November 2009
by Sally Nemeth

Directed by Peter Zinn
The Spoon Theater
38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor, New York City

Stage Manager  and Sound Designer:  Jeanne Travis*
Set Designers:  Jack and Rebecca Cunningham and Justin Sturges
Costume Designer:  Debra Krajec
Lighting Designer:  Justin Sturges
Property Designers:  Heather Cunningham and Casandera M. J. Lollar
Assistant Stage Manager:  Jenny Kennedy
Press Representative:  Morgan Lindsey Tachco
Photographer:  Jordana Zeldin

Starring: Lowell Byers, Heather E. Cunningham, Joe Forbrich*
and Casandera M. J. Lollar

*Appeared courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

"Retro Productions is a force of nature, with such strength it blew me away. Cunningham's is a performance [as Rosie] of such strength, nobility, and beauty she literally left me breathless... Lollar is brutally honest and spot on... a beautiful and brave actress. Byers as Will is wonderful; simple, straightforward, and strong. As Gant, Joe Forbrich suppresses such depth that when it rises to the surface like water from a forgotten well it seems to surprise him the same as it surprises the audience... Cunningham and Forbrich tear your heart out.  All of the stage elements gather together perfectly... Every piece fits, every element works... The sound designer Jeanne Travis has chilling effects for the storm... The set, by design team Jack and Rebecca Cunningham and Justin Sturges, is a beautifully detailed and distressed 1930s kitchen, where the people really eat, and really drink...anything less would have been distracting... The costumes by Debra Krajec also show great attention to detail.  A production like Retro Productions' Holy Days is why I became involved in theatre. A dream cast, each member strong and honest and riveting; a script with importance yet without preaching; wonderful, honest, strong direction by Peter Zinn; beautiful, detailed design. Truth, honesty, and great chops, it's everything that is great about American theatre." - Heather McAllister,
"This show seemed to be crafted to knock my socks off... The cast is pitch perfect...Lollar weighs every second, calibrating second-by-second to appear innocent when she's aggressive and sweet when she's conniving. She has crafted a surgically nuanced performance, with equal parts buoyancy and weight...Byers serves the play, not the other way around. He exudes such a calm, even temperament, just existing in each moment, underplaying his own existence... [Forbrich] steely resolve, melted only by the love he has for his wife... He's teaching a master class in every performance, and every young actor should come see this play to watch him, and the others, so they know how to avoid tropes and simply tell a story... [Cunningham] has opted for a study in defeat, a zombie living with an unimaginable horror. And because of this, her small and intense redemption, the final admission of her sadness, carries a universal significance, and the room was filled with sobs. All vanity aside, it takes enormous courage to create this character inside this amazing story... Of course, this play wouldn't crackle the way it does without Peter Zinn's invisible hand." - Sean Williams, 

"Misery overcomes farm wife Rosie (Cunningham), who spends her time sulking around the kitchen in a zombie-like trance... The urge to walk onstage and shake her out of it owes to Cunningham's moving performance...  Her neighbor Molly (Lollar) brings some welcomed feist to the stage...  Nemeth's play is backed by an intricately beautiful set (courtesy of Jack and Rebecca Cunningham and Justin Sturges), as well as strong performances by Joe Forbrich, as Rosie's practical-thinking husband, and Lowell Byers as Molly's upbeat husband." -Lily Hodges,

"Retro Productions’ latest show, Holy Days (Written by Sally Nemeth and directed by Peter Zinn) comes off as deceptively simple until you’ve sat with it a while.  It’s been several days since I’ve seen it and I find that I’m haunted by the seemingly stark yet surprisingly deep performances by Heather E. Cunningham (Rosie), Joe Forbrich (Gant), Lowell Byers (Will) and Casandera M.J. Lollar (Molly)...  With an amazingly detailed set by Jack and Rebecca Cunningham and property design by Heather E. Cunningham and Casandera M. J. Lollar the world of this family rises up around you and you can feel the dust come in on the wind every time the door is opened.  While Holy Days could never be called a happy story, it most certainly is a beautiful one, filled with all the places the human spirit goes when facing down its greatest enemy: misfortune." -Karen Tortora-Lee,"I wish I'd been able to come to NY at the time to see the production. Had it been extended, I was gonna make that trip, do or die.  And thanks largely to your terrific production generating interest in the play again, when it went out of print Broadway Play Publishing decided to re-issue it with that gorgeous artwork as the cover. " - Sally Nemeth, playwright, Holy Days