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.”

Review: ‘Gnit’ Plays Well With A Classic Tale

“In one particularly inspired move, Eno conflates the crowds of citizens who mock and harass Peter into a single role named Town, handled here with terrific multiple-personality comic brio by Danny Wolohan.”

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 […]

Critics’ Round-up: O Guru Guru Guru…

O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don’t want to go to yoga class with you By Mallery Avidon Directed by Lila Neuberger This subversive assessment of the craze for spiritual enlightenment has an odd structure. The first part is basically a lecture delivered (but to whom?) by a 30-year-old woman, Lila (Rebecca Hart). … […]

‘Gnit’ Goes High-Concept For Jokes, But Some Fall Flat

“After two and one-half hours (including intermission), I found myself just wishing Peter Gnit would shut the hell up.”

‘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 […]

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: ‘O Guru Guru’ Is Creative and Maybe A Little Profound

“It’s unfailingly charming, entertaining, and creative.”

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.”

‘The Delling Shore’ Is *That* Play

“One of my students said that it was a good thing the play had no intermission because half the audience would probably have left.”

Lou’s Harry’s Engine 31 review: The Delling Shore

From the opening moments, you know that things are going to bypass testy and go quickly to hostile in Sam Marks’ play about an unsuccessful writer, Frank, trying to land an apprenticeship for his daughter, Adrianne, with Frank’s former friend, successful novelist Tom. Frank and Adrianne are the not-particularly wanted guests at the rural home […]

Lou Harry’s Engine 31 review: O Guru Guru Guru…

A small play wrapped in colorful costuming, Mallery Avidon’s intimate production is a triptych of very differently structured scenes. The first is a direct-address would-be lecture/confessional from a woman with confused experiences growing up in and out of an ashram. For the second section, we are taken inside the ashram for a patient, meditative look […]

Chris Arnott’s Engine 31 review: Cry Old Kingdom

It’s hard to know what to think about Jeff Augustin’s spare human drama of turmoil and unrest and shattered hopes in 1964 Haiti (“a couple of hours outside of Port-au-Prince”). It’s hard to know because this misshapen production keeps shifting its acton from the center to the fringes. It buries important plot points within understated […]

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 […]

Lou Harry’s Engine 31 review: Cry Old Kingdom

In Jeff Augustin’s Cry Old Kingdom, Edwin (Andy Lucien) is an artist believed dead by the oppressive Haitian government while his full-of-life wife, Judith (Natalie Paul), yearns for revolution. Life gets more complicated for the couple when Edwin encounters a young man, Henri (Jonathan Majors), collecting wood to build a boat to escape to America. […]

Lou Harry’s Engine 31 review: Gnit

Look elsewhere if you want a detailed analysis of the similarities and differences between Will Eno’s Gnit and various versions of Peer Gynt. In fact, you can look to the two academic guys who left the two theater ahead of me in a peer snit, claimed the play was “insulting to Ibsen.” Look here, though, […]

Lou’s bourbon-fueled review: Drink rocks my brain

As a rule, I don’t drink before or after seeing a play. Not really as a rule, but more like as a practice. I’ve got many reasons, not the least of which is that a) I have to be aware of what I’m watching in order to process it coherently and b) I usually have […]

Chris Arnott’s Engine 31 Review: O Guru Guru

    Some theaters aspire to be as comfortable as a living room. Will you settle for a yoga studio? When you enter the Victor Jory Theater on the second floor of the Actors Theatre of Louisville complex, the audience is asked to hang their coats on racks, which are wheeled into a side area […]