Left: All in the family: Ellen Geer as Margaret Mary Elderdice takes center stage with her real-life daughter, Willow Geer as the live-in companion, Robin Bird (left), to the aging Margaret Mary, and her real-life sister, Melora Marshall (right), who plays her neighbor Cara Varnum, whose violin canât quite get the notes right.
Below left: Ellen Geer as Margaret Mary Elderdice and Melora Marshall as her doting neighbor Cara Varnum strike up a waltz.
Below: Miguel Perez is perfection as the overburdened apartment super, Sergio.
Will Geerâs Theatricum Botanicum presents a spirited revival of The West Side Waltz by Academy Award-winning writer Ernest Thompson (On Golden Pond). The play focuses on Margaret Mary Elderdice, an elderly former concert pianist (masterfully portrayed by Ellen Geer, the Theatricumâs artistic director. Strong and proud, Margaret Mary lives in a vast, yet dingy Upper West Side apartment and adamantly refuses to accept help from anyone. While her apartment may be threadbare, her mind is sharp as ever and she never misses an opportunity to dispense life wisdom to anyone who will listen.
Her great passion, however, is playing waltzes with her doting, violin-playing neighbor, Cara Varnum (in a beautiful performance by Melora Marshall).
Yet, with her health now in serious decline, Margaret Mary faces reality and engages a young woman from Brooklyn as a live-in companion. As the gum-snapping, would-be actress Robin Bird, Willow Geer delivers a humorous and affecting performance which sets up the tumultuous scenes in Act II.
Rounding out the ensemble is Miguel PĂ©rez, in a commanding performance as Serge, the buildingâs good-natured super. Charles Lin is perfectly cast as Glen, a brash young attorney with eyes for Robin.