Review by Barbara Waldinger in Berkshire On Stage
“Fascinatingly unpredictable … Imagine a play about the poetry of William Blake, one of the most complex writers ever known, written in rhymed couplets (like Blake’s poems), featuring a pair of actors portraying university professors who have been lecturing on this poet for the past fifteen years. Bridge Street Theatre, developing a reputation for presenting highly inventive plays with unusual subjects, has taken on this challenge with their production of ‘There is a Happiness That Morning Is’ by Mickle Maher—and succeeded beyond all expectations … The performances of Myers and Petti are, in a word, extraordinary. Both actors handle the language in the play as if it were the most normal thing in the world to speak about subjects as profound as love and death in contemporary verse … A play that deserves to be seen and seen again.” Barbara Waldinger, Berkshire On Stage Read the complete review here.
Review by J. Peter Bergman in Berkshire Bright Focus
“The most unusual play of the season, Bridge Street Theatre’s production of this work by the Chicago-based, Bennington College primed playwright, director, actor, producer is a do-not-miss ninety minutes of pure delight.” J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus Read the complete review here.
On–Line Review by Byron Nilsson
“‘There Is a Happiness That Morning Is,’ in a superb production at Catskill’s Bridge Street Theatre, celebrates the language and ideas of Blake, personifying three aspects of the poet’s worldview in the form of three compelling characters. … John Sowle admirably designed and directed the intermission-free production, which seems to go by in no time even as it wrenches us along a twisty track of emotional change – and leaves us much better equipped to find the joy that ever awaits us, per the promise of Blake.” banilsson.blogspot.com Read the complete review here.
Lots of production photos here.
And then check out these audience and participants responses:
“We loved it… entrancing, poetic (no pun,) performed beautifully (we are really impressed by Steven since we have seen him several times in a variety of roles.) Your direction was intelligent, sharp and economical, keeping the work moving fluidly. We truly enjoy going to your place. We wish you, and us, continued terrific theatre experiences at BST. Thank you!!” Macey Levin
“We discussed the play all the way home. What a great find and so outside the box of usual theatre offerings. I am surprised that Shakespeare and Company didn’t find it first. You are cutting edge. Great acting and directing.” Gloria Miller
“Another outstanding play choice, production, and theater going experience. GO!!” Susan Goldman
“Went last night. Terrific. Great performances, great writing. ‘We were almost not nothing.'” Maxine Davidowitz
If you’re lucky enough to be anywhere near Catskill, NY, don’t miss the chance to see There Is A Happiness That Morning Is at the Bridge Street Theater. There has never been a play like this, and never will be again. The performance at Bridge Street Theater is electric and heartbreaking. Very likely the one chance you’ll have to see this – don’t miss it. – Joe Weisberg – Creator/Executive Producer, The Americans
“Oh my gosh! You MUST come and see “There is a Happiness That Morning Is” you MUST. I am going to be laughing every time I remember certain things. ??????? Aside from Steven Patterson, Molly Parker Myers, and Brian Petti being so utterly brilliant, this is a show that’s necessary for your soul. Really.” Betsy Barrett
“Great production of a surprising, funny, challenging piece! I love how Bridge Street seeks their bliss!” Patrick White
“Great play and superb performances by the cast.” Sandra Levey
“WOW! Congratulations cast and crew on a successful preview! What a captivating play with a very talented cast and creative team. It’s an intriguing, funny, sexy, and surprising story that has a lot of layers and a lot of heart❤️ I will be coming back to see this show again??? Bravo!!” M’Lanie Hunter
“Thanks to all of you for this wonderful theatrical treat!” Rod McCullough
“Oh boy – as sexy and innovative as billed. Great cast of professionals, having great fun. Refresh yourself.” Scott Myers
“I saw it this afternoon and LOVED it!” Jane Towner Young
“Well written, directed and acted!!! We enjoyed it immensely.” Kelly Thompson
“I’m going to wax poetic about theater, so please be warned. Sometimes the confluence of the words you are speaking, self-confidence, talent surrounding you, and an engaged audience create literal magic, an ineffable something that allows your naked, beating hearts to join for a few precious moments as one. I am blessed to be sharing such an experience with the ridiculously talented Molly Parker Myers and Steven Patterson onstage and the equally incredible John Sowle and Julia Rothwax behind the scenes, performing the profound, hilarious words of Mickle Maher. I am so grateful John invited me to share in this adventure, and I am intent on soaking up each moment.” Brian Petti (Bernard)
“I have so much to say about this beautiful play, with its themes of love, passions, work, life, mortality (in the past couple years my work has brought me to these themes time and time again – this play feels like a thematic trilogy with ‘Emilie’ by Lauren Gunderson & ‘Constellations’ by Nick Payne) and about the importance of theatre and the human experience. But I’ll let my character speak for me: I’m here to cry for love, to sing, to wake.” Molly Parker Myers (Ellen)
“Somehow – if you can find a way during this busy back-to-school time – you should come see it! Performed by two compelling and wonderful actors, Molly Parker Myers and Brian Petti (with a surprise cameo late in the action). I’ve watched it come together over a short period of time — and it’s brilliant, weird, funny, sexy and sad. AND it’s in VERSE. And it’s based on William Blake’s poetry. Need I say more? … It was amazing. A VERY extended standing ovation – ie: audience loved it. Come check it out.” Julia Rothwax