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Metropolitan Playhouse to Stream THE MAGICAL CITY

A backstage drama of poetry, business, and murder.

Metropolitan Playhouse to Stream THE MAGICAL CITY

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents its next free "screened" readings, live-streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: THE MAGICAL CITY, Zoë Akins on October 30, 2021 at 8:00 PM.

The video will be available through Wednesday, February 3, 2021 on the Playhouse webpage, the Metropolitan Playhouse YouTube channel, and the Metropolitan Playhouse Facebook page.

Petronelle, golden girl of the stage, is in love with poet David who loves her grandly, lyrically, and selfishly. She is loved by Rudolph, whose riches afford her gossip, furs, and a future. When the two men confront one another, with both ardor and generosity, she must choose. When the shooting starts, things get real.

A play told in verse captures the absurd and romantic pretense of the city. With a heart as steely and unsentimental as its surfaces are gauzy and sparkling, The Magical City is both loving and mocking. It spins a theatrical confection to underline the brassy realities of life in the growing metropolis and hardening sensibilities of the early 20th century.

Discussion including audience participation follow the readings, with special guest Alan Kreisenbeck, PhD, author of ZOË AKINS: BROADWAY PLAYWRIGHT and Professor of Theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Directed by Michael Hardart, the cast features Kelly D. Cooper, Thomas Daniels, Cliff Miller, Brian Ott, Brian Richardson, Danielle Stanek, Pete Veliz, Barbra Wengerd. Graphic Settings by Anne Fizzard.

Playwright and poet Zoë Akins (1886 - 1958) was active throughout the early teens, but achieved her first major success with her play Déclassée (1925). She may be better known now for her 1930 comedy The Greeks Had a Word For It, which was adapted three times to the screen, the last under the title How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Indeed, she saw many of her earlier works adapted to the screen, and while these films are now believed lost, she herself also turned to screenwriting in the early 30's. Her Sarah and Son (1930) and Morning Glory (1933), earned their respective leads, Ruth Chatterton and Katharine Hepburn Academy Award nominations, with Hebburn winning her first award. Akins was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1935 for her dramatization of Edith Wharton's The Old Maid, a melodrama set in New York City and later a film starring Bette Davis.

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