Previews for FLIRTATION, the third play in Marvell Rep's "Desire and Delusion" winter repertory project, begin tonight at TBG Theatre. The romantic drama by Arthur Schnitzler - the same source material that inspired Max Ophuls' film version, LIEBELEI, which screens at Film Forum in early March - is part of Marvell Rep's three-show repertory exploring the themes of "desire and delusion" in fin de siècle Vienna. FLIRTATION runs in repertory with NIGHT GAMES, a world premiere based on a Schnitzler novella, and SECRETS, a play about the relationship between Jung and Freud, who called Schnitzler his "psychic twin," through March 17. The official opening is Monday, February 25, at 8 p.m. Lenny Leibowitz, Marvell Rep's artistic director, directed the production using the translation by Carl R. Mueller.
According to Leibowitz, "All three plays take place in fin de siècle Vienna, a city on the cusp of the modern era, a time when desire and delusion, cruelty and egotism, roiled beneath the glittering, gilded surfaces of the city. This project pays particular homage to Schnitzler, whose undervalued genius we hope to reveal through the productions of FLIRTATION and NIGHT GAMES. He wrote, with soul-stirring eloquence, about people whose hearts are being torn apart, as if by wild horses."
In FLIRTATION, Fritz, a dashing young officer with only pursuits of love to occupy his days, obsesses about the married woman with whom he has been having an affair. On a lark, Fritz's buddy, Theo, introduces him to a working class girl, thinking a break from wealthy adulteresses might do him good. However, Theo could never have predicted the deep connection that would form between Fritz and Christine. In this beguiling romantic drama, it is Christine, the lovely and innocent milliner who has fallen passionately in love with Fritz, who refuses to play the game of love according to the rules of the time.
Starring in FLIRTATION are Bonnie Fraser, Kevin Gilmartin, Rita Harvey, Jed Peterson, Christopher Ryan, Sky Seals, and Caitlin Wise. All are members of Actors' Equity Association.
Lenny Leibowitz and Amy Estes created Marvell Rep in 2010 from their passion for working in rotating repertory and their shared conviction that New York theatre audiences - the best in the world - shouldn't have to go to Oregon, California, or Canada, to regularly see real rep. Since then, they have worked to give New York theatre actors and audiences the kind of full-immersion theatre experience they believe only rotating rep can provide.
MARVELL REP's inaugural season, "Women in Revolt," featured four magnificent, underperformed works from the world literature, including Nora, Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House; In the Shadow of the Glen, the darkly funny one-act by J.M. Synge; Blood Wedding, by Federico Garcia Lorca, and the New York premiere of Joseph C. Landis' translation of The Dybbuk by S. Ansky, running in rotating repertory at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, in 2011.
In 2012, MARVELL REP offered a season of four "Burned and Banned" works, beginning with the New York premiere of Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler and The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Critics raved about both productions and in May, MARVELL REP'S Threepenny Opera was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of A Musical - an honor rarely bestowed on a company in its second season. In October and November 2012, MARVELL REP completed its "Burned and Banned" cycle with productions of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance and Frank Wedekind's Spring's Awakening.