Photo credit: Robert Workman
Peggy Guggenheim was a serious collector of modern art, scandal and other peoples husbands. In this creative one-woman play, Peggy, through 4 scenes breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience about her life.
Walking in carrying armfuls of designer clothes and couture, each one telling a story (with her saying the story) sets the play off as it means to go on: uncompromising, sentimental, passionate and full of acerbic wit. Judy Rosenblatt is fantastic as Guggenheim, there aren’t many who can pull of a one-person show 90 minute show without an interval and make it feel like much, much less. She takes us in to her confidence, makes a few jokes and over the duration confides deeper.
The most affecting part of this play is when she is describing waiting with the rest of her family at the docks in New York at the age of 13 to see if her father had made it off the Titanic. The way that Rosenblatt describes it, acts it, with the fantastic script by Lanie Robertson, it’s very emotional and really gets you, during that scene you could hear a pin drop.
What is great about the script is how Guggenheim is seen as forthright and unapologetic for how she lived her life (based of course in reality): her son Sindbad was noisy so when her marriage ended, Sindbad went to the father and Pegeen, her ‘perfect’ daughter (read- quiet and artistic), stayed with her; she liked sex and anyone was fair game at any time. Her passion for modern art, because it is ‘living’ is infectious and as soon as the play is finished you’re going to want to be booking a trip to Venice to see her collection for yourself.
Woman Before a Glass is a love letter to modern art, to joie de vivre, to living a life full of passion and leaving a legacy as you want it left, I left inspired and wanting to get to Venice asap to see her incredible collection! The acting was affecting, emotional, funny and spot on, if you love modern art, or have a passion for anything at all then this is for you.