Antlia Pneumatica
Closed 1h 45m
Antlia Pneumatica

Antlia Pneumatica NYC Reviews and Tickets

(79 Ratings)
Members say
Slow, Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Absorbing

About the Show

Playwrights Horizons presents the world premiere of Anne Washburn's new play about a group of old friends who reckon with their pasts as they bury a loved one.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (79)

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95 Reviews | 28 Followers
Absorbing, Enchanting, Ambitious, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a brilliant writer experiment with form and theatricality within a low-fi, gorgeously-designed production

Don't see it if you're less interested in something a little dryer, a little harder to hold onto-- ruminative, elliptical, and strange

137 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you like naturalistic dialogue and a clever story

Don't see it if you don't like ghost stories

96 Reviews | 63 Followers
Ambitious, Great writing, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you like The Big Chill. This show is a slow burn that requires you to think and just go with it. Great writing and acting make it worth it.

Don't see it if you want all he answers given to you and don't want to use your brain inside a theater. This isn't escapist at all.

71 Reviews | 12 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Original, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like new plays

Don't see it if You dislike plays that make you think

1145 Reviews | 461 Followers
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Funny, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You're a fan of The Big Chill or are from The Hill Country of Texas or have a dear friend who has recently died or all three like me.

Don't see it if You're looking for a fast paced story that spoon feeds you all the answers. This one is going to make you think.

165 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy smart, captivating writing and are capable of really listening to long exchanges between characters without a lot of "action".

Don't see it if You are easily distracted. Her work requires (and deserves) your full attention at all times.

214 Reviews | 61 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Slow

See it if you like ambitious, intelligent theatre even when it's not fully successful.

Don't see it if you have little tolerance for ambiguity and experiments with form.

197 Reviews | 74 Followers
Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Resonant, Quirky

See it if you want to think about the nature of life, love, death and the human condition. Like a confusing dream, and an hour later the meaning hits

Don't see it if you like straightforward plots with clear resolutions

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
April 4th, 2016

"'Antlia' has been directed with a mix of bright whimsy and dark portentousness by Ken Rus Schmoll and features a likable cast. It is definitely a downer to report that the play’s ghost story feels as leaden and unsurprising as its collective portrait of midlife doubts in the face of mortality...Washburn seems to have gotten lost between the traditional and experimental sides of her craft, never finding a comfortable voice that accommodates both."
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Time Out New York
April 4th, 2016

"Washburn is not your ordinary playwright. The pleasures of her work are fugitive, sidelong and slippery...The dialogue is often glib, funny and heartfelt, making 'Antlia' a sheer joy as a listening device...Washburn’s witty, surprising language makes you laugh in self-recognition...I think everyone should see Anne Washburn’s plays, but those who demand familiar forms and takeaway messages be warned: all that’s needed here are your ears."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 4th, 2016

"A supernatural twist is introduced that upends our perceptions of everything that's come before. The revelation is jarring, not so much for its spookiness but rather for the perfunctory manner of the storytelling. The proceedings are tonally inconsistent and the plotting full of holes only adds to the overall frustration. That's a shame, because the play is enjoyable for long stretches, thanks to its witty dialogue and well-drawn characterizations. The actors deliver fine performances."
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April 4th, 2016

"Anne Washburn writes weird plays, and 'Antlia Pneumatica' is no exception...Childhood friends who meet over a funeral feast waste considerable stage time catching up on other old friends we never meet...It sounds like an audience challenge, trying to identify the ghosts among the dreamers. But with the exception of Nina, the characters are so superficially drawn, there’s not enough substance to them to distinguish the living from the dead."
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The Observer
April 16th, 2016

"The title alone should warn you of the dreck that awaits you...Drags on for an hour and 45 minutes without intermission, interspersed with much cooking, many reminiscences about stars and constellations, and some boring songs that could drive you to drink...Relationships between the characters are so thinly outlined that you end up knowing nothing about any of them...The author displays no knowledge of the pace of change most people learn in a first-semester playwriting seminar."
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New York Daily News
April 4th, 2016

"A work about friendship and the impersistence of memory that starts out plump with promise but steadily deflates...Washburn has perfect pitch here when it comes to dialogue...Under Ken Rus Schmoll’s direction, the cast clicks. But for all of the convincing conversation, plus impromptu singing, these characters have as much shape and interest as empty balloons. The dramatic enterprise falls flat."
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April 4th, 2016

"Washburn does a fine job posing intriguing questions about the nature of relationships. But the play feels more like a series of intellectual musings than a fully immersive world...We need more than just an eloquent metaphor to keep us attached to this story. We never learn much about any of these people — who they are now or who they used to be. And the more they seem to disconnect from one another, the more we disconnect from them."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 6th, 2016

"In its sly, sideways manner, it has something - a haunting sense of the passage of time, a feeling of wonderment at the mysteries of the universe…Nothing really happens and yet, as a meditation on middle age, mortality, the passing and rekindling of desire, and the sheer mystery of existence, 'Antlia Pneumatica' casts a certain spell that I found beguiling. It helps that Schmoll has assembled a company notably skilled at expressing the unsaid. Annie Parisse is first-rate as Nina."
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