marc Shaiman's hauntingly beautiful score further enriches the narrative, elevating the emotional journey of the characters.

And so, The Subject Was Roses is certainly a must-see this beautiful Spring season. With its gripping storyline, stellar cast, and the timeless charm of the Bay Street Theatre, it promises an emotional roller coaster of an evening on the East End of Long Island.


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