CAL REP Makes Waves With Odets’ Revolutionary Classic

share this:

waiting-for-lefty Cal RepCalifornia Repertory Company begins their second season aboard The Queen Mary on September 24th with Waiting for Lefty: Seeing Red, Clifford Odets’ Depression-set, confrontational drama. Directed by innovative University of California, San Diego theatre professor, Kim Rubinstein, Waiting for Lefty is based on the New York taxi driver strike of 1934. The first of Odets’ plays to be produced, it was originally staged by the acclaimed Group Theatre. The ensemble revolutionized acting by introducing the visceral power of Russian naturalism to the American Theater.

Current social and economic events make the piece relevant. Themes of oppression, economic desperation, and corporate and political corruption resonate strongly today and are emphasized in the design of the piece through stark blocks of light, shadow, the color red, and images of hands reaching for the unattainable.

Director Kim Rubinstein observes: “We are living in depressed, desperate times. Not since the Depression has the country rocked on such unstable ground. We walk on the American landscape, juggling greedy desire while attempting to live in safety and decency. Our politics remain confused. We are in great need of a revolution, one that strikes against cruelty and injustice and pumps the grandness of the human heart into every encounter, moment to moment, in our daily lives.“

Rubinstein, recently Long Wharf Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, has directed for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Portland Center Stage, San Jose Rep, and Chicago Shakespeare and, with Michael Mayer, was Associate Director and Tour Director of the National Tour of Angels in America. She is a recipient of the TCG/NEA directing fellowship and was nominated for the Alan Schneider Directing Award.

Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The production runs Tuesday through Saturday, September 24-October 16 at 8 pm, with the exception of October 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16 which will be at 6pm. There will be one matinee at 2 pm on Saturday September 25. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary. For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit the California Repertory Company website.

ABOUT THE QUEEN MARY- The Queen Mary is home to a 314-room Art Deco Hotel, where guests relive the excitement of cruising in the style of the 1930s without leaving port. She has played many roles during her illustrious career – from an elegant ocean liner to a World War II troopship. Now permanently docked, yet still afloat, her operation and preservation are entrusted to Delaware North Hospitality Group, a leading independent management company. Located at 1126 Queens Highway in beautiful Long Beach, California, The Queen Mary is a must-see attraction. The historic ship offers a variety of historical, paranormal and educational tours, unique shops, meeting & banquet facilities, three award-winning ocean view restaurants and much more. For more information please visit The Queen Mary website or call (800) 437-2934.

Comments are closed.