NYTG at the Official Opening of Saint Joan on Broadway
New York Theatre Guide attends Opening Night of Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway revival of Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, starring Condola Rashad, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Last night New York Theatre Guide was invited to the official opening of Manhattan Theatre Club's latest revival of a theatrical classic. George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan originally premiered in 1923 on the Great White Way and this production marks its eighth Broadway revival (and the first in 25 years). Leading the cast is a young lady that has already forged quite the storied Broadway career so far. Three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad wowed audiences and critics alike with her performance as Emmy in the Broadway premiere of Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 last season and now takes on the iconic role of Joan of Arc in this rich and sumptuous revival at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Alongside her Tony-nominated performance as Emmy, she also received nominations for her Broadway debut in 2012 and for her portrayal of Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful in 2013, and also found time to star alongside Orlando Bloom in the 2013 Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet. We'd certainly be surprised not to hear her name called out (again) when the nominations for The 72nd Annual Tony Awards are announced next week...
We caught up with Ms. Rashad at the official afterparty of Saint Joan at Copacabana to bask a little while in the glory of yet another acclaimed Broadway outing. In a time when the Time's Up movement and #MeToo campaigns are dominating headlines in the media, it feels quite a timely decision to revive a play with a powerful, central female character, who was ultimately martyred by supressive male regimes: "When is a better time to tell a story of a powerful woman who was so connected to her own self?" Ms. Rashad asks rhetorically.
When it came to tackling Joan, she knew the importance of doing her homework in order to deliver a knockout performance: "I knew about her in general, but when I found out I was doing this play, I went and did about a month and a half of research on my own. I actually put the play aside and researched Joan as if I was doing a thesis on her and what I learned was absolutely amazing. I think most people don’t know the whole story of Joan and even in the play, there are bits and pieces that a lot of people won’t know about. But even beyond the play, there is a history there that we don’t really talk about."
And if you're curious to find out those bits and pieces about this remarkable, historical figure, then may I take this opportunity to encourage you to head on down to Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway home for this classy revival...
Until then, enjoy our photos from last night's festivities.
Saint Joan Tickets are available now for performances through to June 10, 2018.
(Photos by Tom Millward)