As the world around us continues to change and spin in directions of possible upheaval; the world of the arts holds firm and does what it has always done best it holds a mirror up to ourselves and our past. Final Analysis now playing at Pershing Square Signature Center, shows us Vienna on the verge of a world at war, touching on core issues of beauty, love, death and hatred.
FINAL ANALYSIS is written by Otho Eskins and directed by Ludovica Villar. Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna -- the crossroads of civilization -- a major confluence of art, music, science and politics. But, festering beneath the façade of frivolity and joy, the city is rotting at its core, sickened by moral corruption, obsessed with death, and ravaged by a growing hatred of the Jews.
Against this background – we find our narrator, a waiter (Stephen Bradbury) who sees and knows everything going on above and below the surface of Vienna; Gustav Mahler (Ezra Barnes), the great composer and conductor, falls in love with the talented, tempestuous Alma Schindler (Elizabeth Jasicki); Joseph Stalin (Tony Naumovski) meets a dangerous young man (Ryan Garbayo) over a game of chess; Ludwig Wittgenstein (Michael Satow), destined to become a dominant force in world philosophy, runs into an old schoolmate with unpleasant consequences, and in the midst of this, Sigmund Freud (Gannon McHale) faces what he has always denied -- the essential evil nature of man. Is hate love's dark companion?
There will be series of talk backs after selected Wednesday night performances of Final Analysis. Within each discussion, there will be an exploration of hate and love - looking at connections between these two strong emotions then and now – discussing the rise of intolerance and the clear demarcation between rich and poor – the erosion of the middle class and strong divisions in government…..and asking the questions Are all of these warning signs alerting us to change course? If so what stops us from taking the actions needed to avoid calamity?
September 11th - Explore the hatefulness of man
On the 12th Anniversary of one of the darkest moments in our recent history, this discussion will focus on acts of madness. In the play we see madness it in the young man whose hate is fueling his actions. In the hate displayed through anti-Semitic hate speech. On 9/11 we saw the outcome of hateful actions. Is the madness and hate of the young misfit fueled by his feeling of being an outsider and was that the driving force that darkened our city on that fateful day?
September 25th - A Focus on Freud
On September 23rd, the father of modern psychoanalysis committed suicide while living in England. But what was life like for those intellectuals, like Freud, who found themselves at odds in a hot bed of intolerance. Where are the voices of reason – the great minds and great thinkers to help us diffuse the current climate of intolerance that we see in action in our very own government.
Final Analysis was honored with 7 awards at the Thirteenth Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards ceremony on November 11th, 2012. The production garnered an unprecedented 13 nominations, which represented the MOST ever for one production.
Final Analysis launched and ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign on May 21st through June 20th. With 369 backers donating over $50,000 which allowed them to move their 2012 award winning Midtown Theatre Festival production off Broadway to Pershing Square Signature Center.
Performed in repertory at the same theater with “Breakfast with Mugabe.”
Talk Back Series Topics
Wednesday, September 11 – Is Man Inherently Evil? – in respect of 9/11.
Wednesday, September 25 – Focus on Freud
Sun, September 15 & 29 at 2 pm
Tues, September 17 at 7:30 pm
Wed, September 11 & 25 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Thurs, September 19 at 7:30 pm
Fri, September 13 & 27 at 7:30 pm
Sat, September 21 at 2:30 pm & 8 pm
Tues, October 1 at 7:30 pm
Thurs, October 3 at 7:30 pm
Sat, October 5 at 2 pm & 8 pm
Pershing Square Signature Center
Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
480 West 42nd Street
(between 10th & 11th Avenues)
New York, NY10036
Photos by John Quilty