“Our Lady of 121st Street”

post by Carly Novek

This afternoon I went along with a friend to see our friend Alex Stanislawski, who plays the part of Balthazar, perform. Not only had i promised him that I would go, but I also knew I wanted to write about it.

During the fall semester, I did not have a chance to see the final rendition of “The Pillowman,” but had a great opportunity to see it in rehearsal form. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into “Our Lady of 121st Street,” but was very pleasantly surprised. The play had a lot of life to it. The set itself was dynamic, bright, and very realistic with its props that really enhanced the show over all. The lighting set the moods for the dialogue and acting occurring, and, i guess being the visual person that i am, was that more enticed by the stage collectively. 

The acting itself was also great. The students had seemed to truly transform into their characters and evoke emotions and actions that I don’t think i can imagine conveying in a performance-situation. (that is also why i am not the one on stage) The accents, the small gestures, and way of expressing themselves made it all so believable. (even my friend has asked me if i thought the actors were, to a degree, like their characters in real life…)

In terms of the show itself, i personally loved it. It was a perfect combination of humor and drama. There were lines that made you laugh, moments that made you want to cry, and intense moments that kept you on the edge of your seat. You never really knew who would pop onto the stage next, or then what would come out of their mouths. I loved how everything aligned and all ultimately fit together in regards to the plot and how it truly showed how both in the play, and in a community in “real life” everyone is interconnected. People have a common bond, and in moments, such as in the play being the passing of Sister Rose, people come together in ways they may not have otherwise. I don’t know if this is the actual point of the play, but i think it speaks to the Lehigh community with much of the occurrences that have gone on so far this year. I also think this is definitely a show that students would enjoy, perhaps in comparison to something that is much darker or more “niche-y.” It might just be because I love the movie, but the feeling of the plot and dialogue reminded me a lot of Pulp Fiction. (but that could just be me)

The play is not back on until Wednesday night, but I highly recommend it. Not only was it enjoyable to watch, but it would support the theater community and arts here at Lehigh. i know how hard everyone in the cast and crew works, and not only did their hard work certainly pay off, but should be acknowledged.