81

About Alice NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(48 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
2%
Negative
6%
Members say
Romantic, Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Delightful

About the Show

Theater for a New Audience presents this new two-character play inspired by humorist Calvin Trillin’s memoir of the same title about his late wife.

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Member Reviews (48)

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95
Enchanting, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if delightful performances interest you. Beautifully staged even my side top balcony seat had a good view. I left the theater feeling uplifted.

Don't see it if Amusing two character shows are of no interest. Or you don't like going to Brooklyn but it will be your loss.

85
Quiet two hander with humor and an appreciation for what was, Great writing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you read the article on which it is based. You want to know just how special Alice Trillin was. Her words often dwarf his prose.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a saga of a fight for life. Of a contemplation of a life shared and truly lived.

Critic Reviews (16)

January 20th, 2019

"The emotional terrain has shifted with the genre, so much that the restraint now feels like withholding. As a result, the dramatization...is sweet and mild and less emotional than the book, when what you want is for it to be more so...Not that the actors in any way fall short of inhabiting their characters...But creating these simulacra of the book’s characters is not the same as dramatizing them."
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January 20th, 2019

"A humorous, sweetly touching account of the couple's relationship that revolves around one main theme: Trillin really, really adored his wife, who he admits was way out of his league...It works beautifully as a two-character piece, because it allows Alice to represent herself...Despite its brief 75-minute running time, the piece wanders at times...But despite its occasional tedious patches, the play, staged in rewardingly simple fashion by Leonard Foglia, proves deeply affecting."
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January 20th, 2019

"Humorous and heartfelt, this touching tribute to Trillin's late wife is not just the memoir of a marriage, but an intimate look into a lost culture shared only by two...This is a play about cancer, but it is no depression-fest. ‘About Alice’ is the story of an unlucky thing that happened to two otherwise very fortunate people who managed to find each other and spend 38 wonderful years together. For 75 charming minutes, Trillin invites us to bask in some of that warmth.”
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January 22nd, 2019

“’About Alice’ is an efflorescence of grace in a world that very much needs it...Trillin has a found a way to transform prose into theatre...Trillin has effectively dramatized his essay...The actors display an easy intimacy that may rouse envy in many in the audience...In size and scale, ‘About Alice’ is a little thing, but under its polished surface lurk profound and enduring emotions.”
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January 20th, 2019

"An affectionate and touching portrait...A warm, often funny, altogether charming account of two nice, educated, cultured people...The story easily skips about in time as it is narrated mostly in an anecdotal fashion by Trillin...This husband and wife, or the author and his muse, or the delightful couple of New Yorkers whose interplay is so naturally acted here, are winningly portrayed by Jeffrey Bean and Carrie Paff."
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January 24th, 2019

"Bean and Paff have a tremendous rapport, he somewhat wry as Trilln's writing, she bemused by his pronouncements; he, the fantasist, she, the realist. Described as a beautiful blonde, Paff lives up to that description...Neither of them seems to age even though 36 years go by in the course of the play's 80 minutes. The play also seems lightweight as it is very episodic, being told as a series of vignettes. It also doesn't have a cumulative feeling as it is not told in chronological order."
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January 21st, 2019

"A New York love story that will touch your heart and perhaps make you cry... It can be a little disorienting at times to keep up with the free-wheeling repartee. However, while Trillin is more a journalist than a playwright, his wry humor and instinctive comic timing keep things on track...Maybe the only fitting way to sum up the production is to say it achieves its aspirations to bring Alice dramatically alive in the here and now."
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January 27th, 2019

"The love that Calvin feels for Alice is obvious, but at the end of the piece I found myself wanting more...I left the theater wishing I had read Trillin’s memoir in order to get a fuller picture of his wife that he so loved and admired, rather than seeing snippets of their happiness together played out onstage...'About Alice' was expertly performed, and the simplicity of the production elements let the performances and the relationship be the true center of the story...A beautiful love letter to a lost soul mate."
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January 26th, 2019

"The play is gentle and funny, touching and romantic, kind and gentle, just like the Alice that hangs around the theatre reminding us all what love looks and feels like. It doesn’t have a driving force throughout, nor does it pack the highest of emotional punches, maybe because we know how it all is going to end from the very beginning...It sweetly falters a bit on its sentimental legs, but as a tribute, its a gentle sweet hug and loving kiss on the cheek, and not much else."
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January 21st, 2019

“Bean paints a realistic portrait of a grief-stricken man…The show is relatively tight…but it does meander...when Calvin reflects on his married life. Time is very fluid, which does seem to hold true to memory…Foglia didn’t necessarily need to mark each passage of time with a wig and costume change, which slow down the action…’About Alice’ is a love letter to Alice…Although the viewer might empathize with Trillin and his loss, in the end the death of Alice is not very impactful.”
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January 20th, 2019

"A sweet and touching, if not particularly memorable, two-person play…It's a familiar version of the kind of story we've practically become inured to…describing noble, exceptional people fighting fatal…The general tone is more that of a memorized recitation than words spoken spontaneously. For all Bean's appealing charm, his words have a literary, not a natural cadence…There are laughs here but they're neither frequent nor loud enough to ward off the inevitable sorrow."
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T
January 30th, 2019

“Trillin brings to life his inspiring relationship with his wife in the heartfelt, beautifully rendered ‘About Alice’...Bean is terrific as Calvin, calm and easygoing, his eyes aglow with his deep love for his wife. And Paff is luminous as an extraordinary, multifaceted woman with a passion for everything she did; it won’t take long before you fall in love with her too. Alice was often a character in Calvin’s writing, but she becomes so much more in this moving tribute to a lovely human being.”
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January 29th, 2019

"Calvin Trillin’s way of not only letting people know who Alice was, but also showing just how much she was part of his existence...An alternately lighthearted and somber journey through points in the couple’s life...While the specter of Alice’s illness is ever-present, it’s the relationship between the couple that forms the linchpin of the story, particularly the way they complement each other...A touching story of a somewhat familiar yet quite unique, very moving journey."
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T
January 23rd, 2019

“If any play deserves to be called ‘a work of love’, it would certainly be this radiantly emotional play...Paff and and Bean create that casual familiarity unique to married couples. For this reason they are totally believable. Despite the highly emotional content of their story Bean and Paff are remarkably low-keyed. This makes the story all the more moving...Those who look for high drama will be disappointed...’About Alice’ seems to touch on the...nature and strength of sustained love.”
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January 21st, 2019

“A slender but thoughtful look at the writer’s beloved wife and muse…A one-man memory play, with occasional interjections from the subject of that one man’s memory…Thankfully, the two stars suggest a fuller, rounded life than seems to exist on the page…Despite its 75-minute running time, ‘About Alice’ can seem a little saggy at times. But for the most part, it’s a wry and rueful tribute to a remarkable woman.”
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January 24th, 2019

"Trillin’s deadpan humor—as anyone who saw his many hilarious appearances on Johnny Carson can attest—is always in evidence, even when his drama takes a darker turn...Bean and Paff play off each other with easy familiarity and tenderness in Leonard Foglia’s simple and effective staging. Of course, at 75 minutes it might only skim the surface of such a lengthy and loving relationship, but 'About Alice' retains the warmth and wit that distinguishes Trillin’s best work."
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