The Garry Marshall Theatre presents
Written by Terrence McNally
Directed by Dimitri Toscas
How perfect to open the Garry Marshall Theatre’s inaugural season with a play that meant so much to its founder. Terrance McNally was a close friend of Mr Marshall and the Tony award-winning "Master Class" was one of his favorite plays.
McNally was inspired by the renown opera singer Maria Callas' legendary Julliard master class series and the play invites us into the magical world of the opera and, in particular, the presence of the interminable La Divina, who holds court on her stage as she coaches the aspiring singers of today.
Carolyn Hennesy, the Emmy award-winning actress, takes on this fascinating role and brings to it a witty, wryness and a tragic irony that stops the heart. On stage with her is a quite stunning array of talent without whose authenticity this passionate and timeless play simply would not work.
I can’t remember when I have held my breath quite so many times during a performance. Each singer as sublime as the last, I felt as if I was truly sitting in a theatre, watching a master class, hoping no one would realize I wasn’t supposed to be there.
At times hilarious (many, many times), at other times the saddest moments you’ll ever see on stage, "Master Class" is a rhapsody of emotions.
La Divina shares herself completely and the reality of aging out of a profession most could never attain becomes her sorrow, even as she discovers the rarest of talents in these shy, star-struck, young operatic marvels.
Everyone is incredible…truly. This is a play about a master class, so the voices and the performances have to be exceptional and they are. These wonderful talents create such a precious performance, I feel so lucky to have witnessed it. A play that feels like a window into the most magnificent of moments in history, when an icon came out of retirement to give herself to her audience one last time.
The Garry Marshall Theatre has been beautifully updated and this production is produced and directed so brilliantly it felt like the perfect play for this space, with the perfect cast.
Honestly, if you see one play this year, please, please do yourself the honor of seeing "Master Class."
Carolyn Hennesy as Maria Callas, with Roy Abramsohn, Jeff Campanella, Maegan McConnell, Landon Shaw II, and Aubrey Trujillo-Scarr.
The Garry Marshall Theatre
Running from September 22 - October 22
Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, Sundays at 3pm
4252 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, 91505