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"Both nature and nurture take it on the chin in 'Breeders,' Dan Giles’s sly and keen-witted dark comedy...Scrappily directed by Jaki Bradley, 'Breeders' goes in unexpected directions: It includes a hilarious scene of deadpan violence, a soupçon of Greek tragedy and a kind of sex play I don’t think I’ve seen onstage before. At its heart is a cheeky inquiry into the naturalness of domesticity that transcends distinctions of species, sexuality and gender." Full Review
"'Breeders,' though quite funny and thoughtful in parts, falters...Amusing for an instant, the parallels very quickly grow tiresome under Jaki Bradley’s less than light-footed direction. Worse, the satire deflates into whimsy. But things improve as the two stories, or at least the two pairs of actors, eventually start to interpenetrate...Giles has a good eye for satire and a twitchy ear for dialogue...What Giles hasn’t yet managed to do in 'Breeders' is transcend his cute gimmick." Full Review
"As the action of 'Breeders' shuttles back and forth between humans and hamsters, a feeling of ennui sets in: The decision to duplicate the conflict among differing species does little to add humor or dramatic interest. Mikey and Dean's endless, circular arguments quickly become grating...Bradley's direction does much to add some snap and pace to the action, but she can't prevent 'Breeders' from being an evening of neurotic fretting by four characters who hardly seem worth one's time." Full Review
“Giles's dialogue, deftly humorous on the page, too often fails to register on stage in Jaki Bradley's languorously directed production, played for quiet naturalism at such low energy you want to offer even the human characters nutrient pellets. There are cute moments scattered through the generally static action but the actors, despite the apparent honesty of their work, need more comic charisma to satisfy the play's demands.” Full Review
"So on it goes for 85 minutes with the actors repeatedly turning the couch unit as the couples quarrel about how newborns will affect their relationships. There’s no denying that the concerns are valid, and Giles cannot be criticized for addressing them. He does a fair job along the way, but it’s in a repetitive way...All four actors throw themselves vigorously into their roles...Giles allows himself to dilute his intentions by going a get too giddy as he weaves his merry way." Full Review
"Giles has created a bunch of unique and very individuated characters...All while layering parallels of excitement, love, desire, frustration, and the nervousness that comes with the idea of approaching parenthood...The stories unfold seamlessly, skillfully shifting from one to another and somehow maintaining an authentic yet quirky tone that never seems to fall into ridiculousness...But like the bedroom scene that didn’t need to be there, the play lacks a big emotional payoff." Full Review
"Uneven but likable...The two narrative universes don’t really cohere. Still, the play has its entertaining and insightful aspects...There are plentiful comic one-liners and also sharp observations in Mr. Giles’ well-crafted dialogue...The tensions, concerns and sensibilities of the long-term gay couple all ring true, but interspersing these with the mildly entertaining hamster story feels like a strategic theatrical device that undercuts the main plot to no great effect." Full Review
"A wonderfully quirky, elegantly crafted new play with some startlingly unsettling moments...It takes a lot to shock me, and shock me 'Breeders' did, on more than one occasion. Bradley’s direction does not shy away from these moments, allowing them the space they need to be fully understood. Thankfully she has some brave performers willing to take the risk...Giles’ play is smart. He doesn’t show all of his cards until the moment is right...This play is well worth your time." Full Review
"An amusing and well-acted comedy...Giles makes his rodent characters as fascinating and compelling as the human ones. The result is sometimes a lark, but just as often the comedy overlays a smartly observed, seriously philosophical look at relationships and how they function...Giles’s simple story holds a variety of canny observations about life...Happily, director Jaki Bradley keeps the various elements modulating smoothly as the story encompasses some unusually grim moments." Full Review
"A very funny play that commands frequent fits of laughter. However, at its core are Giles’ complex characters quietly suffering through their loneliness...Bradley is a good director because you don’t see her. What you see are actors with a clear understanding of the text, and a design team led by someone who empathizes with the play’s world and its complicated relationships...We are set free to laugh at the silly absurdity of our own complicated relationships and desires." Full Review
See it if you are amused by the comparison of human and animal emotions about children; you enjoy clever animals mixed with serious subject matter.
Don't see it if you like only serious drama or large scale musicals; you are uncomfortable with same sex adoption; you have no imagination.
See it if Oddly amusing & poignant juxapositioning of a gay male couple & a pair of hamsters becoming parents Actors playing hamsters both excellent
Don't see it if While the edgy parallels between the couples proves interesting the conceit starts to lose steam mid-play & momentum slows Worthy effort tho
See it if Dark comedy about how the process of becoming a parent can make people crazy and change their relationships. Creative, deep and funny.
Don't see it if My college-aged kids disliked this play. Perhaps because they couldn't relate?
See it if you are up for a show that compares how humans and hamsters prepare for the addition of children.
Don't see it if have an issue with gay couples, or can't walk up four long flights of stairs, looking for a fancy production.
See it if Human and hamsters exploring relationship issues, from amusing to horrifying. Don't expect cute: much darker than it sounds. A real find.
Don't see it if If you think it's for the kids.
See it if You want to see something really different that feels completely real and truthful and current about what is usually taboo to discuss.
Don't see it if You can’t walk up four flights of stairs. It’s worth the climb. I loved this show.
See it if you’d like an intriguing play that questions the possibility of unconditional love & commitment (but still manages to feel rather happy)
Don't see it if you think loving parenthood = most natural thing ever and it inevitably strengthens couples—suggesting otherwise is immature and distasteful
See it if you want to see a charming and thoughtful play that has a lot going for it, but maybe could have used one more draft.
Don't see it if you can't handle wildly uneven performances. (Both the actors playing hamsters were excellent.)
See it if you are curious with the emotional dynamics involved with expectant parents -as reflected in the lives of a gay couple & a pair of hamsters.
Don't see it if you don't like gay couples & simulated animals on stage portraying relatable feelings & situations...and if foot fetish makes you squirmish.
See it if Gay boys & their pet hamsters each hsve babies & lots of spats.The actors portraying the hamsters are terrific as are the gay men. Poignant
Don't see it if small production in a loft in Tribeca (elevator available). Sweet, funny, quirky and intelligent. Reminded me a little of Albee's Seascape.
See it if you like lively,imaginative scripts. You'll have fun with the gay couple about to adopt AND the hamster couple expecting their first litter.
Don't see it if you only enjoy realism. This creative. wacky piece gets a bit strained (eg "hypothetical" convo falters) but mostly it hits both head/heart.
See it if A gay couple are watching rodents reproducing while contemplating life and off-spring. The writing is quite solid and entertaining.
Don't see it if The cast is uneven and the director should have more control of the performers & numerous scene changes which kills the mood.
See it if You like small thought provproductions about real life issues told from a comedic perspective
Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with watching a show about relationship issues or if you do not like small productions.