See it if Actors do their best in this poorly written, poorly directed show. It is all over the place and confusing at times.
Don't see it if If badly written absurdist plays are not for you.
See it if you like absurd plays - here 5 characters go off in all directions in a drinking game to reveal themselves and their concerns.
Don't see it if you want a straight play-this jumps around a it and covers the same territory over a bit and may leave many wondering what it is all about.
See it if 5 characters struggle with confused identities after losing their reference points. Creative, insightful. Good acting. Zany, funny moments.
Don't see it if You don’t like absurdist theater. One character dreams that we all “get off the plane before it crashes.” But what does that mean?
See it if You enjoy naturalistic plays — in all their weirdness. This is basically a straightforward play with a lot of funny, quirky moments.
Don't see it if You despise plays that are weird for the sake of being weird. This is a meditation on death with an extended drunken karaoke sequence.
See it if You are a fan of the terrific cast.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy an evening of confusion and head scratching. The point evaded me as this could have taken place in any small or large town.
See it if You feel you should see these good actors in any play.
Don't see it if You want a good play that has something of value.
See it if The only good thing that happened tonight was that no one‘s cell phone went off during the performance
Don't see it if You are expecting a story that you can follow and make sense of Read more
See it if you want to see 5 actors in terrific form in a play that makes very little sense that at 90 minutes is too long.
Don't see it if you want a straight forward play this is not for you. Read more
"Everything is ridiculous, and after an hour and 40 minutes, 'Des Moines', like a night spent drinking at home, ends with a stubborn lack of resolution."
"The emptiness of 'Des Moines' feels as vast and unsettling as its Great Plains setting. Facing up against the cutoff of death, all there is to do is drink and sing and avoid talking about it."
"I wasn't bored at any time during the play's one hour and 40 minutes. I suspect this was due less to the play itself than to the strength of the performances, all of which end up being as hilarious as they are absurd."
Making its belated New York premiere, this 2007 drama by the late Denis Johnson, long acclaimed for his novels and short stories, is a kind of dramatic spook house, haunted by the shades of other playwrights' better, more vivid works. It strains to unsettle, using stratagems so well-worn that they have lost the power to provoke. If I had to guess, I'd say that Johnson probably didn't spend much time going to the theatre; if he had, I doubt he would have come up with something as derivative as this.
"Des Moines sputters at the end...But even if its final destination proves unclear, the rambling journey getting there is infinitely rewarding."
American author Denis Johnson often wrote about misfits as part of his vision of a semi-mythic West. His play "Des Moines" from 2007, one of seven he wrote, now having its New York premiere at Theatre for a New Audience, includes these themes. The play brings together five unlikely Iowa people for an impromptu party that seems to go off the rails. We are never certain if it’s all a dream or if it really happened. While the cast led by Johanna Day, Arliss Howard and Michael Shannon seem to know what is going on, we the audience are entirely left out of the equation.
"The actors are shooting stars. They are comets crisscrossing the stage, tearing it up, and throwing light on one another and the audience."
"There’s not really any deeper meaning to be found in one’s cups, here–just momentary camaraderie and some very strange dreams. Maybe that’s the best humanity does have to offer us."