Mark and I went to see the production of 'Amadeus' at the Pittsburgh Public Theater on Saturday night. It was extremely well done and we enjoyed it very much.
The play centers around Antonio Salieri (Tony Abatemarco) who says that he is in the last hours of his life and wants to confess what he has done. He claims to be the reason that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died. The play flashes back to young Salieri making a bargain with God to be committed to him if he allows Salieri to become a composer. Salieri is granted this and is a successful composer in Vienna. All seems to be going well until Mozart moves to Vienna. Salieri hears Mozarts music and realizes it's genius and claims that it is God's own voice. Salieri has tried to live a pius life and by contrast Mozart is a rude, crude, selfish and childish man. Mozart even beds Salieris' secret love and student. Salieri then claims that he is an enemy of God and will do everything in his power to destroy God's musician.(Mozart)
Salieri pretends to befriend Mozart but instead trys to harm his career by limiting his opportunity for students and making bad suggestions. He also ensures that when Mozart is given a post at court that he is payed almost nothing. Mozart suffers from depression and delusions, claiming that he has been poisoned. He dies at the age of 35 a pauper. Instead of rejoicing in his victory Salieri suffers because as time goes on his music is forgotten and Mozart's is played all the time and celebrated. (which is true I even own 'Baby Mozart' and they never made a 'Baby Salieri')
One of the things that made the play so enjoyable is that the acting was excellent. I particularly loved Harris Doran who played the part of Mozart. He took a very difficult role and made the most of it. I also saw Mr. Doran play the Emcee in Cabaret last year. Those roles are so diverse I feel that he can do almost anything now.
Another thing that we liked about the play is that they mentioned a lot of locations in Vienna. Mark and I travelled to Vienna a few years ago and remembered the locations and had toured several of them. We loved Vienna and would love to get back there.
In the program one of the older actors said he "is happy to make his debut at the O'Reilly Theater in such a powerful contemporary play." We found this statement kind of funny since the play is set in the late 1700's. Although to his credit it was written in 1979. (which is still a while ago)
I highly recommend this play and the O'Reilly Theater is a wonderful venue to see a production.