MADAGASCAR: Tell us what you think…


We hope your experience at Quantum’s Madagascar was a good one. Our staff and board are interested to hear what you think, and encourage you to talk with others as well, so we have initiated an online conversation you can join with fellow attendees. What did you like/dislike about the production? Was there something in particular that resonated with you? Something particularly confusing? Any comments or suggestions are greatly encouraged.

Leave your comment in the comment box below. Be sure to click the box that will notify you of responses to your comment.  Some will come from Karla, and some (we hope) will come from other patrons.  You’re a valued member of the Q-mmunity.  We’re all hoping for greater understanding through the art that we experience.

We greatly appreciate your thoughts and look forward to continuing the conversation of Madagascar… and of Quantum Theatre experiences to come, we hope there will be many more.

36 comments on “MADAGASCAR: Tell us what you think…

  1. J Shirk says:

    And excellent venue for this production. The venue matched the expectations of the hotel room. The cast was excellent – a very enjoyable production.

  2. Phil Whaley says:

    I thought the cast was wonderful. The Carlisle was a great place to view the play. My wife and I will be back again

  3. Richard K. Baker says:

    Great cast and play. Because I am hearing impaired (but use hearing aids), I had difficulty keeping up with the speaking parts. Speaking parts were the essence of the play. Fortunately, my daughter was with me and explained things I missed. I appreciated being in the Carlyle and thought the set design was great.

  4. Eileen Olmsted says:

    Loved the play and the venue. Actors were wonderful Like Mr Baker I have hearing loss though have good hearing aids. I did lose some of the lines at times particularly June’s. However, despite that I understood the nuances of the play and the powerful message(s)

  5. Ken Joseph says:

    It was a very engaging play. One remarkable feature was the intimacy of the performance. I suppose this arose primarily from the play itself, but the acting and the setting surely contributed to it. (I cannot remember a play where I felt so my eye contact with the actors!) It is also remarkable how strongly the play engaged my empathy for the unhappy characters even though none of them were folks that I would want to spend much time with. FInally. the play also made me reflect on things I should have done or said. It was a much better choice for Sunday evening than the Super Bowl.

  6. Mary says:

    Being there was like being in the hotel room in Rome — the set, characters, and their portrayal was so accessible. The story reminded me that being part of a family is always complex no matter how simple and transparent you want it to be.

  7. Olive says:

    I loved it. saw it twice!! wonderful actors, great set and very intriguing story Music was perfect: not too much but certainly an identifiable refrain……….wonderful production.

  8. Barbara Gerhard Jones says:

    It was a very good set for this play-so intimate, so focused, so luxuriously sparse. The play is difficult because of the many turnings backward and forward through memory(not to speak of dead peoples’ recollections which shift back and forth) and I thought the actors were truly masterful in sustaining the intensity basically sitting around on a big bed. Thanks for always introducing us to new material, Karla. It’s a challenge!

  9. Michelle says:

    Wonderful production – location, set, and cast were perfect. I became more engrossed and involved as each character added to the complexity of the story being woven and was riveted through to the end, something only possible by each cast member’s ownership of his or her role. Kudos!

  10. Bob Weiner says:

    As usual Quantum has produced an intriguing play with stupendously good actors. I go to a lot of theater here in Pittsburgh and am always astonished by the quality of the productions and the acting we have here, and Quantum can always be counted on to present challenging theater, just what I want to see.

  11. Todd Reeser says:

    Good set, good acting [esp the two women characters], and promising script. But I found it a bit too melodramatic for my taste. The script doesnt really do anything in the end and the most innovative aspect of the script [play with time, each character having a time did not hold things enough]. I have to confess that I liked the first two plays this year much better: this one definitely a 3rd place.

  12. I love the intellectual qualities of the plays you stage, but all that I’ve seen so far have been rather melancholy infused. I certainly find much merit in the ones I’ve seen, but for a change of pace, how about a comedy that engages the intellect and mind? I always look forward to the exceptional productions at Quantum and feel that you are a gem in the Pittsburgh theater community.

  13. Zach Simons says:

    Thought-provoking and enrapturing – even the couple of turns that I predicted (from subtle hints before they were fully revealed) maintained their mystery, intrigued me, and didn’t just answer a part of the puzzle but extended the mystery and allure.

  14. John Nagle says:

    Terrific play, and the cast did a wonderful job of showing the characters and conveying a fairly dense and rich play. I stayed for the discussion after the Sunday performance and tried to convey something that I felt but hadn’t thought out very well, so let me try again. My comment then was that Arthur and Gideon were somehow not real, compared to the three shown actors. I now wonder if Arthur, a kind of Zeus figure, and Gideon/Paul were meant to be like the gods in mythology and if that is why they were not presented on stage, and why I felt they were not “real” compared to the three shown people.

  15. Joel Miller says:

    Madagascar provided a stimulating and provocative night of live theater…it was a treat to see three of the city’s best actors on stage together in a well written and well directed play…as always, Quantum provided the perfect setting for this particular play.

  16. Subcriber says:

    Loved the set and stage design, enjoyed seeing the actors work up close in this unusual and intimate setting. I felt it was a difficult play, working within an experimental technique of layering different times back and forth, like a pendulum swinging through the three different years. This is complex writing and I love a challenge. My friend that attended with me was not so engaged, as it may have been more unclear to her what action was being discussed. Maybe some brief introductory remarks mentioning what was about to unfold would have been helpful to some.

  17. Karla Boos says:

    Hello and thank you to all who have commented so far! Hey- just to reiterate what we say above in introducing this blog: we’d love for this conversation to be just that… that a comment made by someone might provoke a response to it from someone else, as much as we love hearing your responses to the play? (We know you have rich, art-filled lives and can’t be expected to be GLUED to this thing, but still hope you might return and respond to something you agree/disagree with!)

    Beloved subscriber immediately above: I found the technique unusual and experimental too – the layering of direct address, pendulum effect (love that descriptive term you use), and that’s the very thing that made me want to do the play… I had no idea how it would work, if it would work. Many of you comment on the superb acting – I sure agree with you and thought IF it could work, it would depend on that, and sensitive direction that would allow and enable that kind of acting. I’m so glad to see it recognized. I’ve become very interested in where JT Rogers’ writing has gone since he wrote this early play, and as I said in the program notes, I think it’s very, very great that Pittsburgh will see a second play by him, his recent Blood and Gifts, to be produced by the Phoenix April 24-May 17. Hey – maybe we’ll post the night when WE will go see it (speaking for myself and any Q staffers I can coerce!) and some of you might choose to attend same night, we can go out for a drink afterwards and continue our conversations? –Karla

  18. Evelyn Murrin says:

    This production revealed the best acting by a small ensemble I’ve ever seen in many years of theatre. Each character unfolded before my eyes in multiple layers and with just enough mystery to keep me in suspense the entire play.
    Congratulations to the author, director, the set designer, and each of you at Quantum

  19. Rick says:

    In the hands of less talented actors and director, Madagascar might have been almost unwatchable. As it was, with this excellent trio, it was compelling and engrossing. The music and lighting too — subtle but important — were perfect, and the setting perfect.

  20. Victoria says:

    Yes–Fabulous play, great venue, good actors–The actor who played Lillian was especially fine. I did not find Anthony & Gideon/Paul “unreal” as John N. did. To me they seemed very real–perhaps because I’ve met too many brilliant but arrogant & slightly sociopathic academic types. I found it emotional & thought-provoking, but not depressing in any way, & there was enough humor in it (sardonic or otherwise) to satisfy. Loved the way of telling the story through characters in the same place at different times & the way the story was revealed through them in bits & pieces–it required more mental participation from the audience than shows typically do, but was not confusing or “out there,” so that you left the theater wondering what the hell happened, as I’ve felt at the end of some movies. My husband & I did discuss afterwards, though, whether we were to think that Gideon/Paul was still alive–I thought he was. Any thoughts from others on this?

    Thanks Q, for another outstanding play. Keep ’em coming!

  21. Jean says:

    Thanks, Quantum, for another intriguing, thoughtful play. It took me about ten minutes to get into it and then I was hooked. Not many plays are narratives as this one was but it worked. And I do think Gideon/Paul was alive at the end, alive and a bit of a coward..

  22. Jeannemarie says:

    I loved the beautiful set design and Helena Ruoti is a gem. I attended on Feb. 12 and enjoyed the playwright talk after the performance. I sat in front for that and heard every word.

    Unfortunately, during the play I was sitting in the last row, stage left. It did not seem that far away but I could not hear much of what June said when she was facing my side of the audience. Nothing carried to me when she turned away. Quite disappointing.

  23. John Shaver says:

    I thought the play was great. So was the space. Also, I was very impressed with the set design. Really dug the shrouded walls. It really allowed for my mind to wonder and engage with the dense dialogue. The sound was great too. The best part was the conversation with J.T. Rogers afterward. It was my first experience with Quantum and am looking forward to the next. Great!

  24. Michael Natelson says:

    Excellent play, performance and set. It bought back memories of the Hassler Hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

  25. Jean Thomas says:

    One problem of being a long time Pittsburgh theater audience member is familiarity with the actors. The acting was wonderful but I had a hard time getting beyond “Helena is doing a great job portraying Lilian” rather than having an emotional, gut reaction to the character’s dilemma. Same with Larry John. Not sure what the answer is because seeing these fine actors in yet another role is always a plus.

  26. John R. Previs says:

    Wonderful performances in a unique setting. Very thought provoking and intriguing with a challenge to unravel the relationships among the “family” members both present and past and to decipher the meaning of imagery presented repeatedly. Can’t wait until April for the next production.

  27. MAT says:

    As usual, my partner and I talked about the play on the way home, talked about it in bed, talked about it at breakfast. About the title, about “mystery vs. secret,” about having a favorite child, about parents not knowing their children and about children not knowing their parents, about how June found out about Lillian and Nathan… and so much more. Another provocative offering from our favorite theatre company in da ‘Burgh.

  28. Russellyn Carruth says:

    Very good play. Excellent acting, especially the mother, who had the juiciest role. Really witty zingers, which both highlighted the darkness and made it easier to live with. One issue: for verisimilitude, when the tour guide quotes the tourists from NJ she should pronounce Morristown w/ a NJ accent: Mahhhr-istown. That would contrast nicely when, in her own persona, she pronounces it like the rest of the world.

  29. Helen McAfoos says:

    Intriguing play and excellent acting. I enjoyed the way the characters melted into the background rather than making dramatic entrances and exits. It left us with a lot to talk about afterwards.

  30. helen eaton says:

    Quantum produced a superb theatrical evening. The actors sustained in depth characterizations throughout the evening within a limited stage area. Thank you for this stimulating event
    Helen Eaton

  31. Richard Kundman says:

    This was my first Quantum production and I loved it! I most heartily agree with all the positive comments made so far. What especially intrigues me though is the one negative comment made by Todd Reeser when he said that this would only rate a third place showing if put up against your first two plays. If that is true I am really sorry I missed them because I thought this was one of the best Pittsburgh productions I have seen in the past 15 months. If the rest of your season is anywhere as good as this I am diffidently getting a season subscription.

  32. carrie says:

    Loved the production and the staging. We thought it was wonderfully intimate and my husband and I are still talking about the characters. We have also been following Helena and Larry John for the past 20 years and try to catch any plays that they are doing. This was our first time at Quantum and we will defiantly look at other productions this season

  33. Karla Boos says:

    Many thanks to all who commented! Madagascar was a great experience for us – this was truly a wonderful group to work with. But then (patting myself on the back for keeping such good company) nearly all shows have an inspiring, talented artistic team. Next up, Pantagleize… quite a different kind of play, full of humor, dark satire, but it will certainly only come alive thanks to its fantastic team of artists. Hope to see you all there and HERE to keep talking about theatre!

  34. Annette says:

    Loved the play and actors – wish they had more room to move. Loved the draped walls.

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