Closed 2h 45m
Fondly, Collette Richland
East Village
48

Fondly, Collette Richland NYC Reviews and Tickets

48%
(31 Reviews)
Positive
35%
Mixed
13%
Negative
52%
Members say
Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent

About the Show

New York Theatre Workshop and Elevator Repair Service present a new play about a couple that travels to another world through a tiny door in their living room.

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Member Reviews (31)

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4
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if This play is excruciatingly dull and overlong.

Don't see it if you can't sit through long plays.

40
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying, Excruciating

See it if love surreal stream of conscious performance and writing

Don't see it if dont like surreal stream of conscious performance and writing

Critic Reviews (16)

September 28th, 2015

"Elevator Repair Service has come up with a head trip that is as organic as it is delirious. It’s called 'Fondly, Collette Richland.' And though what opened is advertised as a play, it is far closer to what happens in the privacy of your own mind when you’re in bed with your unconscious...A witty, fastidiously wrought and thoroughly disorienting visual and aural universe in which the solid and the known keep melting at the edges."
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September 28th, 2015

"It spoils nothing to say this long, loopy piece ends on a mountain with society ladies squaring off against a satanic entity called the Krampus. John Collins’s richly layered, densely designed production (with a goofy-brilliant soundscape by Williams) rises to the whirling, morphing challenge of Kempson’s remarkable script. I haven’t been so bewildered yet so delighted in ages."
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September 28th, 2015

"About a third of the audience left during the intermission, which finally arrived after nearly two hours. I have to believe that those who remained did so mostly out of politeness, believing that anyone with a vision so specifically bizarre must mean something important by it. I’m not convinced. Even if I were, I’d have left if I could, because worse than the nonsense — a lazy Susan of surrealistic clichés — is the aggression and insularity behind it."
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September 28th, 2015

"At certain points, one starts to wonder whether the cast has any idea of what's going on. Despite this, the performances remain energetic and imaginative throughout... Theater is a give and take. As integral as theatermakers are to the performance process, so too is the audience. 'Fondly, Collette Richland' simply sinks under the weight of its own desire to please itself."
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October 2nd, 2015

"You can't really criticize 'Fondly, Collette Richland' for not making sense, when nobody involved ever saw that as a goal. I would note, however, that this sort of mad, abstract lark is nothing new. It is also best enjoyed in small doses; at over two-and-a-half hours, this one is a challenge to audience stamina the likes of which I have rarely seen."
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September 28th, 2015

"It doesn't add up to anything profound, or even particularly entertaining. It exists for the sake of existing, a living proof of concept much more than a play with anything relevant to say...While watching it, you may find yourself haunted by the notion that just acknowledging the existence of the problem is not, in itself, a solution. Maybe that's the real point? Who knows? And, Kempson and Collins seem to be saying, who cares?"
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October 6th, 2015

"It’s an inside job, a show where snarky academics and performance artists can nudge each other and give a knowing wink, happy to be so much smarter than everyone else in the room...The rest of the audience is just bored, nodding off or checking their watches to see if the interminable first half of the show is ending any time soon so they can go...It’s simply not a play for people who enjoy a relaxing, or even mildly engaging, night at the theater."
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September 27th, 2015

"The performance under review began as a sell-out. After intermission about thirty percent of the seats had been abandoned, but the decibels of audience laughter were undiminished...Playgoers can't rely for ballast on the familiar structure of a novel such as 'The Great Gatsby,' 'The Sun Also Rises,' or 'The Sound and the Fury.' There's potential for fun here, but the potential depends on a game and willing audience rising above the cognitive bumps in Kempson's dramatic road."
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September 28th, 2015

"Where this show falls apart isn’t in the details, it’s in the bagginess with which they’re all strung together...Basically, this is a case of the Emperor’s new clothes, if the Emperor’s new clothes were a theatrical conceit. By the end, the amplified, mechanistic cranking sound effect that accompanies every set change might as well be the insular echo of self-applause. For, as bright as its occasional flashes of brilliance are, 'Fondly, Collette Richland' is too dazzled by itself to draw you in."
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T
September 28th, 2015

"Ms. Kempson’s text is dense and to claim it is not would be to discredit the sophistication of the script. There are 'big impossible problems to contend with' and all of them are hauntingly delightful...It is ultimately best not to overthink the piece or wonder about issues of provenance of thoughts or images or ideas. The audience member simply needs to allow the piece to flow over mind, body, and spirit and rejoice at the resurgence of wonder, the revelation of the undertow of wonder."
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September 28th, 2015

"During the intermission for the Elevator Repair Service’s 'Fondly, Collette Richland,' at the same time that a noticeable number of theatergoers fervidly exited New York Theatre Workshop for good, an avant-garde director I know came up to me and said 'I’m loving this. But it should be at 3 in the morning.' I agreed with the director…and also with the exiting theatergoers...The key to appreciating 'Fondly, Collette Richland' is not to try to understand it, but to let it wash over you."
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October 3rd, 2015

"This inscrutable potpourri of old-fashioned avant-garde eccentricities is well enough performed by a talented ensemble that seems to be having more fun than the audience; but their unusual characters are so dependent on highly stylized techniques that none have enough humanity to make you care a whit about them. This was one of those experiences where my eyes were on my watch almost as often as on the stage and where I applauded more for the play’s being over than for my appreciation of it."
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October 4th, 2015

"If insanity and confusion is what theatre is about then playwright Sibyl Kempson and the Elevator Repair Service succeed with 'Fondly, Collette Richland.' If you love 'Saturday Night Live' skits one after another for almost three hours, this will be right up your alley, it is not up mine...I can’t even really tell you what this play is about and I forced myself to stay awake."
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B
September 20th, 2015

"If coherence and intelligibility are among your requirements for a theatrical experience, this new play is definitely not for you. It has plenty of interesting characters, a clever set, Inspired costumes and an intricate sound design. Unfortunately these strong points are overwhelmed by the lack of a discernible narrative arc and an unfortunate tendency to pile on the surreal and the ridiculous beyond what the play can bear."
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September 29th, 2015

"If you're going to follow the goings-on, you've got to be super-alert. That's because Sibyl Kempson's 2-hour-45-minute play often dispenses with plausible links between what the various characters say, or what happens. It's a loose-structured approach to drama that, unless you're a devotee of New York's downtown experimental theater scene, takes some getting used to. Seeing 'Collette Richland' would be a good test of whether it's a style that's your cup of tea."
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W
September 29th, 2015

"Simply a mess. Produced with stilted language and divorced from actual emotions, it seems designed to force very good actors into producing terrible output. 'Fondly, Collette Richland' revels in off kilter pacing, unexplainable changes in tone and extra wacky characters. These things need not render a show unwatchable, but the added artificial pronunciation, surrealism and studied emotional non-reaction to events combine in a terrible mix."
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