Crackskull Row
Closed 1h 20m
Crackskull Row
74

Crackskull Row NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(59 Reviews)
Positive
75%
Mixed
13%
Negative
12%
Members say
Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Confusing, Edgy

About the Show

After a successful Off-Off-Broadway run, The Cell's mounting of Honor Molloy's dysfunctional family drama transfers to the Irish Repertory Theatre.

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Member Reviews (59)

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95
Riveting, Edgy, Masterful, Haunting, Enchanting

See it if Dark family mystery with intense characters, ghosts, and gorgeous language. I was transfixed, torched and blown away. What an ending!

Don't see it if The accents will put you off, or you don't enjoy this much intensity, including sex and violence.

76
Ambitious, Confusing, Edgy, Intense, Good writing

See it if Molloy's engrossing pitch-black dramedy of family history at its most perverse Language can border on poetic Actors all fine esp Costigan

Don't see it if Irish accents can detract as well as dark subject Simring's breakneck pacing often disorients Reminiscent of early McDonagh or Philip Ridley

Critic Reviews (20)

CurtainUp
February 12th, 2017

"A minor problem with the play's structure is that it's difficult to keep track of the characters' secrets and lies as they slip into and out of their own regrettable past and present selves. Yet director Kira Simring has a firm grip on the action and keeps the cast invested in their unlikable characters. Receptive audiences will find the weird language that Molloy has created fascinating and find themselves unwittingly drawn into the nightmarish scene."
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Front Row Center
March 7th, 2017

“Director Kira Simring and her talented cast manage the nifty trick of creating a path of destruction that is both in and out of time…The double casting adds to the mind warp…Ms. Molloy writes with a poetic sensibility, a fondness for puns and an ear for metaphor…Ghosts, when they arrive, tend to show up barefoot (and sometimes, wondrously, from out of the fireplace).”
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Front Mezz Junkies
March 3rd, 2017

"Under Simring’s lyrical direction, there is a very Oedipal twang and structure...Molloy plays with flashbacks and memories that start with a stellar performance by Colin Lane as a jailed man looking through the prison bars back into his past...This is a bleak and dark exploration of jealousy, rage, and maternal manipulation...If only there had been less guilt and ghosts on 'Crackskull Row'...all would have turned out quite differently, but that’s not how the Irish roll."
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T
February 10th, 2017

"Molloy spins a tale of intrigue and madness as she exposes the underbelly of a complex dysfunctional family...That past is played out brilliantly by the engaging cast who give their multiple characters and their multifarious conflicts authenticity and believability...Under Kira Simring’s direction, 'Crackskull Row' is as good as it gets and it does not get better than this...'Crackskull Row' is not to be missed. Just leave propriety and apprehension behind."
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BlogCritics.org
February 17th, 2017

"Molloy adds just enough of a narrative bridge, with snippets of poetic narrative, for us to understand how Masher’s deranged emotions effect the personages we see in various scenes...This is above all a dynamic and fascinating tale of a family at its most primitive and self-retributive...The director and design crew’s excellent work conveys the play’s symbolism and themes."
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The New York Times
September 16th, 2016
For a previous production

"Grotesque but richly satisfying...Ms. Molloy enters the ring, exploring rage, dissolution, sexual perversity and family history with a bleak and penetrating acuity...The performers, directed by Kira Simring, are uniformly on point, with a grizzled Mr. Lane and a disheveled Ms. Donnelly especially fine...But it is Ms. Molloy’s salty, slangy yet singsong dialogue that most resonates."
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Time Out New York
September 6th, 2016
For a previous production

"The text is beautifully constructed, but it asks for magic, and Kira Simring's un-beautiful production hasn't got much of a spell to cast. A great deal of the trouble is casting. Donnelly stays pert even in the face of black doom; Lane can't connect to the material at all. Happily, though, the younger pair was made to speak this stuff...Occasionally they have a scene together. You wait the whole show for these moments—only in them does Molloy's witchcraft do its work.
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Theatermania
September 14th, 2016
For a previous production

"Seldom as spooky as it wants to be…Molloy's playful language is really the star of the show. It verges on twee in its own bleak Irish way, but its musicality is truly enjoyable. Impressively, the four-person cast never flinches, making Molloy's whimsical poetry seem perfectly natural…Still, one gets the sense that the playwright is not as committed to tone as the design team…By the time the climax comes, it is too over-the-top to take seriously."
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Lighting & Sound America
September 6th, 2016
For a previous production

"Molloy has little interest in providing the characters with the psychological underpinnings that might justify their actions—if, indeed, anything could; instead, she prefers to pile on the shockers. Kira Simring's direction can't supply what the play so sorely lacks; as a result, her blunt, straightforward staging is often borderline risible, especially during the overheated climax…Molloy reaches for Greek tragedy and ends up with something closer to an episode of 'Maury Povich.'"
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Talkin' Broadway
September 5th, 2016
For a previous production

"This is a particularly unpleasant ghost story the playwright serves up, filled with images of blood and filth and Oedipal obsession that are difficult to shake off upon exiting the theater...Simring and the entire cast have thrown themselves completely into the creep-fest, and it certainly is a polished work...Molloy's play does contain elements of black humor, but she brings a unique blend of hyperrealism and psychological morass that takes 'Crackskull' to a whole new level of ickiness."
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TheaterScene.net
September 8th, 2016
For a previous production

"Alternating between black comedy and emotional intensity, this wildly dysfunctional family drama is cleverly written, hypnotically presented and sensationally performed...Director Kira Simring’s superior staging theatrically presents the play’s complicated situations with clarity and surrealistic flourishes...'Crackskull Row's' lurid aspects successfully coexist with realism making it sometimes frightening and always entertaining."
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Stage Buddy
September 8th, 2016
For a previous production

"Molloy puts a spell on words and rearranges them according to the rasp of her own rhythm. They are lyrical and symmetrical and pauses are necessary to soak them in. The excellent cast place their bets on the melody and they are all the more tuneful for it. Director Kira Simring leads from the language and guides lust and menace in the actions and breathing space."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
September 9th, 2016
For a previous production

“Molloy’s language may occasionally prove as baffling as her plotting; written in a dense Dublin Irish patois filled with all sorts of colorfully imaginative expressions, it privileges atmosphere over clarity, sometimes sounding like Conor McPherson on a wee hours pub crawl...Judging by its vagueness the play might as easily have been called ‘Scratchskull Row;' still, bits and pieces of its dramatic detritus are definitely worth salvaging.”
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W
September 7th, 2016
For a previous production

"One gathers that this play was pulled from the bottom of playwright Honor Molloy’s trunk. It shows. This is not to say there isn’t excellent writing here or a compelling story, but rather that intermittent weeding and additional on-subject writing would make the piece immeasurably more successful…Both Donnelly and Lane inhabit their characters...Director Kira Simring does a splendid job of utilizing the set…Outbreaks are mostly kept to plausibility. Intimacy is beautifully depicted."
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On Stage Blog
September 9th, 2016
For a previous production

"The dark and disturbing play by Honor Molloy walks in circles through the swamped woods of one’s mind, leaving us without the firm ground of reality until the end...‘Crackskull Row’ intertwines realism and myth, giving a homicide in Dublin the taste of a Greek tragedy. It’s a very heavy and painful story brilliantly worded by Honor Molloy and directed by Kira Simring."
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T
September 6th, 2016
For a previous production

"Director Kira Simring clearly guided the cast in building a tight ensemble. Yet it is the moments when the tension spikes and the reality becomes blurred that the specificity wanes...The story and language of 'Crackskull Row' are exquisite, and the performances from the actors are lovely against a beautifully designed set. However, looking at the piece as a whole, it falls short of becoming triumphant by leaving the audience asking questions that detract from the play rather than enhance it."
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Irish Central
September 23rd, 2016
For a previous production

"As Masher, Terry Donnelly is variously mother Ireland, the infernal Morrigan of Irish myth, the woman you run to and the woman you try to escape...I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen a female character given this much agency in an Irish play...Beautifully written and at all times absorbing because it understands the potency of the themes it has unleashed...Few Irish playwrights have dared to be this ambitious in years. 'Crackskull Row' blazes to life with an anguished and unsettling howl."
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Off Off Online
September 10th, 2016
For a previous production

"There is much to admire about the production, including some fine performances...'Crackskull Row' often values dramatic potential over clarity, and while some climactic, intimate scenes are intensely dramatic, others fall into a spasmodic mode of meaningless activity. Save for a few rare scenes of sparkling chemistry, the production threatens to come away at the seams...Yet, the production is redeemed and revived by its flowing, narrative core, and the actors who bring it to life."
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Washington Square News
September 6th, 2016
For a previous production

"In the world of theater that tackles taboo topics, 'Crackskull Row' has undeniably added its name to the list...One leaves the theater mystified. To be sure, the show was dark and unsettling. Its themes were off-putting—or disturbing—to say the least, but it certainly is not a 75-minute display of horror. 'Crackskull Row' certainly does give the curious mind a lot to work with."
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A
September 21st, 2016
For a previous production

"To watch this show, you must suspend wanting immediate gratification or clarity. All will be revealed in time. There is a powerful unsettling scene regarding mother-son incest and unexpected twists and turns. I recommend this play to anyone who appreciates good acting, writing and directing, and who is willing and strong enough to venture into an emotionally challenging place. This show is not for the sensitive or faint of heart but will leave a lasting impression."
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