Nellie and the Women of Blackwell
By Andrew Andrews
Wildrence claims to be the city’s first venue designed exclusively for immersive theatre. For this production, the creatives have done a great job stretching their decorating budget to convey the sense of unfortunate people and places in an underfunded system.
The costumes seemed perfect for the period, and actor Kate Szekely bears a strong resemblance to photographs of Nellie Bly, making the portrayal of the character even more believable. Otherwise, the casting for the production gave me the impression that available actors were assigned to (sometimes multiple) roles instead of
The acting was generally good and the cast made a lot of effort to engage the audience, although we were not, as a whole, what I would call “uninhibited.” As a result, I felt more like an observer than a participant.
The premise that all of those attending were simultaneously committed to the asylum when only Nellie had acted unstable was a little far-fetched, yet it’s hard to imagine an alternate point of departure that would have worked better.
My overall impression of this production was quite positive, but the experience just wasn’t as engrossing or enjoyable as I had hoped, despite the worthy effort by everyone involved.
Andrew Andrews attended Nellie and the Women of Blackwell at Wildrence in New York on Saturday, February 1, 2020 @ 7:00pm to write this review.