Family dynamics are usually a big part of Daniel Marguiles’ work, and while that often results in some pretty uncomfortable and daunting — as well as entertaining — interactions, in drama there’s always a bit of comedy.
That appears to be the case in “Long Lost,” Marguiles’ 2015 play staged by the Curtain Call Theater and which opens Thursday night (April 21) at 7:30 p.m.
“People aren’t going to walk out of the theater laughing hysterically, and that’s not the point of the show,” said Ryan Fuchs, who plays a young man somewhat estranged from his family. “But there are times that people can relate to, and there’s comedy in some of those times. It’s drama, but in any type of family situation, you’re going to have comedy.
The story centers on a long-awaited reunion between two brothers. Kris Anderson, Maryhelen Lounello and David Nathanielsz join Fuchs on stage. Curtain Call Founder and Artistic Director Carol Max directs the show. Marguiles won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his 2000 play, “Dinner with Friends,” while two of his other works, “Sight Unseen” and “Collected Stories” were Pulitzer finalists. When he’s not writing plays, Marguiles is an assistant professor at Yale where he teaches English and theater and performance studies.
Fuchs was familiar with some of Marguiles’ works, but not “Long Lost”.
“I never saw the play, but someone sent me the script and encouraged me to show up for the audition,” Fuchs said. “I read the script and found it interesting, even though the characters aren’t exactly very likable. But these are characters that people can relate to and relate to. That’s what made the show interesting to me, the realism about it, and despite the fact that people aren’t super friendly, his work has quite a reputation, so I went ahead and auditioned.
Max echoed Fuchs’ synthesis of Marguiles’ work.
“It really captures the family relationships that speak to the audience,” said Max, who also directed “Dinner With Friends” at Curtain Call in 2017. “There’s a bit of my own family in this piece, so I was drawn to the direction. It’s a quality play by a quality playwright. People will recognize the issues and themes that so many of us understand.
Originally from Washington, Fuchs is a relative newcomer to the Capital Region. Most recently, he performed at the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany in “Fly,” earlier this year, and in October 2021, he was onstage at the Schenectady Light Opera Company stage in “Ordinary Days.”
“I moved to the capital region in 2018 and was about to get involved in some theater projects and the pandemic hit,” said Fuchs, who studied music at the University of Georgetown. “I had created my own start-up based in Cleveland, doing market research technology, and we all work remotely. I had taken a little break from the performing arts to focus a little on my career. Now that I’ve started my own business and working remotely, I have some flexibility and was looking forward to getting back into the groove of things on stage.
Working at Curtain Call with Max as director is a whole new experience for Fuchs.
“It’s always interesting to work with a new director because you don’t really know what to expect,” said Fuchs. “You have to learn their style, and I really appreciate Carol because she has a clear vision for the show. You can tell she spent a lot of time with the script. We’ll be at rehearsal and she’ll be like, ‘ I was reading the script last night,” and it happened several times.
“She pushes us to think more about the inner life of our character,” Fuchs added. “We can look at the different angles we can take to play them, and that’s been very successful.”
The other Fuchs cast members were also new to him.
“Working with all the theater companies I’ve had so far, I know it’s a relatively small community and most people are connected to someone in some way” , Fuchs said. “But this is my first time working with this cast, and it’s been a joy working with them. I’m having fun.”
Fuchs’ character is Jeremy, a student at Brown University who loves his wealthy family and the benefits that come with it. Nathanielsz plays his father David, a successful Wall Street consultant, and Lounello is his wife Molly, an enthusiastic philanthropist. Anderson plays Billy, the older brother and somewhat of a nonconformist who was often at odds with his father.
The set was designed by Andy Nice, while Beth Ruman is the costume designer.
WHERE: Curtain Call Theatre, 1 Jeanne Jugan Lane, Latham
WHEN: Opens today and ends May 15; show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $30
MORE INFO: Visit www.curtaincalltheatre.com or call (518) 877-7529
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts