A savagely devilish WITCH opened this weekend at Geffen Playhouse. Jen Silverman’s new play weaves the tale of a darkly-clad stranger named Scratch, basically an emissary of the devil himself, who is keen on racking up his sales quota with the souls of local townsfolk in the village of Edmonton. The time period is “Then-ish, but equally of our moment”, with the cast dressed in a somewhat early colonial style of dress yet using contemporary vernacular.
Scratch, an irresistible Evan Jonigkeit deliciously devouring the role, cajoles each of the main characters into selling him their soul in exchange for their deepest, darkest desire. We meet the people of the castle; a wealthy duke of sorts, Sir Arthur Banks, who is eager to see his son, Cuddy, carry on his legacy. However, Cuddy is not interested and all he wants to do is dance. His nemesis, and also his obsession, is the interloper Frank Thorney, a young man down on his luck who has charmed his way into Sir Arthur’s good graces and who is determined to become the favored heir. Complicating matters is the housemaid, Winnifred, who is actually secretly married to Frank.
On the edge of town lives a strong, intelligent woman that the townsfolk have labeled a witch. After making deals with both Frank and Cuddy, basically for each other’s destruction, Scratch sets his sights on Elizabeth Sawyer, the witch. She proves a tough nut to crack and Scratch embarks on his own journey of self discovery as Elizabeth makes him think in ways he’s never considered. The characters go on a wild ride, careening into a dramatic conclusion that none of them expect, bringing to mind the old saying “be careful what you wish for.”
Witch is thought provoking and wickedly funny with masterful performances from a terrific cast including a beguiling Maura Tierney as Elizabeth, the dashing Ruy Iskandar as Frank, Will Von Vogt, who turns in an impassioned performance as the conflicted Cuddy, and rounded out by the delightfully sassy Vella Lovell as the put upon Winnifred and Brian George brings a sweet melancholy and parental ineptitude to Sir Arthur Banks.
Witch runs at Geffen Playhouse August 29 – September 29, 2019
Monday No performance
Tuesday – Friday 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tickets currently priced at $30.00 – $120.00. Available in person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.
Rush tickets for each day’s performance are made available to the general public 30 minutes before showtime at the box office. $35.00 General / $10.00 Student
Through a variety of events and other opportunities, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes college students to experience the live storytelling presented on our stages. We are proud of our association with UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, and open our doors to all college students throughout Los Angeles. More information is available at www.geffenplayhouse.org/college.