MAGDALENE (Rachel Gluck): SoLow review

“Follow the child in you who knew truth before …obedience” ~ Rachel Gluck’s Mary Magdalene

904c2e69-edf8-4a38-bff4-8adaa1bc1338Illuminated by candles, Curio Theatre’s Black Box space has been converted into a cave, where traces of wafting incense and echoes of trickling water welcome the curious to Rachel Gluck’s intriguing, MAGDALENE. Curiosity instantly turns to interest when Mary of Magdala (imbued with fiery presence, spirit, and dynamic physicality by Colleen Hughes) descends upon the scene.  Mary muses amongst many books which are situated about the stage, sometimes plucking one up, rearranging them as she speaks of many things: gnosis, the divine in all of us, spirit names, ritual, and of her last hours with Jesus.  She talks of her time with the “boys”, the last time all of them were together to share supper and how good the food was, how sweet the wine, dancing with Philip and about Peter, the Fisherman, “turned theocrat.”  Peter and her had their differences, but Mary feels she has been erased; “Peter’s flock grew; mine didn’t.”

Mary, called “The Empress of Light” along with other, sometimes conflicting names, explains that they were trying to “repair the world”.  She still hates the dark.  

People visit her cave to hear the mysteries of God, resonating with metaphor and image.  They leave offerings.  Mary’s rule on offerings is “No children, no animals”; though no one leaves wine. Wine might be welcome.  

Madwoman or mystic?  See for yourself…

Run time about 45 minutes.

[Curio Theatre, The Calvary Center, 4740 Baltimore Ave.] June 16-26, 2016;


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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See for additonal information).