Mark Ramont, Old Wicked Songs at Stages Repertory Theatre
Jon Marans's Pulitzer Prize finalist, Old Wicked Songs, is an elegant, understated play about art, music and the exquisitely terrible power of history. In it, two Jewish musicians find themselves in Austria, one of the most paradoxical places in all of the Western world, for it gave us Mozart, Schubert and Hitler. There, they must come to grips with history as they struggle to find themselves through the power of music. It is a delicate story, rich with the sort of nuance that requires intelligence, patience, generosity and reserve from its director, which is exactly what the gifted director Mark Ramont brought to Stages this past winter. First he put together a perfect cast, with Daniel Magill as the hotheaded young man and William Hardy as a world-weary jade. Then Ramont put these fine actors into motion, sparking up a rare chemistry on stage, filled with a tender grief and a wild passion for the power of art to make a moment better.