Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Don’t Forget That Day in September

By • Sep 7th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of That Day in September performed by Zemfira Stage [MP3 5:21 1.5MB].

Laura: We saw the Sunday evening performance of That Day in September performed by Zemfira Stage at the Lyceum in Alexandria Virginia.

Mike: That Day in September was written by Artie Van Why. It’s the story of his experience surviving 9/11 in New York City and how he coped with the changes that the attack brought into his life. He shares his thoughts, fears, and hopes. We are all taken back to that day in September, remembering where we were.

Laura: I wasn’t sure what to expect and when we got there and saw the two chairs with the music stands, I realized it was a staged reading, which we’ve only seen in a couple other shows. But I thought it was really well done and I thought it was a good adaptation of the story.

Mike: At times it felt like you were listening to someone reading through their journal or their diary. Some of the thoughts were very private and personal. The readings were supplemented by photographs projected on the back wall of the auditorium. That actually was fairly effective because I had never been to the World Trade Center so it was really nice to be able to see visualizations of what they were actually describing.

Laura: The two readers were Harry Kantrovich and Herb Tax. They both did very effective reading of the play. I think they each played it a little differently. One had more sadness, more hurt reliving the tragedy again. The other reader, I thought, was maybe a little more angry; a little bit more cynical. But I thought they both did a really excellent job.

Mike: At the beginning of the reading we were introduced to Artie Van Why through the readers when they would describe his educational background, his personal background. That was interesting because you kind of got a feel for his mind set and why he was in New York and that type thing. But at the same time, it would have been interesting not to know that information bcause then it could have almost become an every man description of what happened that day. I’m kind of undecided. I think it worked fine.

We met the author after the show. He was there to sign copies of his book. He told us that one theater group that performed this used eleven different readers to do the different sections of the story. They used males and females, different races, different ages. I think that would be really intriguing to see because then the story would be a little more disjointed. But there were so many different things that he did see that day, it would have been intersting. It would have been presented as what different people saw of the same event. Even though it was only one person’s view of the events of 9/11.

Laura: One thing I thought was a little distracting, but I’m not sure how it could be remedied, was the pictures that were projected were up kind of high so they blended in to the upper molding. However, I think if they had brought it down any lower then it would have cut off Harry Kantrovich’s head. I think it was good. I do wish maybe that there were a few more photographs. Not that I want to see pictures of people falling out of the World Trade Tower buildings. But more of, I guess, the people on the ground and their reactions to what’s going on.

Mike: That Day in September definitely made me remember where I was on 9/11. I was in my office about two blocks from the White House. We evacuated and I got stuck down in the Metro once they shut down the metro service that morning. I ended up walking a couple of miles between metro stations. The jet fighters and the smoke pouring out of the Pentagon I could see from where I was walking in Arlington. It does bring back those memories. It doesn’t feel like it’s been five years. Like I told Artie Van Why last night, it feels like it was just yesterday and it feels like it was a hundred years ago. This was a good show. It was a thinker. It’s going to make you think and remember what you were feeling. If you’ve had personal tragedies in your life, this will probably bring up those memories. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just be aware it could bring up some deeply held thoughts and memories.

Laura: This weekend Mike and I are actually traveling up to New York City with a theater group. We’ll see some plays. We were deciding about maybe taking a trip up to Ground Zero just to pay our respects and to remember that day five years ago.

Mike: About the theater at the Lyceum where the play reading was done. I found the room to be very cold. I was shivering throughout most of it. I’m pretty sure that was the temperature and not a reaction to the content of the show. You might want to bring a sweater.

Laura: That Day in September is playing Fridays and Sundays through September 17th at the Lyceum in Alexandria Virginia.

Mike: There will be a special Monday 9/11 performance on Monday the 11th at 8 PM at the Lyceum.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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