THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES
THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES is produced by Pearl Theater Company (J.R. Sullivan,Artistic Director)
THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES, a Pulitzer and Tony award winner, produced in 1964 a revival by the excellent Pearl Theater Company still holds because the conflicts and confusions of family relationships and the sense of possession by the parents of their children, an only son in this case has never gone out of fashion, neither the love nor the struggle in a universal family drama.
This is a conflict not only in an American family but all families. The children dying to get noticed by both parents and parents individually exercising more authority in the name of love over the kids and thus the bickering and complaining and fighting begins and unfortunately never ever ends especially in this play.
The reasons of bickering between two parents in The subject was roses is not however very clear. Is this a routine bickering between a husband and wife or is there a deep dark secret
of animosity which is oozing out in profusion from the wife especially towards the husband which I hoped will be clarified by the end but actually there was nothing concrete to be mentioned except that the family fought for the sake of fighting perhaps depicting the life of an Irish family where none of the members want to reconcile their inherent differences of personality depicting perhaps of a wrong match between two people thus empahsising the delicate title of the play, The subject of roses which is by far a beautifully romantic title of a very un-romantic relationship.
The subject was roses is about a family, Cleary family, mother, father and a son named Timmy who just returned from the war. Its set in the Bronx in 1946. The whole decore is very 1946.
It can be called a kitchen sink drama, nicely put together and must have been very timely when it was written but seems a bit dated though the production achieves perfection in acting and directing.
I found the father,John (Dan Daily) more interesting a charcter than the mother,Nettie (Carol Schultz) because the cause her conflict and hatred for her husband wasn't clear. I guess she did not like her husband's lack of sensitivity and tenderness which she experienced by her own father who always send her roses on her birthdays. The son tries very hard to patch things up between the two of them even asking for the father to bring roses for her which she does appreciate but only for a short while and is jealous of the son's affection for the father.
The actors did a stunning job and I liked the direction by Amy Wright also but I had a little confusion about the script.
However its extremely admirable of Pearl theater company to always revive the classics.
This company is brave and bold and almost the only one in NY to do that. For this very reason they need to be congratulated because they always do a good job.
REVIEWED BY BINA SHARIF OF ARTSINTERNATIONAL.COM