All in Play

REVIEW: “Usual Girls”

Ming Peiffer’s shattering new play, “Usual Girls”, presented in a world premiere through Roundabout’s Underground series, offers a blistering dramatization of rape culture through the lens of one Korean-American woman’s journey from girlhood to adulthood.  Raw, explicit, and joltingly explosive, this is a bold and important new play.

REVIEW: Kerry Washington in “American Son”

“American Son”, a gripping new play on Broadway, is piercingly of the moment, thunderously bleak, written in all caps, and indulgently depressing.  Kerry Washington gives a devastating performance as a black mother living the nightmare of her son interacting with the police, but blunt writing provides shorthanded dialogue and characterizations that are unrealistic and convenient—tooled for the sake of advancing arguments, and provoking the audience, rather effectively serving a coherent social or political mission. 

REVIEW: Simply ravishing, Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” is a must-see masterpiece

Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” is an ecstatic and richly thrillingly new play about the intimate, domestic effects of “The Troubles” on one large, Irish family; a sprawling epic with a 22 person cast and running time over three hours, “The Ferryman” is a titanic dramatic achievement, and a must-see event of the season.  In short: a masterpiece without present peer on Broadway.

REVIEW: Jocelyn Bioh’s brilliant “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” returns to MCC for an encore run

Jocelyn Bioh’s brilliant play “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” is back at the Lucille Lortel Theatre for an encore engagement by MCC Theater; every bit as funny and devastating as it was when I saw it last fall, the play seems to pop and sizzle even more on a second viewing. Check out my review and get tickets now.

REVIEW: Exploring Truthiness in “The Lifespan of a Fact”

“The Lifespan of a Fact” is a poppy procedural and socially conscious comedy about facts, falsehoods, the nature of non-fiction, the boundaries of creative license, and the ethics of journalism.  Bobby Canavale, Cherry Jones, and Daniel Radcliffe are a radiant trio in Leigh Silverman’s swift and entertaining production.  This is the Trump-era play we’ve been waiting for: smart and funny, with a serious message about the importance of facts and fact-checking to the trust and integrity of institutions.

REVIEW: Heidi Schreck’s stunning and poignant “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Part civics lesson, part memoir—at once bittersweet and beautiful— Heidi Schreck’s mostly one-woman play “What the Constitution Means to Me” at  New York Theatre Workshop recounts her formative experience of wrestling with the constitution’s meaning as a teenager through the lens of her adult self, the women in her family, and the bitterly divided nation it serves.  Heartbreaking, humorous, brilliant, and profoundly important, this is a must-see event of the fall season.

REVIEW: “The Nap”—prepare to be snookered

Manhattan Theatre Club presents Richard Bean’s hilarious new comedy, “The Nap”, a high-stakes, low-rent farce set in the world of Snooker (British pool).  A superbly comical, poised, and perfectly cast ensemble of kooky characters make this off-beat crime thriller comedy the kind of delightfully droll escape that only theatre can provide.  Silly, yes, but that’s never been more needed than right now.