The following is a press release from the Westside Theatre production of The Screwtape Letters:
C.S. Lewis’ Stepson & Producer of Narnia films Douglas Gresham will have a Post Show Talk Back after June 11 performance of The Screwtape Letters at Westside Theatre
New York – THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, the provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view, will feature an exclusive one-night-only performance and post-show talk-back discussion with Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, well-known author and Chronicles of Narnia producer; and star Max McLean at the Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street, New York on Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets to the not-to-be-missed event are available by calling 212.239.6200 or visiting www.telecharge.com. THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is currently on sale through September 5.
Douglas Gresham will join Max McLean, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS star who co-adapted the novel for the stage to discuss the creative process of bringing C.S. Lewis’ novel to life as well as the impact the theologian’s work continues to have on modern Christianity. Gresham will also discuss his personal relationship with C.S. Lewis, who married his mother, Joy Davidman, in 1956 and adopted Gresham and his brother David the same year. After their mother’s death in 1960, C.S. Lewis continued to raise both boys and dedicated the popular novel The Horse and His Boy to the children. When Lewis died, Douglas and David Gresham inherited his estate, including the rights to the beloved Chronicles of Narnia series. Gresham was a producer of the hit films The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. He is also a producer of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third film in the Chronicles of Narnia series, and the author of the autobiography Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis and Jack’s Life: The Life Story of C.S. Lewis.
Critics have described the production of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS as “Devilishly Funny!…Lewis insights are cleverly conveyed!” (Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press), “As entertaining as it is thought-provoking” (Frank Scheck, New York Post), “Brilliant…chilling…hilarious wit!” (Johanna Cox, ELLE Magazine), “Smart, Sizzling Entertainment…Wonderfully Clever!” (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times). “Very Smart…Richly Rewarding…Exuberant Theatricality!” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune), “One Hell of a Good Show.” (Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal) “Sly, Funny…The Devil is an Equal Opportunity Entertainer” (Celia Wren, Washington Post) and “Pure Genius,” (John J. Miller, National Review).
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS began previews at the Westside Theatre on April 15 and opened on May10. Prior to its current run it was a hit at Chicago’s Mercury Theatre where it ran for six months. It was also a success at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. where it played for ten sold out weeks. In the fall of 2009 it embarked on a national tour delighting capacity houses in San Francisco, Phoenix, Louisville, Chattanooga, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston and Austin.
Adapting this novel to the stage, Jeffrey Fiske and Max McLean focused tightly on the novel’s arc of how to entice the mind of a human “patient” toward damnation. In this inverted moral universe set in an office in hell, God is called the “Enemy” and the devil is referred to as “Our Father below.”
As His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, Max McLean, the 2009 recipient of Chicago’s Jeff Award for Solo Performance, creates a “master of the universe” character, all too familiar to New Yorkers, whose rhetorical flourishes mesmerize while he persuades.
At his feet is the creature-demon, Toadpipe, played by Karen Eleanor Wight, who transforms into the paragons of vice Screwtape conjures with a flick of his fingers. Ms. Wight received the 2008 D.C. Theatre Scene Award for Best Actress for role as Toadpipe. The actors’ combined skills wheedle their unsuspecting soul down the “soft, gentle path to hell.”
Scenic Design is by Cameron Anderson, Costumes by Michael Bevins, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, and Original Music and Sound Design by John Gromada.
The performance schedule for THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is as follows: Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesday Matinee at 2pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays 4pm and 8pm at and Sundays at 3pm and 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 212.239.6200 or visit www.telecharge.com. More information is available at www.ScrewtapeOnStage.com. For groups of 10 or more call 866.476.8707.