The Great Gatsby – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Being a man of mystery, one who has created lies and fabrications to hide his true identity, can be a burdensome responsibility. Just ask Jay Gatsby who during the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, found himself creating a new persona for himself. He conveniently forgot his humble beginnings in the mid-west and is now a sophisticated gentleman, wealthy beyond imagination, possibly a graduate of Oxford, perhaps a decorated war hero, maybe the owner of a string of drug stores, and even, perhaps, a successful bootlegger during Prohibition.

Why might Gatsby have established such a colorful version for himself? Five years before the love of his life, Daisy, a socialite, has rejected him because of his status in the world. Now he has declared his improved place in society and he is anxious to win Daisy’s love again.

To witness the transformation of this complex character, hurry to the Ivoryton Playhouse until Sunday, October 23 to observe F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby,” adapted for the stage by Simon Levy and directed with white glove care by Todd L. Underwood by a talented cast of performers.

This dramatic saga is narrated by Gatsby’s near by neighbor and second cousin to Daisy, a modest and moral Nick Carroway (Joe Cordaro). He is often amazed and dismayed by the actions of the people who populate West Egg Long Island. He unwittingly is privy to Daisy’s (Katharina Schmidt) interactions with Gatsby and her husband Tom’s (Greg Brostrom) affair with Myrtle (Siobhan Fitzgerald), one Myrtle’s husband George (Daniel Rios, Jr.) is totally unaware exists. Meanwhile Jay (Erik Kochenberger) looms large in a swirl of shadows as he interacts with a business friend Meyer (Gabe Belyeu) and a professional golfer Jordan (Carlyn Connolly), both of whom conduct themselves in a less than admirable way. Gatsby’s hope for an American dream is ultimately swallowed in a series of tragedies.

For tickets ($55, seniors $50, students $25), call the Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton at 860-767-7318 or online at Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Masks are recommended but not required.

You will soon be caught up in the machinations and motives that surround these people who seem to party for a living and exist by a code of behavior that honorable folks would surely question. Danger and decadence and disillusionment are definitely present in th dramatic depiction of the destruction of the American dream.