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J. David Brimmer


February 3, 2017

There are many questions that the author fails to answer. Although the boys have not attended school in years and Bobbie has been diagnosed as ADHD and should be in the British equivalent of special education, no social worker seems to have visited to check up. Who is paying the rent or the electricity? Is the mother on welfare and are these items paid automatically? There is no explanation of how the boys are eating and how Taliban stays alive if they have not been feeding it for days or even weeks. While the neighbors are aware of Bobbie’s stealing, he seems to be getting away with it. The dog’s continual barking from his locked room can be heard on the street but no complaints have been filed. Is all this a metaphor or a slice of life drama? [more]

The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois

June 17, 2016

Adam Rapp’s plays are often about loners and people outside of mainstream society. "The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois" now at Atlantic Stage 2 in a production directed by the author falls into this category. Its strength is that the play is a detailed well-developed character study. However, as a drama, it seems more like a sketch or a section of a longer play yet to be written leaving many unanswered questions. [more]

Wolf in the River

March 26, 2016

Directed by the author, "Wolf in the River" is an environmental production as the audience is invited to sit in folding chairs around a mound of earth with forlorn flowers, garbage and debris. However, there are set pieces and props located in the four corners of the venue as well. When the play begins, a man sitting in the audience gets up, strips off his shirt and shoes, and becomes the play’s narrator and master of ceremonies, as well as one of the characters. In an unnamed Southern American location, we are on the banks of a river (the audience is the river) filled with alligators. Six actors in pasty make-up wander around the outer perimeter of the room. Although the program does not explain their presence, the script reveals that they are the ghosts of those who have perished in the river. [more]


September 24, 2015

"Fulfillment" by the always surprising Thomas Bradshaw is about anything but the contentment and success implied by its ironic title. The Flea Theater’s production, directed to emphasize its undercurrents of eroticism and anger by Ethan McSweeny, is both shocking and sad. The audience witnesses the almost classically Greek downfall of a man done in by his own weaknesses. Anger, lust, pride and greed does in the central character. [more]

Guards at the Taj

June 21, 2015

Rajiv Joseph’s plays are filled with emotional or physical violence as in "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," "Gruesome Playground Injuries" or "Animal out of Paper." His new play, "Guards at the Taj," being given its world premiere by Atlantic Theater Company, has both. Set in India in 1648, this riveting drama which works on many levels has been directed by Amy Morton, best known for her New York performances in Steppenwolf transfers to Broadway ("August: Osage County" and "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), and features Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed who are always commanding. [more]


June 3, 2015

Robert Askins’ hilarious and engrossing new play is set in Texas just like his Hand to God also produced by MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in 2014 and now on Broadway. And just like "Hand to God," this comedy-drama is about needy, unfulfilled people, but this time it is about adults, rather than damaged teenagers. He writes full rounded characters and clever, believable dialogue that reveals the speakers at all times. Here and in "Hand to God," he also deals with fresh subject matter not seen on our stage before. While nothing really shocking happens on stage in Permission, it is most definitely for adults – and prudes should stay home. [more]