In 2013, audiences and critics lost their heads for David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette at Soho Rep: a bitingly satirical postmodern riff on celebrity and its discontents, starring the wonderful Marin Ireland as the ill-fated French queen and infamous cake enthusiast. Now, thanks to the charitable virtual-theater initiative Play-PerView, audiences who missed the Off Broadway production—or want to catch it again—will have a chance: Nearly all of the expert original cast will reunite for a live-streamed performance of the show on August 5 to raise money for the Cultural Solidarity Fund.
The brainchild of producer Jeremy Wein, Play-PerView was a leader in streaming theater content throughout the shutdown period, and even those who have grown weary of virtual theater as the whole may want to make an exception for Marie Antoinette. As America wrestles with questions of economic inequality and privilege on one hand and social-media mobs and cancel culture on the other, the play feels as relevant as ever. "In David Adjmi’s jagged yet elegant historical riff, we find ourselves disgusted by this vain, selfish parasite—but also horrified by her persecution," wrote David Cote in his Time Out review. "Adjmi complicates the satire by imbuing his doomed protagonist with intellectual vibrancy and genuine compassion…Ireland gives one of the rawest and most mercurial performances I’ve seen from her, a symphony of tics, comic bluster, false starts and cascades of acid regret."
The reading will be performed live at 7pm on Thursday, August 5, at 7pm and will remain viewable on demand through Monday, August 9. Tickets range from $5 to $50, and can be purchased here. In addition to Ireland, the cast includes original ensemble members Jennifer Ikeda, David Greenspan, Karl Miller, Will Pullen, Steven Rattazzi and Chris Stack, joined by newbies Kat Williams and Carmen Zilles. Rebecca Taichman, who won a 2017 Tony Award for Indecent, once again directs.
As in all Play-PerView productions, all proceeds from the event will go to charity, in this case the Cultural Solidarity Fund, which provides relief microgrants to artists and cultural workers in New York City.