Children of a Lesser God is playing at Studio 54 located at 254 West 54th Street. It runs two hours thirty five minutes with one intermission. The play closes on September 9, 2018.
It premiered at The Longacre Theatre on March 30, 1980 and ran for 887 performances. In 1980 it won two Tony Awards for Best Actor; John Rubenstein and Best Play.
Kenny Leon is the director. He won a Tony Award for A Raisin in the Sun (2014) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for Fences (2010) and A Raisin in the Sun (2007).
Derek Mc lane is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award for 33 Variations (2009) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for Anything Goes (2011) and Ragtime (2010).
Anthony Edwards is known his role as Dr. Mark Green in ER from 1994-2002.
James Leeds (Joshua Jackson) is an instructor in a school for the deaf.
Two of his students Orion Dennis (John McGinty) and Lydia (Treshella Edmond) are his star pupils. They have learned how to talk.
Mr. Franklin (Anthony Edwards) is in charge of the school. James plays cards with him. He wants to get the maid in the school dormitory, Sarah Norman (Laura Ridloff) to learn how to talk, she only signs. Instead he falls in love with her, they marry. We learn more about Sarah and why she is withdrawn and will not learn to talk.
The idea is if you are deaf you are dumb or retarded. Of course that’s not true.
Sarah mother Mrs. Norman (Keica Lewis) sent her away at five to a special school for the deaf. She has had little contact with her over the years.
Orion is a friend of Sarah. Not only does he sign but he talks. He wants to sue the school for not gaveling deaf teachers. Orion hires a lawyer Edna Klein (Julee Cerda).
Emotions build up with the characters.
James wears head phone that block out sound. He realizes what Sarah’s life is like.
The play is emotional, touching, tender play, but a little long.
The cast does a stellar job.
Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson are remarkable in their roles. Lauren is deaf. You feel like she is playing a not being herself. Joshua comes across as compassionate and tender man.
The set is plain, but who needs more. We are looking at the characters not what are around them.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.