Monday, October 5, 2009


Mahida's Extra Key to Heaven" belongs to a line of vaguely political plays that laud man's basic secular goodness and lament his tendency toward faith, conflating Jesus freaks with Muslim terrorists and mourning gentle humanism. At opposite ends of the cultural spectra are Edna and Thomas, a conservative American homemaker and her flighty artist son; and Mahida and Ramin, a liberal Iranian studying in the U.S. and her fanatical brother. Finely tuned perfs and nuanced direction from Will Pomerantz give the play some excellent textures, but what good is theater that presents the audience with all its favorite opinions?

Daily Variety - 9/29/09


You can barely hear Colman Domingo over his shirt -- a skintight, pastel plaid number at which he plucks while he explains his love of thrift stores. "You can't keep me out of the motherfuckers," he crows, striking his second pose in one sentence. Shirt and show are a little thin, but the performance underneath both is so engaging that the 85-minute memory play always fits nicely, no matter how worn the coming-of-age material. Backed by a terrific soundtrack, Domingo brings the same frantic energy to "A Boy and His Soul" that made his "Passing Strange" performance so much fun.

Daily Variety - 9/24/09


It's a good thing "The Confidence Man" is free -- it requires at least three viewings. Not because it's particularly obtuse or dense, but because there are three different, dovetailing strands of playlets in simultaneous motion aboard the good ship Lilac, a rusty old tub that sits at Pier 40 on the Hudson. Nominally inspired by Herman Melville's novel of colorful steamboat passengers, Paul Cohen's gratifyingly ambitious script manifests itself less as a single play than an impressively cohesive piece of installation art about swindling, literally buoyed by the verisimilitude of its maritime setting.

Daily Variety - 9/16/09