Review: "Maker of Worlds" Challenges Us to Remake the World
Maker of Worlds
Written by Wendy A. Schmidt
Directed by Jeri Frederickson
Presented by Theater for the New City at the Cabaret Theater
155 First Avenue, Manhattan, NYC
September 2-7, 2019
|Amy Gorelow (as Tiffany) Photo credit: Jason Paul Smith|
|Amy Gorelow (as Martha) Photo credit: Jason Paul Smith|
|Amy Gorelow (as Warren) Photo credit: Jason Paul Smith|
In addition to questions of what we value and what we mean by value, Maker of Worlds tackles issuessuch as the restriction of information by media monopolies; the fear of seeming radical; the contemporary, post-truth practice of pretending that all sides have a valid point; the ways that capitalism encourages destructive behaviors and practices; and whether we can legitimately say that it is the system that is bad, not the people (all of these are, of course, interrelated). The various characters and their conflicts embody these heavy issues in a way that is often comedic, sometimes affecting, always entertaining, and aiming, in the end, to inspire the audience not to, as Liz puts it, to sit around and wait for the world to become just but to go out and fight for that change. Maker of Worlds ends on a poetic note, a melancholy assertion of humanist and humane value(s), that brings the plays full circle and nicely ties its themes together. And if the audience does leave the theater ready to make a new actual world, then it owes something to theater artists who are makers of fictional worlds. As such, Amy Gorelow does excellent work to bring this particular world to life, peopling it with distinct characters in a fantastic performance and using some simple props, from Tiffany's wheeled office chair to Warren's martinis, to enhance the character work. We also feel compelled to note that her trident skills are on point.
Martha observes that both love and darkness are always in us. Liz says that you can make many things out of just the body you have, including a demon slayer. These choices are always available, the play suggests; we just need to make them, and in some cases, keep making them. We can choose to fight the demons, for example, who view environmental apocalypse as an acceptable side effect of a larger profit margin. But if you want an easy choice to start with, you can choose to go see Maker of Worlds.
-John R. Ziegler and Leah Richards
[And while you're at Theater for the New City, be sure to check out their ongoing exhibit of photographs of the signs and awnings of the ever-changing NYC!]