Let's Talk Off Broadway

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

Tag: Moira Buffini

Review | Dying For It by Moira Buffini | A Free Adaptation of The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman | Directed by Neil Pepe | Atlantic Theater Company

… the arrow of disillusion …

Dying For It is an all-out, hilarious satire of life under the rigid Soviet regime with vivid characters and a fascinating turn of plot — but it’s not all funny.

Semyon Semyonovich, unemployed, lives drearily, supported by the pittance of money earned by his wife, Masha who’s also supporting her live-in mother.  No wonder Masha’s got a bitter streak, making Semyon’s miseries worse. Seeing no other way out, Semyon decides to commit suicide, and is all the more determined after a brief reprieve from despair:  raised hopes followed by utter failure to learn to play the tuba.  Like Molnar’s Liliom, but with an eye to the absurd, the play takes up the psychological import and strains on family life when a man is out of work.

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Gabriel by Moira Buffini | Directed by David Esbjorn | Atlantic Theater Company

Review | Gabriel by Moira Buffini | Directed by David Esbjorn | Atlantic Theater Company

… archipelago …

There’s an archipelago in the English Channel, nearer to France than to Britain, that England felt it could not defend during World War II and so it fell under German occupation.  Gabriel takes place in February, 1943 on one of the small, occupied islands, populated by natives, the German occupiers, and slave laborers the Germans imported from Eastern Europe to construct fortifications. We never see the slave laborers but their presence is felt in the looming, bunker-like backdrop with its slit-eye.

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Review | Dinner by Moira Buffini | With Mercedes Ruehl | Directed by David Esbjornson | Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, Long Island

… Truth(s)  …

Bay Street bills this world premier of Dinner as a satyric comedy, but for the most part it draws its laughs from the bizarre rather than the witty.  Paige, in a formal white dress, making final touches to the table for a dinner party to celebrate her husband’s new book, kisses the hired waiter — well, perhaps that’s not so bizarre.  But the Menu, that includes Primordial Soup, Apocalypse of Lobster and, for dessert, Frozen Waste, is.

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