Restoration – Theater Review
In 2004, for the 500th anniversary of his creation, one woman restored Michelangelo’s David, known the world over as “L´uomo più bello nel mondo” — the most beautiful man in the world. Inspired by this task, this is a play about a responsibility most extraordinary, a love story most unexpected.
Restoration is down at the New York Theater Workshop near the Bowery. It stars Claudia Shear who you may remember from Blown Sideways Through Life. Also starring are Natalia Nogulich, Alan Mandell, Jonathan Take, and Tina Benko. All of whom are very good. Claudia Shear is probably the name that you are going to recognize most obviously, but the rest of the cast is equally good. Claudia also wrote the play. Claudia plays kind of a little frumpy woman who has fallen on hard times. Her old mentor, her professor, gets her a job at the Uffizi in Florence to restore Michangelo’s David. We see her working on various parts of the David throughout the play and she and the guard in the museum strike up a friendship. He is very literate and very handsome. She is more frumpy and withdrawn and focused more on the statue. She seems to be able to deal better with marble than people. Better marble than the masses. This is a play that is really terrific. It sneaks up on you and it is about everything. It is about life and love and loneliness and redemption and restoring — restoring life, restoring beauty, and understanding what to take away and what to leave in place. What belongs here and what doesn’t. It is really a brilliant piece of work. I liked her as a basically one woman show. I also think she is a much better playwright that she is actor, but the rest of the cast are terrific actors, so you don’t really care and she has her personality. This is a really wonderful experience and I encourage you to go see it. Four a half stars.