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Harold & Stella: Love Letters

comedy · stella! productions · Ages 13+ · United States

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JORDAN ELGRABLY uncertified reviewer June 09, 2014
I had the privilege of enjoying performances by Arianna Ratner as the legendary Stella Adler and Clay Wilcox as the eccentric Harold Clurman, the two of them through letters transporting me back to the early 1940s. This is why I love theatre, you're right there with the characters, no filters, you see human beings as flawed and contradictory human beings, no screens, no special effects, just flesh and blood and delicious words. Great show!... full review
ANNA MARIE PIERSIMONI uncertified reviewer June 24, 2014
What a lovely romp down theater's memory lane, as navigated through the letters of Harold Clurman and Stella Adler. I admittedly had been more familiar with the work of Adler, through the school of acting that carries her name and continues to inspire film actors today. I wondered what challenges were posed to a father-daughter acting team in portraying such an intimacy. To my delight, the characters were delivered with the poise and aplomb that marks their written "repartee" and the commensurate talent of accomplished actors in their own right. Bill Ratner fully captures the zeitgeist of the times as well as Clurman's droll disquietude. Arianna Ratner is a stunner, exhibiting the wit, charm and substance of the legendary Adler, as proven t... full review
NANCY SPILLER certified reviewer June 24, 2014
We really enjoyed spending the evening with Harold & Stella, artists and intellects from an era worth remembering. To have them portrayed by the delightful father daughter team of Bill and Ariana Ratner made for an even more memorable night in the theater. Add to that a theater that was actually an intimate cafe and how can you not be totally charmed! Exceptional entertainment!... full review
SHARI BARRETT certified reviewer June 25, 2014
Being a descendant of Eastern European immigrants who loved the Yiddish theater in New York at the turn of the 20th Century, what a treat it was to learn Stella Adler's parents were stars from that wonderful period of theater history. Film clips after the play introduced Stella Adler as a real person, showing her in her element teaching theater to future generations of actors. But the most impressive thing about this production was the brilliant acting by the father-daughter team of Bill and Arianna Ratner as Harold Clurman and Stella Adler. The two sat on stools and read love letters between the two lovers who were living on opposite coasts during World War II. The real lovers were presented as total opposites: he was Hollywood street-... full review
EILEEN WEINER certified reviewer June 14, 2014
The story of Harold and Stella was fascinating. I was surprised by the ending, and the film clip after the show of actual footage of Ms. Adler was the icing on the cake. The actor who played Harold the night I attended did a great job. Granted, his letters were more entertaining and emotional, so he had more to work with. The Stella was beautiful and had a lovely voice, but I felt she could have put more feeling into her role. I rarely got the sense that hers were actually love letters. They were amazing, however, in their description of the New York night life at that time period and the famous people she associated with. I found it humorous that Stella complained of poverty, yet slept til nearly noon every day, lunched out with friends, ... full review
BRIDGETTE CAMPBELL certified reviewer June 18, 2014
Harold and Stella was a lovely trip to theatre's golden age! Listening to the very personal letters between Stella Adler and Harold Clurman gave me a wonderful feeling of camaraderie with the two artists. Stella & Harold opened a window to their most intimate hopes and fears, defeats and victories in a way that made me feel connected to these two people who I have always admired. In a way, I feel I got to meet two of my heroes.... full review
SHEANA OCHOA certified reviewer June 19, 2014
By Ed Rampell of The Hollywood Progressive June 12, 2014 The “playwrights” for Harold & Stella: Love Letters are the eponymous Harold Clurman and Stella Adler, those stage legends who co-founded the fabled Group Theatre back in the 1930s. Stella, but of course, went on to become America’s foremost apostle of “Method” acting after her circa 1935 trip to the Moscow Art Theatre and meetings with thespian guru Constantin Stanislavski. As a teacher (and high priestess) Stella’s students (and acolytes) included Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro and other luminaries of stage and screen who have lit up the creative constellations from the Great White Way to Hollywood. Love Letters is based on the correspondence between Group dir... full review
ALEXANDRA CORWIN uncertified reviewer June 23, 2014
tagged as: hollywood · broadway · historical · theater
This magnificent review by Bonnie Priever at examiner.com just came out: "Harold & Stella" Love Letters is basically a beautiful love story/romance between the legendary Stella Adler (queen of modern acting) and Harold Clurman (king of American theatre). Framed around the precarious time of pre WWII, this story is full of angst, love, poetry in motion, and amazing communication through the written word, between two war-torn lovers, each a brilliant individual in his/her own right. Clurman, so credibly played by Bill Ratner & Stella, exquisitely portrayed by Bill's real life daughter (Arianna Ratner), share their intimate relationship in the most cozy of venues, a dark coffeehouse on Fountain and Vine (Bliss Art House Cafe), with food and be... full review
RICHARD GRAVES certified reviewer June 07, 2014
tagged as: Stella Adler · biography · romance · humor
My friend and I truly enjoyed Arianna Ratner's portrayal of Stella Adler. Her performance allowed us a glimpse into the personal and romantic life of a legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood. We also enjoyed the brief film afterwards with footage of the real Stella Adler. Having heard about her for years, it was curious that neither of us had actually ever seen genuine film footage of her. Very interesting, indeed. ... full review