Engaging Shaw

Critics

LemonMeter

94 %

Reviews: 9

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Thu Aug 22, 12:00am

England, 1897. Charlotte Payne-Townshend, wealthy Irish heiress, meets George Bernard Shaw, the financially challenged but famous Irish playwright and political activist (He's a Fabian Socialist). Will sparks fly? Shaw is a notorious flirt and heartbreaker. He enjoys romancing women, though not particularly interested in sex. The thrill of the hunt is the main attraction for Shaw: the pursuit of women, not the keeping of them. In present-day parlance, he'd be considered a sexist. But Charlotte is not quite like any other woman that Shaw has met before. She is a woman that he must consider to be his intellectual peer. They thrive in each other's company, but can he resist her when she wants to take their relationship to the next level? “No man can resist a woman once she has set her sights on him, unless thwarted by another woman,” declares Charlotte. But Beatrice Webb, co-founder of the London School of Economics, who introduced the pair, also has strong feelings for Shaw. Will Charlotte get her man?

Reviews

Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Melanie MacQueen has done an excellent job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, all the while chuckling up a storm. The talented cast never misses a beat – or a quip – as the narrative unfolds."

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Mags - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed by Melanie MacQueen, ENGAGING SHAW is indeed engaging! It's a romantic comedy for thinking folks."

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Offline - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Melanie MacQueen has done an excellent job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, all the while chuckling up a storm. The talented cast never misses a beat – or a quip – as the narrative unfolds. As always, Jeff G. Rack's set, Ric Zimmerman's lighting, Joseph Slawinski”s sound, and Michele Young's costumes set just the right atmosphere for this merry tale."

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Mags - ...read full review


Avatar
"Nevertheless, while Engaging Shaw may not be as dramatically and intellectually engaging as Tramp was, it is indeed well-acted. ... Melanie MacQueen ably directs her ensemble and the set and costume designers – respectively, Jeff G. Rack and Michele Young – realistically conjure up Victorian England towards the end of the 19th century."

sweet-sour - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"What makes this play so much fun to experience is the skill of its actors, dressed in historic perfection by Michèle Young, as they circle each other amid intellectual debates around Jeff G Rack's realistic set. Review: ENGAGING SHAW Poses Very Modern Questions on the Battle of the Sexes in 19th Century EnglandTea is poured and ceremoniously handed off in dainty cups, all the while knowing it might be more appropriate to toss it in the face of such a cad as Shaw, portrayed by Grinnell Morris to the hilt as someone so brilliant and well-mannered it would be difficult not to enjoy engaging with him on topics of the day. Charlotte, portrayed beautifully by Jennifer Lynn Davis as a curvy and personally insecure spinster hoping to finally meet and marry a man she considers her equal intellectually, suffers great bouts of heartbreak before learning to stand on her own two feet and live the type of life travelling the world Shaw would certainly enjoy if he could afford to do so. It was a real treat for me, as I am sure it was for most women in the audience, to watch Shaw fall apart on so many levels during Charlotte's absence."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"But Charlotte is not quite like other women whom Shaw has encountered. She recognizes before he does that the unique bond they share is that of two freethinkers who can yet love, help and appreciate one another to mutual advantage. She aspires to marriage not so much as a sexual arrangement but as domesticity and companionship. Melanie MacQueen directs this farrago of epigrammatic wit and ricocheting ideas with well-timed aplomb. Indeed, Morogiello's version of these two later-in-life Irish lovers is itself very much in the Shavian mode. He expects his audience to follow along as four sharp minds joust and parry without surcease. If the Webbs are more emotionally transparent than their playwriting comrade, they are nevertheless both intellectual and happy. With Shaw we see a Nietzschean superiority of intellect that would become tiresome if he were not so damned witty and polished all the time. Perhaps the best way to deal with him is to let him have things his way, but without enabling his anti-social, anti-marriage impulses. Left to stew in his own juices, he might come around to some accommodation that both parties can live with. A bit talky in patches, like some of the title subject's stage works, Engaging Shaw is generally a playful mental exercise that turns over some of the most established rules of society and asks that we “engage” with their less pretty underside. It's not as if these aren't still relevant questions."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"A century before the egomaniacal prevaricator took over the White House and tried to convince the world of his unique brilliance, there was an Irish intellectual who actually accomplished the things he set out to do and was not shy about acknowledging it. By the time he died in 1950 at the age of 94 he had written more than 60 plays, produced a multitude of tracts and essays to express his opinions, and was an influential political activist in Britain. That man was George Bernard Shaw. What playwright John Morogiello focuses on instead is the "true story" of Shaw's "capture" by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a 40-year-old virgin who is not overwhelmed by Shaw's celebrity and treats him as an equal, an attitude which he hasn't encountered in a woman before."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Melanie MacQueen has done an excellent job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, all the while chuckling up a storm. The talented cast never misses a beat – or a quip – as the narrative unfolds."

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Mags - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed by Melanie MacQueen, ENGAGING SHAW is indeed engaging! It's a romantic comedy for thinking folks."

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Offline - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Melanie MacQueen has done an excellent job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, all the while chuckling up a storm. The talented cast never misses a beat – or a quip – as the narrative unfolds. As always, Jeff G. Rack's set, Ric Zimmerman's lighting, Joseph Slawinski”s sound, and Michele Young's costumes set just the right atmosphere for this merry tale."

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Mags - ...read full review


Avatar
"Nevertheless, while Engaging Shaw may not be as dramatically and intellectually engaging as Tramp was, it is indeed well-acted. ... Melanie MacQueen ably directs her ensemble and the set and costume designers – respectively, Jeff G. Rack and Michele Young – realistically conjure up Victorian England towards the end of the 19th century."

sweet-sour - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"What makes this play so much fun to experience is the skill of its actors, dressed in historic perfection by Michèle Young, as they circle each other amid intellectual debates around Jeff G Rack's realistic set. Review: ENGAGING SHAW Poses Very Modern Questions on the Battle of the Sexes in 19th Century EnglandTea is poured and ceremoniously handed off in dainty cups, all the while knowing it might be more appropriate to toss it in the face of such a cad as Shaw, portrayed by Grinnell Morris to the hilt as someone so brilliant and well-mannered it would be difficult not to enjoy engaging with him on topics of the day. Charlotte, portrayed beautifully by Jennifer Lynn Davis as a curvy and personally insecure spinster hoping to finally meet and marry a man she considers her equal intellectually, suffers great bouts of heartbreak before learning to stand on her own two feet and live the type of life travelling the world Shaw would certainly enjoy if he could afford to do so. It was a real treat for me, as I am sure it was for most women in the audience, to watch Shaw fall apart on so many levels during Charlotte's absence."

sweet - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"But Charlotte is not quite like other women whom Shaw has encountered. She recognizes before he does that the unique bond they share is that of two freethinkers who can yet love, help and appreciate one another to mutual advantage. She aspires to marriage not so much as a sexual arrangement but as domesticity and companionship. Melanie MacQueen directs this farrago of epigrammatic wit and ricocheting ideas with well-timed aplomb. Indeed, Morogiello's version of these two later-in-life Irish lovers is itself very much in the Shavian mode. He expects his audience to follow along as four sharp minds joust and parry without surcease. If the Webbs are more emotionally transparent than their playwriting comrade, they are nevertheless both intellectual and happy. With Shaw we see a Nietzschean superiority of intellect that would become tiresome if he were not so damned witty and polished all the time. Perhaps the best way to deal with him is to let him have things his way, but without enabling his anti-social, anti-marriage impulses. Left to stew in his own juices, he might come around to some accommodation that both parties can live with. A bit talky in patches, like some of the title subject's stage works, Engaging Shaw is generally a playful mental exercise that turns over some of the most established rules of society and asks that we “engage” with their less pretty underside. It's not as if these aren't still relevant questions."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review