Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies
“An undeniably intelligent and multilayered play…This comedy with a bitter dramatic aftertaste will leave you pondering what exactly you just saw for days after…Norris has us mentally firing on all cylinders. Every beat seems to bring a new insight or argument to consider…A well-staged, sharply designed production…Greif and Norris steadily accelerate the flow of ideas and dramatic possibilities all the way to the end as we work to keep up with a play that always feels a few steps ahead of us.” Full Review
"Greif keeps a sharp cast moving at a smart clip through a static text that’s more talk than action—and more thought than talk. Most of the conversation takes place in the bland bedroom of an unmarried couple who are themselves pretty bland...The problem with the play has nothing to do with science, or even sci-fi versions of time travel. The problem is that Bee is severely hamstrung by her limited imagination and lack of human compassion." Full Review
“More often than not it seems to be spinning its own wheels…‘A Parallelogram’ doesn’t live up to its sharpest moments. Whatever messages Norris is trying to impart are muddled at best and depressing at worst. The shifting perspectives add up to little more than clever narrative tricks…The play also feels needlessly dragged out…The performers do solid work, but Keenan-Bolger and Kunken are hamstrung by their characters’ shrillness...The saving grace is Gillette." Full Review
“Whether you'll want to see ‘A Parallelogram’ depends on your palate for poison. Norris excels at writing conversations you heartily wish would end, and Keenan-Bolger and Kunken talk at each other with the kind of blank insistence that does, in fact, make you fear for humanity. I certainly came away with a bad taste in my mouth; the play is successful, as far as it goes, in making even the pre-apocalypse savor of ashes.” Full Review
“Offers plenty to think about and much to enjoy in Michael Greif’s sleek production. But as drama it’s not only a nonstarter but a nonender; it’s a red herring that swallows its own tail…‘A Parallelogram,’ which at first seems like a change of pace from Mr. Norris’s usual satirical approach, reveals itself as more of the same but weaker…Norris’ ginned-up climaxes go nowhere...If you knew how the play ended when it began, would you see it? In this case, I think not.” Full Review
“A powerful theme and the playwright does afford some fascinating explorations of this existential dilemma, but the central shtick of redoing scenes gets repetitive long before the evening ends. There are also several holes in the plot…The adept four-person cast brings much shading to these confused characters…Norris has previously presented complex and layered puzzles in his plays…But ‘Parallelogram’ comes across as a one-joke sketch stretched out to two acts." Full Review
"'A Parallelogram' benefits enormously from Greif's deft direction and a cast skilled in the art of walking the tightrope on which their author has placed them...Not everyone will warm up to Norris' heartlessly analytical dramaturgy and you could make a case that the playwright is behaving rather abusively toward his heroine. But there's a tonic quality to his pessimism, with its implicit message that one had better get busy with the business of living since God only knows what is coming." Full Review
“Why the insignificant Bee…is visited by her future avatar isn't answered, nor do we know why Bee 2 knows so much about quantum mechanics; many other questions could be raised about various contrivances, but Norris's concern is less with logical plotting than with establishing a basis on which to bat around ideas inspired by his time-bending conceit…Under Michael Greif's upbeat direction, the production is engaging…with Gillette's razor-sharp delivery of cynical observations leading the way.” Full Review
"There is such a muddle of 'message' that one is at once intrigued and unsatisfied...Norris seems as much at sea as the rest of us...Director Michael Greif’s artful and experienced sensibility is evident in the smooth, sleight of hand misdirections...The actors bring talent and polish...Still, with all these gifts of talent and experience, 'A Parallelogram' falls short...A play needs more than a clown car of notions and a three-ring circus of ambiguity." Full Review
"If you knew in advance what was going to happen in your life and couldn’t change it, would you still want to go on? Audiences at Norris’s darkly funny but frustrating comedy...are likely to walk away with a different query: Is that all there is? Alas, yes. Despite pungent performances all around and a crisp staging by director Michael Greif...the play leaves you wanting...Leaving things up for grabs is one thing, but copping out is another...In the end, the play doesn't square." Full Review
"A very dark though frequently funny puzzle play...It's been given a top-notch new production. And Norris, as usual, tells his story with humor and sharp dialogue...Unfortunately even the directing savvy of Mr. Greif and the terrific performances don't really manage a credible link between the real and surreal Bees. Consequently ‘A Parallelogram’ is memorable mostly for its tantalizing, if not always believable or easy to follow, stylishness." Full Review
“A thoroughly engaging and exciting piece of theatre…As directed slickly and concisely by the total pro Michael Greif, this engaging and thrilling new play feels like the perfect mind game...This piece doesn’t make one misstep…Miraculously designed by Rachel Hauck, the set spins and messes with our sense of reality...It’s a piece of pure theatrical magic…But the true magic, beyond the impeccable performances, is the play itself. A work of fascinating puzzle-making.” Full Review
“Bruce Norris' ‘A Parallelogram’ endeavors to explore some sobering facts about the effect of the future on the present and responsibility to others. Unfortunately, the play ends up being laborious and tiresome - without being revealing or challenging. Too many of the fantasy elements have not been worked out so that much must be taken on faith or not considered. Norris wants to say something deep but this 2010 play having its belated New York premiere is more confused than meaningful.” Full Review
“Although there are metaphysical elements involved in the premise, don’t let that worry you. You don’t need to understand them to enjoy the play…Did I mention that the play is also very funny?...The production is first-rate: the cast is uniformly excellent, the direction by Michael Greif is sharp…The play has more to appeal to the intellect and the funny bone than to the heart. It runs a bit long too. But it you want to see a quirky example of superb stagecraft, I highly recommend it.” Full Review
"Having just seen the first New York production of this gently nihilistic comedy, I think I’ll never forget it...Keenan-Bolger’s gift as an actress is to keep her façade abnormally placid while revealing what’s just below the surface, as well as what’s wrenching her gut. Michael Greif’s direction pairs her beautifully with Gillette…In the end, its message is a downer, but the play is thrilling to watch while it’s there in front of us.” Full Review
“An intriguing and darkly comic science fiction-inspired play…It is well worth the visit…The performance of the play is dependent on some exquisite timing by the cast and crew…The characters take a back seat to the unpacking of the story, and the men, in particular, serve mostly as plot devices. But Keenan-Bolger and, especially, Gillette do a fine job in bringing to life the playwright's sometimes nihilistic, sometimes quirkily funny ideas about our insignificant place in the universe.” Full Review
“Norris has tackled some of life’s thorniest issues and difficult questions with an almost unprecedented mixture of honesty, humor and fearlessness. Those qualities are in evidence once more in ‘A Parallelogram’...a top-notch production under Greif’s remarkably assured direction…What could come off as mere intellectual pretension instead feels very real thanks to the efforts of this extraordinary cast…May not be Norris’ finest work, but I nonetheless implore you to make the time to see it!” Full Review
“You can see the ideas of class and status explored in 'Clybourne Park' percolating in this earlier existential comedy…Director Michael Greif allows Norris’s misanthropy to creep slowly into the proceedings…‘A Parallelogram’ is a dark piece that argues we’re unlikely to emerge from the primordial muck of our own creation.” Full Review
"A super cast and Greif’s sharp staging of Norris’s snappy dialogue, characterizations, and provocative insights, make for an entertaining if sometimes overextended journey...Some of the ideas become repetitive. But the concepts with which the playwright deals are intriguing...He succeeds in laying them out in often hilarious situations and conversation...And hovering over everything is the superb, memorable, and enjoyable performance by Gillette." Full Review
"Norris is a master of the snappy line...Director Greif is a master stager of all kinds of material and he's adept here as well, working hard to delineate the time shifts...The show also has a top-notch cast...But neither the good acting nor the jocular dialogue made me care about either of the Bees or the men in their life. In the end, the only takeaway the play could offer up is that life is better when people are nice to one another. Which...I knew going in." Full Review
"Under Michael Greif’s direction, the time-twisting tale unfolds in knockabout style thanks to Norris’s slick, Seinfeldesque dialogue and the cast’s deadpan comic talents. The badinage is a little too refined at times...But Norris makes up for such lapses with his flair for on-the-nose similes..But...'A Parallelogram' never fully develops its philosophically rich premise...It remains broadly entertaining, but 'A Parallelogram' ultimately seems to be missing a dimension." Full Review
"Far from Norris' best...Norris’ premise is an interesting one but what should have been an existential head trip ends up something of a cop out and dramatically it’s rather inert. All of the characters, including a young Latino lawn cutter, become tiresome halfway through. It is well acted though and Greif’s direction is strong enough to keep us guessing far longer than the play deserves...Disappointingly half-baked." Full Review
"The first half is clever and funny, with Norris making deft use of a sort of metaphysical remote control...As the story unfolds, though, a certain cynicism takes over...This playwright never seems quite so satisfied as when he's pitilessly anatomizing his characters' worst impulses and flaws. This approach can be entertaining, and certainly 'A Parallelogram' has its moments. But Norris fails to say anything here about fate, destiny and free will that hasn't been said countless times before." Full Review
"One of the few magical plays out there this season...A clever loophole and a fascinating theory fill this play with mystery and wonder...Don't expect all the answers. But expect a wondrous, funny, heartwarming performance by all the actors in what might be Mr. Norris' second-best play." Full Review
“Keenan-Bolger deftly carries the very engaging if not completely satisfying dark comedy with major assistance from a fantastic supporting cast…Gillette is a delight as Bees 2, 3, and 4…Greif’s direction is spot-on. He and his cast tell a tale that’s eminently laughable but tinged with sadness, even desperation…Norris’s play, in addition being very funny, is intelligent and incisive, which is why its ending disappoints…‘A Parallelogram’ sets us up for a strong finish but doesn’t deliver.” Full Review
See it if Woman repeats parts of her life while talking to an older version of herself. Interesting philosophies, clever acting and staging.
Don't see it if A bit repetitive in spots. More intellectual than emotionally engaging. Characters are humorous but lack depth.
See it if You like thought provoking plays or plays about the choices one makes. Well acted and nice staging. Interesting plot twists and gripping.
Don't see it if You want to see a light hearted play, or a musical
See it if Clever Bruce Norris scenario of a young woman encountering her older self. Anita Gillette is endearingly hilarious.
Don't see it if Kind of slight, but we really enjoyed it. When they magically replay scenes, you can see how well the actors know their parts.
See it if you like existential time warping stories about regrets and second chances with a fantasy element. Very nice set and good performances.
Don't see it if you're expecting a new take on the "if only I'd...." theme or a happy ending. None of the characters is particularly likable.
See it if You like plays that leave you with a lot to think about concerning life and all the choices we make.
Don't see it if Plays with straight forward stories that you won't need to figure out in the end
See it if you like the "what if I made different choices" question & the sci-fi trope of parallel universes; you want to see the divine Anita Gillette
Don't see it if you're a fan of the superior plays Constellations, Marjorie Prime or even Groundhog Day, where similar themes are played out more profoundly
See it if Well-acted sci-fi funny comedy about a married couple where the wife is "seeing things". So true when it says money is not key to happiness.
Don't see it if Very taken aback when they said "people won't think or care about the Holocaust or September 11th in the future"; that ruined the show.
See it if You like thought bending drama. Are fans of these actors -- who do as well as they can with this limited script.
Don't see it if Don't have patience for a convoluted story line and language-based theatre experience.
See it if You want a story that deals with a metaphysical subject in a smart and unusual way. You might leave asking yourself a few questions.
Don't see it if If you Like plays that give you all the answers with a neat and clear ending. Some people might find the story confusing at times.
See it if You love any of the principals involved -- they give it their all. Anita Gillette and Celia Keenan-Bolger never fail to deliver.
Don't see it if You're looking for pure entertainment as opposed to a Stoppard-like brain exercise. We've heard this message before from Eugene O'Neill.
See it if you are a fan of good acting and want to see the latest Norris play; if you are patient about a plot line that replicates Groundhog Day.
Don't see it if you want a neatly written piece where all the storylines are resolved and packaged with clear endings. Takes some patience.
See it if So completely thought-provoking; I couldn't stop thinking about this for days. Totally beguiling, well acted--an excellent night of theater.
Don't see it if I can't really think of a reason not to see it; the play/staging/acting was the total package. Maybe skip if you want a fun musical.
See it if you enjoy great acting esp by Anita Gilette and Cecilia Keenan Bolger. Also if youu like to think. Concept re: Life is fascinating. Reality?
Don't see it if need a musical extravaganza or you prefer a play that spells out what is ahead. . .What's with revolving stages? 12 in last 6 weeks
See it if you love mind bending plots that dont give you all the answers and you leave the theater questioning your very exisitence
Don't see it if you like plays that are straightforward, happy and end with all loose ends tied up
See it if you like wellacted fast paced dialogue & don't mind challenged by show's take away; definitely prompts after show discussion on show meaning
Don't see it if you don't want confusing story line & show's meaning; elements of waiting for godot; shows pedigree & expectations leads to disappointment
See it if You enjoy theater that makes you think. This dark comedy will make you question what is real and what is not. Also great performances by all
Don't see it if You are looking to just sit back and be entertained and don't want to be challenged.