59E59 Theater and Adjusted Realists present a futurist satirical look at the fads, trendy solutions and extremes a young couple goes through to conceive a child. More…
Newlyweds Copious Fairchild and Hibiscus Van der Waal are doing everything they can to conceive a child. They’ve moved into a dazzling new apartment that’s free of all the common killers, including plastic, sunlight, and IKEA. They’re seeing the best doctors. They’re even trying sex the new way, but that doesn’t seem to be working out too well. When Copious’ estranged hippie mother and her mysterious companion pay an unexpected visit with a radical proposition, Copious and Hibiscus suddenly face an impossible decision, one that may cure their malady but still kill them in the process. This timely romp exposes demonic glutens in the less obvious culprits of language, parenthood, sexuality, and (of course) God.
"The plot is not always as compelling as its witty, stylized dialogue, but that’s okay. Laughs abound at the futuristic terms, and the five memorable performances buoy the delightful show...Kaliski’s satire is successful in reminding audiences of what we lose when we protect ourselves from all...He may be preaching to the choir by presenting this to theater folk, but that doesn’t make 'Gluten!' any less effective." Full Review
"Just in case your stomach is saying no, don’t go, be assured that, despite its title, 'Gluten!' is actually gluten-free although it might be even more digestible if there were less of it...There’s some clever, laugh-worthy material here, and the play smartly avoids preaching about any of the issues it raises. In essence, though, it’s an extended Saturday Night Live sketch...Cut forty minutes from its two hours and ten minutes and maybe it would have a chance." Full Review
"It’s actually a mildly amusing dystopian comedy that, although uneven, displays just enough humanity to make it likable...The first half of the play runs the risk of becoming mere sketch comedy as the couple go about their '100% particle-free, 100% IKEA-free' existence...Kaliski’s script is a bit top heavy, with a lot of business early on, and not enough time given to the final scene." Full Review
"It all doesn’t amount to much either as a comedy, a drama or a combination. It’s also painfully unfunny. The direction by Kaliski and Amanda Holston efficiently moves the actors around, maintains a steady pace, and achieves a strident tone of performance that fulfills the material. In spite of the overdone script, it is at least watchable…'Gluten!' is a half-baked attempt at the sort of sci-fi societal humor Woody Allen crafted so hilariously in the 1973 film 'Sleeper.'" Full Review
"Those with an allergy to labored satire may want to seek other fare...'Gluten!' hits the same targets over and over, exhaustingly and with little variation. At least 40 minutes pass before any real conflict is introduced...The play’s best scene is probably the last, in which Mr. Kalinski allows the hysteria to fade and the vocabulary to relax. There’s some actual charm here. But what has come before has been so long and airless and self-congratulatory that it doesn’t provide much relief." Full Review
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