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What Is the Story of Master Class?
Inspired by a series of real-life sessions at Juilliard taught by Maria Callas in the 1970s, after her opera career had ended, Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play presents the star in full diva mode, delivering unvarnished criticism to a trio of young singers and ruminating on a life of tragedy and triumph.
What Is Master Class Like?
You don’t have to be an opera buff to love Master Class: Tony- and six-time Emmy winner Tyne Daly gives a commanding performance as the imperious Callas, stalking the stage in a black silk pantsuit and cheerfully (but scarily) ordering everyone around. The action shifts between often hilarious scenes in which Callas critiques three petrified young students (accompanied by an onstage pianist) and monologues in which Callas remembers her career and her ill-fated affair with the controlling billionaire Aristotle Onassis. McNally succeeds both in bringing a fascinating historical figure to life and delivering a moving commentary on the importance of artistic expression.
Is Master Class Good for Kids?
The play’s storyline isn’t of interest to children, but teens who are also budding performers (or athletes, or any discipline that requires practice) will identify with the students facing the judgment of a demanding teacher.