Friday, February 12, 2016

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL • New Jewish Theatre

A library book that’s 113 years overdue sets the action off in Glen Berger’s 2001, one-actor play in NJT’s latest production. Our protagonist, a Dutch Librarian, is determined to hunt down whomever checked out a Baedeker's travel guide in 1873. WAY overdue. A trail of clues propels her (often portrayed as a ‘him’) out of her strait-laced job and off on an existential quest.

Against Kyra Bishop’s spare set with a blackboard, slide projector and screen, and an old suitcase, our Librarian (Glynis Bell), a resolute lover of order who wears her date stamper around her neck like a piece of jewelry, begins a presentation that she’s called, “An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences.” Within the pages of this long overdue travel guide she finds in the overnight slot, the Librarian discovers a laundry ticket from 1913 that willfully leads her to London. Taking a leave from her job, she lingers and follows hints, girded with a gut-level belief that she may have stumbled across evidence of The Wandering Jew -- a mythical figure from medieval Christian folklore. It concerns a man doomed to roam the earth until the second coming -- punishment for his reproach of Jesus on the way to his crucifixion.

The Librarian (Glynis Bell).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
The academic demeanor of our Librarian and the heavy underpinnings of the play can result in a little dragging at the start, but as the play opens up, so does Bell. The more we learn about her own life, the more Bell pulls you into the sidecar of her transformative journey, whether along the straight bits, or around unexpected curves and hills.

Only one more chance to see it. Settle in, check it out.


The Librarian (Glynis Bell).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL

Written by Glen Berger
Directed by Lana Pepper
Marvin & Harlene Wool Studio, 2 Millstone Campus Drive Creve Coeur
through February 13 | tickets: $39.50 - $43.50
Performances Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm & 7:30pm, Sunday the 31st at 2pm

Cast
The Librarian: Glynis Bell*
Musician: Will Soll

The Librarian (Glynis Bell).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
Creative
Stage Manager: Mary Jane Probst*
Scenic Designer and Artist: Kyra Bishop
Lighting Designer: Michael Sullivan
Costume Designer: Michele Friedman Siler
Properties Designer: Kyra Bishop
Master Electrician/Board Operator: Nathan Schroeder
Assistant Stage Manager/Wardrobe: Becky Fortner

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of
Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

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