Intimate Apparel Delivers at North Coast Repertory Theatre

Set in Manhattan, 1905 this play brings together six seemingly disparate characters whose stories overlap and intertwine enticingly. The finely etched characters are portrayed superbly, with a well-designed plot.

Cast and crew of Intimate Apparel

Our main character Esther is aware of her apparently inevitable spinsterhood, until she somewhat improbably strikes up a relationship with a man she has never met. George is laboring to dig the Panama Canal, and we hear their relationship evolve through their letters.

Nedra Snipes is dynamic in the lead role of Esther, evolving from a self-professed country bumpkin to a woman with more wisdom than she expected.


One of Esther’s main customers is the well to do but maritally unsatisfied Mrs. Van Buren (well-assayed by Madeleine Barker). Esther shops for fabric for her creations, hence the play’s title, at the shop of Mr. Marks. His endearing character is ably played by Jonathan Fisher Jr., who may never reach the vast audience he did while on his 11-game winning streak on “Jeopardy!” in 2021 and the 2022 Tournament of Champions.




The pivotal role of Mayme is portrayed by Arizsia Staton; Mayme is as worldly as Esther is initially naïve.

Playing the husband fresh to NYC from Panama is the powerfully restrained Donald Paul. One wishes the frustrations of his character were more fully developed.

The set design by the ever-reliable Marty Burnett allows the characters move seamlessly between a boarding house, a fabric shop, a den of ill-repute and a well-heeled Fifth Avenue mansion’s boudoir.

The play is written by Lynn Nottage, the only woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. The pacing and dialogue is just about ideal, allowing the characters to develop solidly. Director Jasmine Bracey has a firm hand on the tiller.

Photos By Aaron Rumley

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.