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Four Decades Along the Rainbow Road

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Awake and Sing! at Olney Theatre Center

Anyone who had lived through the Great Depression could tell you how difficult and scary that time was.  Not only was there real concern that one day you would lose the roof over your head or not being able to put food on the table but that these real fears and pressures could tear a family’s fabric to the point that dreams are tossed aside in order to live for the day.  The Depression meant a severe economic downturn but it also meant a state of mind that resulted from it.
Rick Forcheux (L.) and Alex Mandell  Photo: Stan Barouh
Such was the backdrop in Clifford Odets’ potent Depression-era drama-comedy Awake and Sing! that is now playing at the Main Stage of the Olney Theatre Center.  In 1931 Odets, as an actor, was a founding member of the Group Theatre, a highly influential New York theatre company led by Lee Strasberg.  Group employed a new acting technique in U.S. theatre that eventually was called “Method Acting.”  Odets became the Group Theatre’s principal playwright, and in 1932, experiencing the financially bleak conditions during that period, began working on I Got the Blues, which turned into Awake and Sing!
For full review, visit MD Theatre Guide.

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