“Freud’s Last Session,” the off-Broadway play by Mark St. Germain, has become something of sleeper hit in recent months, playing to sold-out audiences and twice extending its performance calendar. Several celebrities have been spotted attending the play, including Woody Allen, who reportedly gave the play a standing ovation.
Neither a musical nor a star-studded production, the play’s popularity is unexpected for a drama of ideas so unashamedly philosophical in its tone. Inspired by the book, The Question of God, by Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., “Freud’s Last Session” depicts a conversation between the young C.S. Lewis and an ailing Sigmund Freud. (Freud is known to have met with a young Oxford professor after his immigration to England.) The play’s drama heightens when viewers find that this encounter between minds takes place on September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war against Germany. The characters pause intermittently in the script, tuning into radio broadcasts for updates on Germany’s occupation of Poland, and even don their gas masks after hearing an air raid siren.
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