Architecture and the devil: ‘The Monster-Builder’ at Aurora

Architecture and the devil: ‘The Monster-Builder’ at Aurora
Architects Rita (Tracy Hazas) and Gregor (Danny Scheie) have a tête-à-tête in Aurora Theatre’s The Monster-Builder - Photo: David Allen
Architecture and the devil: ‘The Monster-Builder’ at Aurora
Architects Rita (Tracy Hazas) and Gregor (Danny Scheie) have a tête-à-tête in Aurora Theatre’s The Monster-Builder – Photo: David Allen

The ‘Monster-Builder’, a play currently showing at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley, CA is mostly a comedy that interlaces cogent comments about post-modern architecture.

The new comedy by nationally renowned Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Freed is about a maniacal scheme of fantastical proportions lurks deep inside mega-architect Gregor Zubrowski’s post-modern steel and glass structures. His commanding celebrity and curious creative process titillates both design professionals and patrons alike. It is only after he cruelly steals a career-making project that two fledgling architects finally dare to challenge this monster-builder at his own game.

Berkeleyside‘s Emily S. Mendel commented:

We all can recognize post-modern architecture by our strong reaction to it. Sometimes we are in awe of the creativity and experimentation shown in a startlingly gorgeous building. Other times, we wonder what the architect and client could have been thinking when we notice an odd-shaped building that doesn’t fit its location or purpose. Playwright Amy Freed (Freedomland– 1998 Pulitzer Prize nomination, The Beard of Avon; Still Warm; Restoration Comedy, You, Nero), the daughter of an architect, seems to only express the negative aspects of modern architecture.

Freed’s dominant character is the internationally renowned, sinister architect, Gregor (excellent Danny Scheie), whose ego-driven drive for power makes him destroy or co-opt all those around him. We meet the ever black-clad Gregor and his ditsy young girlfriend Tamsin (Sierra Jolene) at his absurdly incongruous glass house. He shows off the house to Tamsin’s former college roommate, Rita (Tracy Hazas) and her husband, Dieter (Thomas Gorrebeeck), who are both young architects. […]

Read the full review here

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