The Bright Side of the 'Moon': 'Glimpses of the Moon,' at MetroStage

 

By Ryan Little

September 15, 2010

 

Sometimes, the best way to go forward is to look back. At least, that's what director and choreographer David Marquez is hoping with the MetroStage debut of "Glimpses of the Moon." The play is a new work based on Edith Wharton's novel, and aside from a short run at the Algonquin Hotel in New York two years ago, this is its first proper stage performance.

 

The Jazz Age musical capitalizes on 1920s nostalgia and a healthy respect for the Golden Age of Broadway. "In a day of Shakira, I think people are trying to be evocative of old things, and everything old is new again," Marquez said.

 

It's an era most of us didn't get a chance to live through, but that doesn't mean it's not enchanting. And it wouldn't be the first time a flapper-fest struck a modern chord.

 

"I think 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' has a life," he said. "The movie wasn't very successful, but the musical gave that world an afterlife. I know a lot of young people are familiar with 'Millie,' so I think there's an energy about it, and it certainly appeals to me. It's a significant period in our history, and I think it's very colorful."

 

Tajlei Levis rewrote Wharton's work for the stage, John Mercurio crafted the tunes, and both harbor a deep respect for the classics. "The authors are really traditional musical theater people that are also smart and progressive the way that they approach their material," Marquez said. "It hearkens back to the Golden Age of musicals, but at the same time I think it speaks to a modern ear."