BWW Review: SWITZERLAND at 59E59 Theaters is an Intriguing and Thrilling Two-Hander
"A writer doesn't have to like her life."
by Patricia in Switzerland
The NYC premiere of Switzerland written by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Dan Foster is being performed at 59E59 Theaters now through. With incisive dialogue, excellent staging and outstanding performances, the two-hander is an intense thriller that is captivating audiences.
The show is set in the mid-nineties. The story centers on Patricia Highsmith, a talented crime writer with a contentious personality who lives alone in the Swiss Alps. She rejects modern communication, preferring to pursue her craft with a typewriter while she drinks and smokes heavily. Her routine is challenged when Edward, a pleasant young man who works for a New York publisher, arrives in Switzerland. It is his job to convince her to write another novel in her best-selling Ripley series. Their conversations are very revealing - Patricia's prejudices, Edward's losses, and a common interest in weaponry. There are unexpected twists and turns as Patricia and Edward confront the possibility of bringing her Ripley character to life once again. This intriguing story also gives an insightful view of a Patricia's attitudes as a writer and how they have contributed to her work.
The performances by Peggy J. Scott as Patricia Highsmith and Daniel Petzold as Edward couldn't be better. They master Joanna Murray-Smith's gripping dialogue and the sense of mystery and treachery that looms in the story. Audiences will be mesmerized by the portrayals of their complex characters.
The Creative Team has done a top job of bringing Switzerland to the New York stage. They include set design by James J. Fenton; costume design by Charlotte Palmer-Lane; and lighting design by Andrew Gmoser. The Fight Director is Jared Kirby; the Props Master is Deb Gaouette; the Production Stage Manager is Helen Irene Muller; the Assistant Stage Manager is Taylor Poer.
NYC audiences will find Switzerland to be an absorbing theatrical experience. It is a superb play for mystery lovers and so many more. See it while it is being performed on the Upper East Side stage.
Switzerland is produced by Hudson Stage Company. The show is being presented at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park & Madison Avenues) for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 3. It runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. The performance schedule is Tuesday - Friday at 7:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM & 7:15 PM; and Sunday at 2:15 PM. Single tickets are $25 - $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call the 59E59 Box Office at 646-892-7999 or visit https://www.59e59.org/.
Photo Credit: Rana Faure