The West Coast premiere of Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfenig.
translated by David Tushingham
Oct. 19 — Nov. 25, 2018
Q & A with the director and cast, Sunday November 11th, following the 4:00pm performance.
For a long time the far right hid in the shadows. Now it no longer needs to. This witty, incisive and ultimately chilling new new play looks at the seductive re-emergence of fascism from the German perspective — a perspective few can share with such dread.
Five people gather on Christmas Eve in a bourgeois, intellectual household. Albert, a writer, is engaged in a ferocious spat with his wife Bettina, a film-maker, over the arrival of her mother, Corinna. But it is Corinna who sparks the dramatic crisis by inviting a man she met on the train, Rudolph, to stay with the family. Rudolph is urbane, civilized, and polite—the essence of cosmopolitan charm. He entertains everyone by playing Chopin and Bach on the piano, but when he reveals that he is a doctor with Paraguayan connections, we realize that he is the silken embodiment of a Nazi past Germany has long thought buried.
The West Coast premiere of this transfixing, razor-sharp new comedy from acclaimed German playwright Roland Schimmelpfenig powerfully demonstrates the unnerving logic of the new right and the seeming impotence of liberalism to combat it. Highly cinematic in style, naturalistic and surrealistic by turns, the play exerts the same hypnotic spell as its menacing visitor—an insidiousness that makes him, in Schimmelpfennig’s eyes, a lethal threat.
“As choreographed by director Frederique Michel, it succeeds, adding not only a lot of dark humor but a mounting suspense….cool, acerbic humor….a familiar, chilling ideology. How is it that fascism, so easy to dismiss in theory, leaves its opponents so helpless when it knocks on the door, smiling and cultured and reasonable? It’s a question we’ve all had plenty of opportunities recently to ask, and fail to answer, and it lends a gripping urgency to this well performed dark comedy.”
— Read Margaret Gray’s full review at LA Times
“A subtle political allegory….Superb acting….Frederique Michel’s clockwork-like direction of Schimmelpfennig’s tricky, provocative play and Charles Duncombe’s atmospheric stage design also deserve the highest praise possible.” — Read Will Manus’s full review at Total Theater.
“To be topical, yet subtle. Intensely focused on an issue yet without preaching. On top of that, to achieve the surface below which boils and dances currents of dangerous passions–doubt, loneliness, love, hate, guilt, lust, horror, fear.” — Read Zahir Blue’s full review at Night Tinted Glasses
“Why this?: …City Garage specializes in provocative, challenging material that would rarely be attempted elsewhere in L.A. … the company’s typically artful design sensibility [is] well-suited to the play’s sharp pivots between naturalistic dialogue and surreal narration.” — Read the full preview at the LA Times!
“The timing is perfect…. The idea that we show hospitality to our destroyers is as old as drama itself…. Schimmelpfennig, in portraying the failure of liberal intellectuals to confront the hideous legacy of the past, has written a potent play for today.” —The Guardian
“A rare and delightful play… the family drama, richly comic, accurately skewers a wide spectrum of human behavior… Schimmelpfennig’s ominous underlying message [is] Who – or what – has taken up residence in our lives without our really noticing?” —The Evening Standard
Join us for a special preview with complimentary champagne, Friday October 19, or for the opening night gala, Saturday, October 20 with buffet.
A 1940s Christmas at Club Sweet Lorraine’s
Join us at a Christmas Eve after-hours 1940s nightclub where celebrity guests Billy Eckstine, Eartha Kitt, Marlene Dietrich, Peggy Lee, Dorothy Dandridge, the Mills Brithers, and many more are coming to celebrate Christmas Eve and Sweetie’s second year as owner of Club Sweet Lorraine’s. Come sing Christmas songs with the stars in Sharon L. Graine’s nostalgic 1940s cabaret musical. One day only! December 9th at 3:0pm and 7:00pm.