Never Is Now

Critics

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95 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

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Reviews: 0

"Top Ten - Recommended” - Stage Raw

The past is prologue. What happens when people from diverse backgrounds experience the firsthand accounts of ten survivors who were labeled "undesirable" and thrust into Hitler’s systematic genocide? Playwright Wendy Kout disturbingly links then and now so that we may understand what breaks us apart and embrace what bonds us together. NEVER IS NOW is just the beginning of the conversation.

Never is Now was adapted from Survivors by Wendy Kout, commissioned, developed and produced by the CenterStage Theatre at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester, Ralph Meranto, Artistic Director.

“I am ever inspired by our capacity to change… our world, our country, and ourselves. ‘Never is Now’explores the perilous past through the prism of our perilous present as a warning for our future,” says Wendy Kout

Wendy Kout is an award-wining writer and producer. Stage credits include We Are the Levinsons, which made its world premiere at Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, and won Broadway World Regional awards for BEST PLAY and BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY. Film credits include Dorfman in Love, produced by Leonard Hill Films and starring Elliott Gould, Sara Rue and Haaz Sleiman. Television credits include Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the hit ABC series, Anything But Love, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis. Wendy is also a proud member of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre and on the Honorary Board for the Boston Jewish Film Festival.

Directed by Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera. The cast stars Evie Abat, Adam Foster Ballard, Eliza Blair, Michael Kaczkowski, Joey Millin, Sarah Tubert.

The creative team includes Luis Mateo (Scenic Design), Mylette Nora (Costume Design), Caroline Andrews (Lighting Design), Christopher Moscatiello (Sound Design), Producers Gary Grossman and Michael Kearns, Associate Producer Wendy Hammers. 

Skylight Theatre Companywas honored to have their multi-award winning production of Rotterdamat Center Theatre Group’s 2019 Block Partyat the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The production won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award in 2018 for Best Production. Additional LADCC awards for Rotterdaminclude Writing and Lead Actress. It also received top honors at the 2018 Stage Raw Awards, winning Production of the Yearand Leading Actress awards. Recognized as a “powerhouse of new play developmentby Dramatist Magazine, this year Skylight presented their first full-length original musical Bronco Billy - The Musicalgarnering nine Stage Raw Award nominations. Many of Skylight’s World Premieres have gone on to be performed nationally and internationally: Church & Stateopened Off Broadway in 2017, has had 42 productions with 13 more scheduled; Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea(a co-production with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) received the prestigious Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Citation and multiple productions. Skylight’s resident writers have enjoyed productions nationwide, received the esteemed USA Ford Fellowship in Theater and Performance (Sigrid Gilmer), and a Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize (Louisa Hill, – Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers). Skylight’s resident-writers program is helmed bythe Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award nominated playwright, Lee Blessing.

Skylight continues their popular ‘Beyond Conversation’series for audiences that want more from their theatergoing experience. The weekly post-Sunday matinee guest panel discussions allow audiences to gain deeper insights into the contemporary themes of the play and chat informally community leaders. Schedule will be posted on Skylight’s website: (www.skylighttheatre.org. Guests and discussion topics may be subject to change.

“Never Is Now” runs at 8:30pm Fridays, 4:00pm and 8:30pm Saturdays, and 2:00pm Sundays through October 27, 2019 Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets start at $20. Information and reservations: (213) 761-7061 or (866) 811-4111. Online ticketing: http://SkylightTix.org

Reviews

Avatar

Find the time this weekend and see this powerful production. After all, Never Is Now is more than just a title. Arguably, it’s a phrase that encompasses the scariest reality of the present day.

sweet - John Lavitt - The Hollywood Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Directors Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera keep the show moving, making the most of the sparse set and employing projections to powerful effect.

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps; survivors’ ranks are dwindling. Thanks to the efforts of the many who have endeavored to memorialize them, their words and lives can continue, as lessons and inspiration, for generations. Never Is Now plays a role in ensuring we will Never Forget.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue

It works due to a simple fact--these real lives harrow us, just by the sharing. Such truths lash out, making audiences wince and often weep. I certainly did. Which remains the whole point. If we let ourselves feel, then the experience of such memories shared changes us.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Originally created as a way to share the true stories of actual Holocaust survivors in schools to assure the world will never forget the human horrors of that time, the play has been expanded so we first meet the actors themselves who go on to share the survivors’ stories. Thus we learn to understand how their own lives and problems, as well as their fears about living in America now, are reflected as each transforms into various characters from across Eastern Europe who lived in fear as the unthinkable began happening all around them. This powerful new play is thought-provoking theatre at its best as Kout disturbingly asks us to consider how “Never Forget” and “Never Again” have become NEVER IS NOW as fear and apathy seem to be ruling the day.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Caroline Andrew’s scenic design is stark: only six movable square boxes serve as the entire setting. It soon becomes clear and this is a riveting story that primarily goes on inside the head – making background superfluous. In fact, the production team has probably ascribed to the axiom that “less is more.” Despite the very simple setting, however, passions run high. As each account develops, there may not be a dry eye in the theater. Despite the grim subject matter, however, author Wendy Kout never forgets that hope makes anything possible.

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


Avatar

All told this is a fascinating night of theatre directed by Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera and a take on people who operate on two levels; as people of 1930’s Germany and as actors who are portraying the present-day roles. We get the point loud and clear. Quietly beautiful and wonderfully effected, it is hard to tell where Abatemarco’s directing begins and Rivera ends.

sweet - Joe Straw - Joe Straw #9 - ...read full review


Erin Conley

There is a lot of very poignant material here, and it is well performed by the refreshingly diverse cast, but this is not the right format to properly service it. The amount of ground to cover is too ambitious for the short running time, and the themes are too heavily emphasized to the point where there is no room left for imagination or personal interpretation.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Joan Alperin

NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED
THE PHRASE “NEVER AGAIN”
Wendy Kout, the playwright of Never Is Now asks the question, “What happens when people from diverse backgrounds experience the firsthand accounts of ten survivors who were labeled ‘undesirable’ and thrust into Hitler’s systematic genocide?”
She shows us exactly what happens in a very powerful, emotional and disturbing way. It doesn’t take long before Skylight Theatre patrons realize that atrocities which happened in Germany so many years ago could very well happen in our country today, if it hasn’t already started.

sweet - Joan Alperin - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Kudos to Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera for superb direction, guiding with knowledgeable, gentle hands that allow the actors to soar and the pathos to flow.

Plain and simple, "Never is Now" is an extremely rare moment in time in which a portion of history that has been presented multiple times one way, is presented in a very unique unveiling. Go see it. Even if you are familiar with the subject matter, you will see it, hear it, feel it, in a different way. The voice is different and you will be different for seeing it.

sweet - Jeffrey Scott - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Staging by co-directors Celia Mandela Rivera and Tony Abatemarco is simple and graceful, and intelligently highlights the unique talents of each ensemble member. Additionally, projection design by Lilly Bartenstein underscores the play’s most pivotal moments and makes the past feel present. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Find the time this weekend and see this powerful production. After all, Never Is Now is more than just a title. Arguably, it’s a phrase that encompasses the scariest reality of the present day.

sweet - John Lavitt - The Hollywood Times - ...read full review


Avatar

Directors Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera keep the show moving, making the most of the sparse set and employing projections to powerful effect.

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps; survivors’ ranks are dwindling. Thanks to the efforts of the many who have endeavored to memorialize them, their words and lives can continue, as lessons and inspiration, for generations. Never Is Now plays a role in ensuring we will Never Forget.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


David MacDowell Blue

It works due to a simple fact--these real lives harrow us, just by the sharing. Such truths lash out, making audiences wince and often weep. I certainly did. Which remains the whole point. If we let ourselves feel, then the experience of such memories shared changes us.

sweet - David MacDowell Blue - Night Tinted Glasses - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Originally created as a way to share the true stories of actual Holocaust survivors in schools to assure the world will never forget the human horrors of that time, the play has been expanded so we first meet the actors themselves who go on to share the survivors’ stories. Thus we learn to understand how their own lives and problems, as well as their fears about living in America now, are reflected as each transforms into various characters from across Eastern Europe who lived in fear as the unthinkable began happening all around them. This powerful new play is thought-provoking theatre at its best as Kout disturbingly asks us to consider how “Never Forget” and “Never Again” have become NEVER IS NOW as fear and apathy seem to be ruling the day.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Caroline Andrew’s scenic design is stark: only six movable square boxes serve as the entire setting. It soon becomes clear and this is a riveting story that primarily goes on inside the head – making background superfluous. In fact, the production team has probably ascribed to the axiom that “less is more.” Despite the very simple setting, however, passions run high. As each account develops, there may not be a dry eye in the theater. Despite the grim subject matter, however, author Wendy Kout never forgets that hope makes anything possible.

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


Avatar

All told this is a fascinating night of theatre directed by Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera and a take on people who operate on two levels; as people of 1930’s Germany and as actors who are portraying the present-day roles. We get the point loud and clear. Quietly beautiful and wonderfully effected, it is hard to tell where Abatemarco’s directing begins and Rivera ends.

sweet - Joe Straw - Joe Straw #9 - ...read full review


Erin Conley

There is a lot of very poignant material here, and it is well performed by the refreshingly diverse cast, but this is not the right format to properly service it. The amount of ground to cover is too ambitious for the short running time, and the themes are too heavily emphasized to the point where there is no room left for imagination or personal interpretation.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Joan Alperin

NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED
THE PHRASE “NEVER AGAIN”
Wendy Kout, the playwright of Never Is Now asks the question, “What happens when people from diverse backgrounds experience the firsthand accounts of ten survivors who were labeled ‘undesirable’ and thrust into Hitler’s systematic genocide?”
She shows us exactly what happens in a very powerful, emotional and disturbing way. It doesn’t take long before Skylight Theatre patrons realize that atrocities which happened in Germany so many years ago could very well happen in our country today, if it hasn’t already started.

sweet - Joan Alperin - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Kudos to Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera for superb direction, guiding with knowledgeable, gentle hands that allow the actors to soar and the pathos to flow.

Plain and simple, "Never is Now" is an extremely rare moment in time in which a portion of history that has been presented multiple times one way, is presented in a very unique unveiling. Go see it. Even if you are familiar with the subject matter, you will see it, hear it, feel it, in a different way. The voice is different and you will be different for seeing it.

sweet - Jeffrey Scott - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

Staging by co-directors Celia Mandela Rivera and Tony Abatemarco is simple and graceful, and intelligently highlights the unique talents of each ensemble member. Additionally, projection design by Lilly Bartenstein underscores the play’s most pivotal moments and makes the past feel present. - RECOMMENDED

sweet - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review