Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Magic Fire
by Lillian Garrett-Groag
directed by Bill Staples
McCallum High School Fine Arts Center, 5600 Sunshine Drive
October 15-October 18, 7 p.m.
Tickets: Adults- $12, Students-$6, Seniors-$10
[image by Jessie Palidofsky at www.jessiepal.net]
The Magic Fire, commissioned and originally produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, was developed by The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. It concerns a family of Italian immigrants in the Buenos Aires of the 1950s at the time of the death of Eva Perón.
The father, Otto Berg, himself a refugee from Nazi Austria, and his family find themselves trapped in the fascist system of Juan Perón's regime, and once again retreat, taking private refuge in books, music, theatre and the arts. Their next-door neighbor, Henri Fontannes, a high-ranking officer in the Peronist army, is most likely involved in secret police activity in which enemies of the state are known to "disappear." He and his wife, Angelica, share with the Bergs the geographical location of their living quarters and an ardent love for the arts. When the reality of the political situation enters the Bergs' own apartment (their maid's brother is in hiding there), they are forced to confront their ethical choices—morals and politics in place of art, and Fontannes becomes the only man who can help them.
from the 1998 review by Susan Davidson in CurtainUp, Washington DC:
Lillian Garrett-Groag -- remember the name -- has written a very interesting play. As an actor, director and producer she understands the basics of what makes a play work. As a member of the Second Generation, the sons and daughters of those who fled Europe before, during, or just after the Second World War, she understands ambivalence towards one's heritage and the inherent conflicts between those who cling to what they hold dear -- their culture, their way of life, their past. Their sense of alienation as they fail to assimilate in their new home, Buenos Aires, is palpable.
Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .