“The Lehman Trilogy” – The Phoenix Theatre Company

Theater Review – January 27, 2024


“The Lehman Trilogy”
The Phoenix Theatre Company, Mainstage Theatre
Phoenix AZ

By Chris Curcio
Theater Critic

The Lehman brothers’ commodities and financial machinations may not be the household name of other big monetary dynasties.  But Stefano Massini and Marc Silvia’s fascinating “The Lehman Trilogy” turns the tug-of-war between the three founders into an interesting statement on how a major organization’s success can ultimately become its downfall when family members are no longer involved.

The Tony Award-winning play is being presented in a superb Arizona premiere production by The Phoenix Theatre Company.  Everything about this wonderfully thought-provoking play is flawless from Rod Kaats’ astute and always fascinating staging to a remarkable three-person acting ensemble who portray the original brothers, their heirs, and others including women who became enmeshed in the company.  The production is further enhanced by a starkly designed, very gray constructionistic unit set that serves multiple locales with the simplicity used by the family in their multi-faceted enterprises.

From Alabama in 1844 where the brother’s – Henry, Emanuel, and Mayer – started their business with cotton to New York City where they successfully competed with many merchants as they expanded into a prosperous banking enterprise, the family is always changing.

The brother’s tussle about what would be best for the organization is explored and the play deals with the long historical period from the company’s birth to its failure in the early 21st century.  The piece subtly deals with the many significant historical events that influenced the company’s decisions.

The play is long – over three hours – but as the family’s history progresses and the rewarding production unspools, “The Lehman Trilogy” is always engrossing because often unexpected events keep things noteworthy.

The three professional actors play the brothers and others with superb delineations.  Josh Clark is the oldest brother, Henry, who dies early allowing Clark to create several motivating characters with defining differences.  Michael Stewart Allen essays Emanuel, the middle brother, with stern focus who keeps the trio on track without allowing deviations from the firm’s intent.  Michael Kary plays Mayer, the youngest brother, who proves himself focused on the company’s growth even though his older brothers refer to him as “the potato-head.”  The show’s huge amount of dialogue is a challenge the performers handle with unbelievable perfection.

“The Lehman Trilogy” is a wonderfully enriching glimpse into financial history told memorably with diverse historical references and insight into how this family contributed to our nation’s economic growth and development.  It continues through February 11.  To order tickets, call The Phoenix Theatre Company box office at 602-254-2151 or order tickets online at www.phoenixtheatre.com.

Grade A

One Response to ““The Lehman Trilogy” – The Phoenix Theatre Company”

  1. Get More Information said:

    Feb 05, 24 at 21:09

    Great web site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few pals
    ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly,
    thank you for your effort!