Susan and God SGN review
Excerpt from SGN’s Bits & Bytes
by Milton W. Hamlin – SGN A&E Writer
RARE SUSAN AND GOD SCORES BIG AT TAPROOT, MORAL ISSUES PLAY WELL
Almost unknown now, Susan and God was one of Broadway’s biggest hits in 1937. An early 1940s Hollywood adaptation – headlining Joan Crawford – kept the show alive for nearly 10 years. Then it all but disappeared. Its author, Rachel Crothers, was a prolific writer of Broadway hits for more than a decade, but she ended her New York career with Susan and God. Taproot Theatre’s rare, rare staging is reason enough for serious theater fans to seek out the show. Thankfully, the solid production is well worth seeing.
Scott Nolte, Taproot’s co-founder and artistic director, brings the heavily themed work to a buoyant life – no easy task with a play that concerns, well, just let’s say that the title tells it all.
Lisa Peretti makes Susan, an American socialite who found religious depth during a trip to England, thoroughly believable. The rest of the strong Taproot cast supports the play’s serious themes while adding a surface sparkle to the sometimes philosophical discussions. The show is full of snappy one-liners – a friend is taking a trip to Norway. “Norway!” Susan exclaims. “Nothing but scenery.” “Fiords – those things in Ibsen plays!” To her very plain daughter, Susan confides, “If you’re not going to be pretty, let’s at least make you interesting.” Barrie, her husband, notes, “At least we know where we are, even if we don’t know where we’re going.” Susan’s big, big Act One exit line, “I wish I’d never heard of God!” drew a sharp laugh from Taproot’s ultraconservative subscription patrons.
Susan and God is a play to enjoy, a play to contemplate on many levels. Check it out. Highest recommendation. Ticket information is available at (206) 781-9707. The sharp, snappy production continues through October 25.