Let's Talk Off Broadway

Yvonne Korshak reviews Off-Broadway, Broadway, Film and Art

Tag: Adam Rapp

Review | The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois | Written & Directed by Adam Rapp | Atlantic Theater Company

… holding on …

Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois is a tense, brilliant drama that takes you from the worst to the best.

From the first moment we see Ellis, a man in his 40’s in khakis and a plaid shirt, agonizing over deodorant and picking invisible dirt out of the rug, we know that he’s crazily over-anxious about expected visitors, erratically nutty, and trying to seem “OK” like other men.  When two teenage girls arrive, Monique, a Black, fast-talking self-defined “gangsta,” and Catherine, White, thin, on edge, who seems unable to look anybody in the eye, you think you’ve snagged it.  

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Adam Rapp's Wolf In The River at The Flea Theater. Kate Thulin, Jack Ellis and Michael Swift ... and audience looking on. Photo Hunter-Canning

Review | Wolf In The River | Written and Directed by Adam Rapp | Featuring the Bats | Flea Theater

… why we go to the theater …

This is great theater.  It’s hard to separate the play itself from the creative staging and perfect acting but it all adds up to as stunning a theatrical experience as anyone ever needs to have.

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L- R: Mandy Nicole Moore as Shirley Judyhouse, Nick Lawson as Pointer Scully, Sarah Lemp as the mother Bean Scully. Photo: Annie Parisse.

Review | Ghosts in the Cottonwoods by Adam Rapp | Directed by Adam Rapp | With Gretchen Hollis | Presented by The Amoralists | Theater 80 St. Marks

… but you won’t read this in the comic books …

Ghost in the Cottonwoods is a tale of family sin and retribution — it sure isn’t Aeschylus or O’Neil but it’s in that tradition.  It’s told with a seeming acceptance of violence, as if that’s how life is, and directed at such a rollicking pace that the terrible things we see on stage seem hilarious — for awhile. 

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Review | The Great Recession | Plays by Thomas Bradshaw, Sheila Callaghan, Erin Courtney, Will Eno, Itamar Moses and Adam Rapp | Flea Theater

The Flea is presenting six plays by six authors, each with some reference to the recession.  The actors are drawn from The Flea’s “Bats,” the young, capable and energetic actors of their resident company — you find yourself hoping for a good show at least as much for them as for yourself, but it doesn’t happen.  For most of the plays, the link to the recession is so synthetic it doesn’t matter.  The plays don’t matter much either, which is too bad for what must have seemed like a good idea.

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