Through December 19
MIRACLE IN LEVITTOWN Subversive Theatre Collective/The New Phoenix Theatre
As these COVID times stumble along, the theater community is slowly reopening, after the long darkness.
People are looking at this possible show or that possible show and saying: Maybe I will go and see that show or that musical.
Well, here’s one to skip, Subversive’s “Miracle in Levittown.”
Michael Fanelli’s heart is in the right place, pegging the plot to the post-World War II Levittown developments, particularly those on Long Island, as a continuing sign of racism, America’s “original sin.”
Then, in a relatively short hour-long play, Fanelli throws in every example of racism he can, in that era when Black Americans came home from the war not everyone wanted them to fight to face discrimination, lynchings and racial covenants to keep them out of housing built for the returning veterans, like Levittown.
The play is structured as the story of a family set to move from a Manhattan to a new home in Levittown on Long Island.
The key element is daughter Zazu (Anika Pace).
She’s so appalled by racism that she has thought herself into turning Black.
Then a racialized Charles Dickens takes up the play, the Avatar of Christmas Past (J. Tim Raymond) and the Avatar of Christmas Present (Joseph Chester Sauer) carry the story along, Raymond as a racist and long dead Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It’s all just a mishmash of the worse of American history, with no real plot.
Subversive has done better in the past.
There are better on stage than “Miracle in Levittown.”
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