Review: ‘Appropriate’ Opens Windows Into History

“Jacob-Jenkins’ haunting family drama dredges up painful memories of the plantation’s terrible past, when people were property, something a slaveowner like the one who bought this plantation could appropriate.”

Reviews: Strengths And Stumbles In Six Plays

“Branden Jacobs-Jenkins manages something rather astounding: he speaks to an audience exhausted from family plays and race-relations-themed plays, and makes us take another look at a genre we thought we’d had enough of.”

Reviews: Coming To A Theatre Near You (Maybe?)

“No matter how unlikeable they are or how repugnant their choices, we come to understand how they got to be that way, which makes their ugliness and and their pain impossible to dismiss.”

HumanaFest in Six Words

Our colleague Lou Harry is one heckuva wordsmith — and he’s always up for a creative challenge.  In that spirit, I asked him to write six-word reviews for each show in the festival.  Here’s what he came up with:          O Guru Guru Guru…          Twisted life straightened via […]

Appropriate in Six Words

Some plays generate a lot of talk. Branden Jacobs-Jensen’s Appropriate is about family and legacy and secrets and shame. And even though the word is only used twice in the script, it’s also about lynching. Difficult subjects all. How do you tell your friends what this play is about? We asked Saturday night’s sold-out audience […]

‘Delling Shore’ Disappoints; ‘Appropriate’ Thrills

“Downtown Louisville seems nearly as proud of its theater this weekend as its college basketball teams. ‘Enjoy the Humana Festival,’ a security guard at my hotel said Friday upon noticing my red lanyard. And the energy created by the mixing of industry types and eager locals is enjoyable indeed, even if my first day’s offerings […]

First Look: 6-Word Summaries of Appropriate

Family reunions aren’t really that fraught… are they? We asked the audience at tonight’s performance of Appropriate to sum up the play in 6 words.  Then you posted those snapshots on the lobby wall along a kind of spectrum: from “Like My Family” to “Not Like My Family.” We’ll choose a winner tomorrow. Meantime, here’s […]

Swollen Egos Stride the Stage

“The most intriguing works in the festival, now under the direction of Les Waters, take the audience on engrossing journeys through the thick underbrush of the human psyche as it is shaped by family, society and the divided impulses of the self.”

Review: Which Play Should You See This Final Weekend?

“As a rule, I’ll take big, audacious plays over smaller, safer ones—even if ambition sometimes leads to missteps.”

Chris Arnott’s Engine 31 review: Appropriate

In Appropriate, lifetimes of simmering sibling rivalries and just plain enmities come to a hate-filled head in a stage scenario we’ve seen countless times before: family members gathering to disperse possessions, settle differences, and moneygrub for newfound treasures following the death of a parent. But you’ve never seen it like this. Of the half-dozen full-length […]

Review: In ‘Appropriate,’ the first act overshadows everything

“Tension builds plausibly from the semi-comic opening scenes to the dramatic explosion that results from the revelation that the clan’s father might have been something much worse than just emotionally disturbed.”

Review: Family secrets fester in ‘Appropriate’

“Is there any more charged situation than a dead parent and years of stored-up sibling acrimony?”

An interview with ‘Appropriate’ playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

“Disturbing secrets are revealed and the siblings clash over clutter, debt and family history.”

‘Appropriate’ examines racism

“With the expert direction of Gary Griffin, that premise of how racial issues are ignored or easily obscured in American society is never heavy-handed. It is ubiquitous and disturbing as it is in real life.”