Moroni Olsen as Joseph Prus and Janet Young as Emilia Marty in Karel Capek’s “The Makropoulos Secret.”
The idea of indefinitely prolonging life and youth is the basis for “The Makropoulos Secret,” which will be presented at the Grand theater here Saturday evening by the Moroni Olsen players.
Karel Capek has proved himself a master of realistic-phantasy already in “R. U. R.,” and in “The Makropoulos Secret” he displays the same great sense of theater and of human logic, that is felt in that earlier day of the “robots.”
Elene Makropoulos, who has mastered the secret of unending youth and life, is the person around whom the characters of the drama and the interplay of their emotions crystallizes.
Her inhuman secret is felt in the very beginning of the play, but its complete unmasking comes by degrees, steadily increasing the emotional tension until, in the final act, when the secret is understood and the decision is made by Elene—a decision she has feared to make for hundreds of years—the climax comes with tremendous percussion upon the nerves of the audience, and swings it automatically into acceptance of and agreement with the decision to which every character in the play comes, regarding the danger of immortality in human condition.
This will be the first production of “The Makropoulos Secret” on the Pacific coast, with the exception of the production at the Pasadena community playhouse, and the only presentation in tour upon the Pacific coast thus far.
The First Circuit Repertory company brings an augmented cast and several of the players of the basic organization who were not in the tour of the first play of the season, “Twelve Thousand.”