The “Monster” Who Brought Out the Laughs

Tania Thompson
 | May 17, 2017
 Marianne and Tim Kay with playwright Amy Freed

Honorary Producers Marianne and Tim Kay with playwright Amy Freed at the First Night of The Monster Builder.

Gregor Zubrowski—the centuries-old,  ego-maniac architect—grabbed the First Night audience for Amy Freed’s The Monster Builder and never let go.

Generous laughter rippled through the performance, followed by enthusiastic and warm applause, for the cast, led by Danny Scheie as Gregor, with Annie Abrams as Tamsin, Aubrey Deeker as Dieter, Colette Kilroy as Pamela, Susannah Schulman Rogers as Rita, and Gareth Williams as Andy.

Honorary Producers Jean and Tim Weiss and Timothy and Marianne Kay shared many laughs with the audience.

The Monster Builder was so fun to watch and goes over the top in the second act!” says Tim Kay. “After the play, I enjoyed reading the Wikipedia entry on Philip Johnson, a prominent architect of the 20th century—the glasses give him away.”

First Nighters continued to talk about the play as they fanned out across Ela’s Terrace for the Cast Party, amid decorations that echoed the play’s scenic design: linens of dark silver starlight linens adorned with modern floral arrangements.

Guests enjoyed monstrously delectables from a Feeding and Foraging station (Gregor’s term for the kitchen in his glass house) created from galvanized steel tubs filled with crudités of fresh vegetables and Maui onion and peppercorn dips; and chopped black kale salad with roasted corn, polenta croutons and red onions served with pomegranate vinaigrette.

The evening’s signature drink—the “Monster Archi-tini”, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and dry vermouth, topped with a pimento-filled martini olive—paid homage to the play’s devilish namesake.

The Crème de la Crème-catered affair also offered a ceviche martini station, with three salsas and house-made chips. The evening’s hors d’oeuvres included buffalo-style chicken skewers with blue cheese crèma dip and Persian cucumber towers with Vietnamese pork.

There was no resisting the tempting cinnamon cruellers in mini-cones and the rustic apple cobbler with vanilla bean whipped cream—to honor the restoration-focused architects Rita and Dieter and their patrons, Pamela and Andy.

All the while, the lively conversation (and laughter) continued to swirl around The Monster Builder and one of SCR’s favorite playwrights.