LETTERS FROM MAX
March 11, 2023
The gentle, poetic Letters From Max will undo you. Completely uplifting and life-affirming, this dramatic love song digs deep into the recesses of your mind, delicately persuading you to curve into the frailty and inevitability of mortality.
Written by Sarah Ruhl (based on a book by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo) and seamlessly directed by Kate Whoriskey, Letters From Max produces an exquisite symbiotic chemistry between Max (Ben Edelman) and Sarah (Jessica Hecht). Once a student of hers, Max becomes Sarah's guide. An unfettered set by Marsha Ginsberg, establishes place and time basically with a simple desk, chair and chemo lounge chair.
Between writing poetry for publication and falling in love, Max shifts in and out of one chemo bed after another, one protocol after another, but the gem-like letters exchanged with Sarah remain the one constant. Through Whoriskey's sensitive direction, the tender epistles matter-of-factly read aloud, shift lyrically between one another.
Years fill with picturesque autobiographical anecdotes and updates on families. Not much happens action-wise, but a universe shifts and reveals the beauty of love, of hope, and truth at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY - Celia Ipiotis