BWW Review: Intense and Fiery Performance Makes Theatre Raleigh's MASTER CLASS Riveting

BWW Review: Intense and Fiery Performance Makes Theatre Raleigh's MASTER CLASS Riveting

With the fiery intensity of a tigress, Judy McLane channels opera diva Maria Callas in Theatre Raleigh's production of Terrence McNally's MASTER CLASS.

The Tony Award-winning MASTER CLASS opened on Broadway in 1995. The play is inspired by the master classes Callas taught at Julliard in 1971 and 1972.

McLane is masterful as "La Divina," moving across the stage like a woman possessed, regaling the audience with Callas' stories, never "missing an opportunity to theatricalize," criticize and dramatize.

Director Ray Dooley has captured the essence of a master class, breaking the fourth wall and engaging the audience directly, from the opening monologue on, as an active participant. The use of screen projections against the simple, monochromatic set, sound recordings of Callas' voice, and brilliant lighting design, seamlessly segues the story between the present and the past.

And while the operatic voices of Jason Karn, Alana Sealy and Juliana Valente as Callas' students are simply sublime and help break up the repetitiveness of McNally's monotonous script, what makes this production riveting is the beguiling performance by McLane, a tour de force not to be missed.

MASTER CLASS runs through August 19th at The Kennedy Theatre in Downtown Raleigh. For more information visit:

http://www.theatreraleigh.com/master-class/.

Photo by Jennifer Griffin Robertson.

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From This Author Lauren Van Hemert

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