A Day by the Sea

website-poster-1-333x500One of the joys of living in New York is discovering theatrical jewels. A couple of years ago we happened upon such a jewel, the tiny Mint Theater Company, It was then was presenting “London Wall,” a terrific revival of the 1931 play by the immensely talented but long forgotten John Van Druten (“I Am a Camera,” “Voice of the Turtle”).

The Mint’s mission is “to find and produce worthwhile plays from the past that have been lost or forgotten.” The current offering is “A Day by the Sea,” written by the once prominent British playwright, N. C. Hunter. At its opening in London in 1953, it was a hit, starring Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud and Irene Worth. But then theater changed in London. The Angry Young Men ascended, and N. C. Cooper faded away.

We enjoyed “A Day by the Sea” enormously. Wonderful ensemble acting, direction by Austin Pendleton and Cooper’s drama of middle-age crisis – they kept us engaged (and not even peeking at our watch) during the three acts, two intermissions and three hours. Not that we always agree, but we did here with the WSJ’s Terry Teachout who called it “A masterpiece reclaimed.”

It’s been extended twice, but now is scheduled to close Oct. 30. Playing at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St (between 9th and 10th Ave).

Ben Rosen

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