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The Last New York Session for “Freud”

You had two full years…so if you missed it, it was your own fault. The wonderful off-Broadway production of “Freud’s Last Session” has officially closed as of July 22, 2012…the exact 2 year anniversary of its opening at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater on the Upper West Side. It completed its run at Midtown’s New World Stages with the original Freud(Martin Rayner)on stage for the final bow. Unfortunately, the role of C.S. Lewis was not closed out with original cast member Mark H. Dold on the boards—Dold apparently had a prearranged vacation booked. No disparagement meant to understudy Tuck Milligan who filled the shoes of the Lewis character for the final week. It simply would’ve been a grand night had the original duo wrapped the show’s Big Apple run. You may have read my rave review for this two character piece when I wrote it a number of months ago. By the time it posted “Freud” had made its transition to its new home on 50th street in Midtown. The under 90 minute production is an intellectual feast that imagines a chat between the  renowned father of psychoanalysis and the young Christian author, just weeks before the esteemed doctor’s demise. They tackle issues like the existence of God and the meaning of life while sitting in Sigmund’s London home office on the precipice of WWII in 1939. It is a play of crackling intelligence and sharp wit from author Mark St. Germain, stirringly directed by Tyler Marchant. It ran for a remarkable 775 performances and eight previews since the summer of 2010, and devised a crafty marketing plan boasting that notables such as Woody Allen, Kenneth Branagh and Barbara Walters had all had a “session with Freud”. I still proudly display my free “I Had A Session With Freud” button on the strap of my black bag that I use for work. The run of this superb one-act is an anomaly during these times of singing webslingers, levitating witches and wise-cracking Mormons. I loved this “little show that could”(it received a score of “9” on my 1 to 10 scale), and was happy to catch it with its original two-actor cast in its first NYC home near Lincoln Center late last year. And so I bid Dr. Freud and Professor Lewis a fond and somewhat melancholy adieu, although a run continues in Chicago and a Los Angeles production is in the works. With other international productions either underway or in the advanced planning stages, it has joyously been determined that “Freud” may indeed live on for many seasons to come!


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