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Fade

Members say: Relevant, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Funny
74
Critics
63
19 reviews
Members
76
109 reviews
 

Primary Stages presents the NY premiere of this comedy about the burgeoning friendship between Lucia and Abel, two Latinos working at a ruthless Hollywood studio.... Read more

Lucia is a tenacious novelist, newly hired to write for a TV detective series and struggling to find her place among a team of domineering white male co-workers. Abel is one of the studio’s janitors, compassionate to Lucia’s difficulties, and generous with his opinions and personal anecdotes. As their bond grows, Abel’s stories quickly blur with those Lucia is writing for the show, and they find themselves in the center of their own not-quite-made-for-TV drama. Written by Tanya Saracho, co-producer of ABC's 'How to Get Away with Murder.'

 


Reviews (128)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
63
Avg Score

80
Theatermania

"When so much of the American discussion of privilege focuses on race, Saracho bravely writes about class...Some confusing and all-too-easy moments...Luckily, Ruiz's well-staged production helps us suspend our disbelief over these storytelling chasms. His staging is tight and efficient without smothering the performances of the two actors...Saracho's teeming intelligence and emotional sensitivity more than compensate for the occasionally awkward contrivance of her script." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"If the premise sounds like a sitcom pitch, at least playwright Tanya Saracho supplies plenty of wit and attitude...Saracho has a keen ear for delusions or hypocrisies...Despite Saracho’s smart, fluid dialogue and the tight staging by Ruiz, 'Fade' suffers from two-hander structural monotony: She’s having a crisis, he shuts off the vacuum, and they talk. Saracho also makes Abel far more sympathetic than Lucia, who ends up (predictably) exploiting his 'authentic' experiences." Full Review

70
The New York Times

"A fizzy if somewhat formulaic two-character drama...Under Ruiz’s precise direction, their early interactions are calculatedly awkward...Saracho’s dialogue is witty rather than wincing. Less happily, she has a slightly lurid taste in narrative and a habit of asking characters to behave in certain ways not because their individual psychology demands it but to set up the next plot point...What’s left is a fairly predictable parable about trading ethnic solidarity for career opportunities." Full Review

60
New York Theater

"'Fade' is well acted, and Saracho’s script touches on several worthwhile issues that seem based on her own experience...But by the end of the play, 'Fade' feels slighter and more obvious than it could have been...Her observations are nothing new, and, given what’s going on in the country now, it’s frankly hard to muster much outrage about the behind-the-scenes of television. If the TV industry is meant as a metaphor for the country as a whole, it feels an inadequate one." Full Review

35
Lighting & Sound America

"The action is as predictable as the most hackneyed network series; there's little to do but wait for the betrayal that will surely come...Jerry Ruiz's direction hasn't been able to solve these basic script problems, and it's possible that he has pushed the actress Annie Dow too far in the direction of making Lucia so annoying...Eddie Martinez fares much better as Abel, filling in the blanks of character so expertly that one comes to feel one knows him well." Full Review

40
Variety

"It’s a wheel-spinner of a play that sets out to address issues of culture, class and the price of ambition, but ends up being as contrived as a telenovela...Saracho seems confined here by the structure of a two-character one-act, especially on subjects she clearly knows well...There might have been something to emotionally engage us in director Jerry Ruiz’s production if Lucia wasn’t written and portrayed as so charmless, irritatingly garrulous and obviously artificial." Full Review

30
Talkin' Broadway

"Saracho's setup is plenty juicy, promising powerful recriminations, trenchant moralizing, and the kind of searing rhetoric on which August Wilson built his career. But the payoff, which consumes all but the first 10 minutes or so of this tedious 95-minute excursion, is so choked with clichés that most of Saracho's strong groundwork, and director Jerry Ruiz's attempts to rouse it from its natural torpor, plunges headfirst into the meaningless." Full Review

60
Theatre's Leiter Side

"'Fade’s' treatment of identity, sexual, and office politics, as well as class warfare, is the mildly spicy flavoring of a play that actually could be about people of any ethnicity...Stuffed with one-liners (including two limp ones alluding to Trump) that too infrequently raise chuckles (or require you know Spanish to comprehend), the highly episodic ‘Fade’ shifts back and forth from fast-paced comedy to serious dilemmas, stumbling now and then to maintain consistent believability." Full Review

70
The Huffington Post

"Saracho’s play—so smart about prejudice often seemingly rampant—goes somewhat off the tracks...She lets the audience get ahead of her...Though that goes some way to vitiate 'Fade,' it doesn’t undermine the play completely. Her observations about the complexities of intolerance are astute...The playwright is valuably abetted by director Jerry Ruiz." Full Review

80
Deadline

"Funny, sharply written...This one-act two-hander begins in flash-card scenes that seem sitcom-ready, but Lucia and Eddie’s later duets have real punch and sting. The crisp staging by Jerry Ruiz rolls with the jagged pacing deftly. Dow and Martinez are terrific, his long, slow burn a foil to her staccato chatter and mixed-message body language. The ironically titled 'Fade' ends on a predictably bitter note that leaves unexplored the questions raised earlier about class versus genetics." Full Review

70
CurtainUp

"Despite punchy dialogue that effectively lands its laugh lines, there's no avoiding the predictability...Under Joel Ruiz's taut direction, and with a strong assist from his design team, the many short scenes have enough physical and visual energy to save 'Fade' from being too talky and static...Familiar as this narrative is, it's refreshing to have it play out for characters from a demographic usually seen in more stereotypical roles on stage and screen." Full Review

35
Theatre Reviews Limited

"The play’s ending is no surprise and does not warrant the unusual blackout and completely different part of the set. One of several odd choices in Jerry Ruiz’s staging and Ms. Saracho’s script...It is not the actors’ obvious craft that is in question here. Although 'Fade' raises some enduring and rich questions about classism, sexism, racism, and prejudice, the play does not offer any new perspectives on these issues nor does it address them with any depth of understanding or suspense." Full Review

55
WNYC

"Playwright Tanya Saracho has big ambitions here: 'Fade' is built around issues of race and class and immigration. She herself is a TV writer and the early scenes have a delicious, insider quality that smack of the autobiographical...But the dialogue can veer into lecturing, which is hard to take from the irritating Lucia...As the play goes on, and the scenes become interminably long, it becomes less and less credible or engaging." Full Review

80
Village Voice

"Saracho allows the 100-minute interaction to arise with believable spontaneity and gives both characters edges and shortcomings that take the play far beyond a simple parable about ethnicity and assimilation...Ruiz handles it adroitly. He neither pushes the emotions nor forces the pace, keeping the story grounded in realism without letting it get bogged down...'Fade,' for all its limitations, is a play genuinely worth paying attention to." Full Review

70
Epoch Times

"More could have been developed on the subject of class, which is so potent and seldom addressed in our society...The performances, under the direction of Jerry Ruiz, are both fine and give the script more dimension than is tangibly evident in the spare writing...Perhaps it is because of unanswered questions and a bit of teasing by the playwright that 'Fade' is a good bet for an evening at the theater." Full Review

70
NY Theatre Guide

"Director Jerry Ruiz has worked with Ms. Saracho before and he shows a sure hand here. Two-character plays aren’t easy, but Mr. Ruiz knows exactly how to keep things roiling. But his staging doesn’t succeed in disguising the predictability of the plot...What was surprising, to me at least, is how badly the Lucia character comes off here...Both Annie Dow and Eddie Martinez give fine performances." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"Class, culture, language, appropriation, and integrity underscore the quiet power of Saracho’s 'Fade.' A story about storytelling, a play about the creative process, a demonstration of culture meeting commerce and two characters from very different worlds who meet at work...Ruiz’s choreography of these initial interactions and the subtle performance of presumption and quiet decision to put up these 'microagressions' are stunning...The power of this story grows as it is absorbed." Full Review

70
Westword

for a previous production "The early dialogue focuses so strongly on issues of race and class that it feels textbook. Saracho seems to be downloading all of her own observations about Hollywood rather than creating living, breathing characters...There’s charm and humor in Saracho’s writing...'Fade' could be deeper and better developed, but it does evoke fruitful thoughts about the lives unfolding in tandem with our own, the mysteries they hold and the miraculous moments when the veil lifts and we recognize each other." Full Review

85
Denver Post

for a previous production "Amid the crowd-pleasing jabs at the TV industry and jokes about 'TV logic' are serious observations about social standing, passing, climbing the corporate ladder and what society values as meaningful work...Martinez finds warmth and humor in his role, conveying Abel’s layered personality with satisfying depth even in silent moments...Saracho’s writing is so sharp, full lives take shape with an economy of words...A powerful piece with a fresh voice and a bright future." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
76
Avg Score

70
Worthy, Serious, Grating

See it if You are willing to tolerate an annoying protagonist to see a study of race and more importantly class in personal interaction.

Don't see it if You don't care or are blind to such things. And besides, the run is over.

75
Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Cliched, Slow

See it if You want to see a predictable story set in a different context . Well intentioned.

Don't see it if You are bothered by bilingual actors who don't translate everything .

82
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if You appreciate an evolving relationship that doesn't depend stereotypes . Also, f you are a Mexican...the ones in the audience LOVED it.

Don't see it if you get annoyed when you can't understand a language, and therefore wont get, some of the laughs.

70
Disappointing, Predictable, Slow, Unimpressive, Heavy handed

See it if you want to see good acting, a relevant topic without surprises.

Don't see it if you want an exciting night at the theater with a story that has more depth. The play starts off with promise but fizzles out.

79
Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Slow

See it if you like office comedies that deal with serious issues like class attitudes & minority treatment, as well as friendships on the job

Don't see it if you don't like two-handers, occasionally thick accents and use of Spanish, reminders of the pressures and manipulations of work

80
Funny, Clever, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you like plays of other cultures, are interested in how television shows are created, enjoy character driven plays

Don't see it if you are looking for big splashy production

Also Great to see another culture represented in a funny and relevant play ... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if you are interested in the process by which TV shows are created from the writer's point of view.

Don't see it if you dislike social messages in comedy. Although the characters are Latinos, they could be Irish or Jewish; ambition is a cruel human trait.

55
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You want to give new playwrights a chance and TV sitcom on stage doesn't bore you. Actors that are way better than the script are ok for you

Don't see it if Stereotypes that add no new insights is what you expect. Predictable script and outcomes annoy you.

80
Great acting, Great writing, Cliched, Entertaining, Talented playwright

See it if You like an easy to follow plot, are interested in Latinx culture, family drama, the TV industry, challenges to make ends meet.

Don't see it if You expect a great classic, Like changing sets and large casts, Do not like soap operas.

Also Tanya Saracho,the playwright, writes about what she knows best, her ow... Read more Read less

70
Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if A great set and fine acting do not compensate for cliched script

Don't see it if You prefer more that two actors

50
Ambitious, Disappointing, Insipid, Predictable, Superficial

See it if you are open to light fare about a serious current subject.

Don't see it if you want to see a serious exploration of a topical social dilemma involving class, power and race.

89
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if you like intimate two-handers; powerful yet accessible depictions of class, privilege & power & its impact on our everyday relationships

Don't see it if you believe success is "self-made", or you don't want to question your role in the world, whichever side of the aisle you sit on.

69
Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a diverse story about two Latinos living in the US. The final image of this play is epic -great design and direction.

Don't see it if You don't want to sit through 75% of the play before something goes wrong and things get interesting.

Also The climax of this play would have been an interesting place to start ... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if you want to see a relevant play about striving and discrimination against latinos.The acting is excellent and the ending is not surprising.

Don't see it if You don't want to relate to the characters.

73
Entertaining, Engaging, Somewhat predictable

See it if you want to see a well-acted two- hander with "Latino" characters in an office setting, where there are interesting dynamics at play.

Don't see it if you absolutely need a play with a great deal of action, dislike potty mouth dialogue and can't tolerate some plot predictability.

85
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if You like 2-character plays that explore the Latino experience. You like thought-provoking theater. You love good acting.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate insight into a culture that isn't yours. You don't enjoy interactions between two characters only.

75
Predictable but enjoyable

See it if You want to see a predictable but enjoyable show - elevated by the male lead's performance

Don't see it if You want a challenging, thought-provoking play

75
Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like slowly-building storylines with a small cast.

Don't see it if You don't have patience for a slowly-building storyline.

Also The acting was very good.

80
Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow

See it if you are interested in social and racial dynamics and enjoy crafted dialogue

Don't see it if you are looking for a thrill of a fluffy break from reality

95
Absorbing, Must see, Profound, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you want to experience a deeply moving piece of art told through perspectives that aren't often heard.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in watching a two- hander

80
Relevant, Great writing, Cliched, Good acting, Well staged

See it if You like drama touching on race relations both between races and within the latino community a great cast, & a good tightly paced production

Don't see it if Hate obvious endings or can't deal with plays that have some Spanish dialogue that isn't translated (it didn't bother me)

80
Intelligent, Modern, Steady

See it if female playwrights make you go WAHOO! and you're into seeing themes of authenticity in culture play out.

Don't see it if you need to root for the main character. Unfortunately, the actress playing Lucia is hard to get behind in her search for self.

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you want to see an engaging relationship unfold

Don't see it if you dislike cursing, the Spanish language, want unrealistic happy endings

65
Funny, Relevant, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You don't mind a very familiar tale with a Mexican twist.

Don't see it if You aren't fond of stories done many times before but now with the characters being people of color.

95
Delightful, Quirky, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy smart well paced two handers.

Don't see it if Want to watch another pretentious play