Kenneth’s Waverly Gallery : A Theatre Review

 The Broadway witnesses the comedy icon, Elaine May return almost after half a century to star in Kenneth Lonergan’s “memory play.” His play ‘The Waverly Gallery’ is a play which has the central theme that an old lady is slowly being eaten up by Alzheimer disease.

Kenneth Lonergan’s play, The Waverly Gallery is inspired by his grandmother. The plot of the story revolves around a grandson watching his grandmother die due to Alzheimer, a disease which is slow initially but destroys the brain ultimately. It is a chronic disease in which the patient finds it difficult to remember recent things. The patient often withdraws from society and family as the Condition worsens.

Queen Elias  May was, 86 years old was last seen on Broadway in a comic film with Mike Nichols. Although she is known for her comedy roles, she managed to play a serious and critical role in Lonnergan’s, The Waverly gallery, where her mind was deteriorating faster than her body.

Awards and Nominations

The Waverly Gallery was the finalist for Pulitzer prize of drama in 2001. In 2000, it had won the best play award for outstanding actress. Between 1998 – 2001 it also won Obie award, Lucille Lortel award distinguished performance award. Most of these were for the outstanding role of Heckart.

Eliane Mary has played an outstanding role in the entire play which won her innumerable fans and awards. The play depicts, “Life trauma has an inherent pathos.” Lonnergan’s comedic potential is no less, Yet he directed a play with delicacy and sensitiveness.

Starts and Co-Stars of The Waverly gallery:-

The lead role of the old lady is played by Eliane May. Co-starring with her is Lucas Hedge, John Allen, and Michael Cera

The Waverly Gallery Plot Review

Those who have seen their parents or grandparents aging could easily relate to the play. The play shows how a family is affected when one individual is losing his/her grip. In Waverly gallery, the trauma of the family is shown. Eliane, slowly going into the worst stage of her life where she doesn’t even remember who her family is. The play depicts how a family stays together and struggles together through the evening.

It is a family drama, exceptionally well executed by Lonergan. The role of the grandson is played Lucas Hedge and he is introduced in the play in a scene where he is seen arguing with his grandmother, the old lady and closes it in a monologue where memorializes her. The plot is a speech of piercing simplicity and emotional candor.

Lonergan displays how a family struggles and how helpless they are to see the poor old lady slowly dying and do nothing. The Waverly gallery, as the name suggests is not a drama but a portrait of real life where aging carries away everything.

There is a scene where the grandson breaks a wall to meet her grandmother, this scene broke the silence of the audience, everyone applauded. The play is both practical and lively and is the humor as well is balanced very well.

The Waverly Gallery: A Sensational Review

The story gives a chance to clarify and focus our empathy, distilling our best human for listening and compassion.

The Waverly Gallery is an affecting play but not a revelatory one. It teaches us all things from charity to flossing. The actual motive of the whole play was to see the world in a grain of sand.

The Waverly Gallery is depicted at the John Golden Theatre, New York.

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Trey Warsame

About the Author: Trey Warsame