New York City Players presents a revival of writer-director Richard Maxwell’s drama about a relationship at a rehabilitation center. More…
In a dining hall at a rehab center, pleasure battles virtue in this urban story of an intake counselor and her patient. 'Good Samaritans' was originally produced in 2004. Original stars Rosemary Allen and Kevin Hurley return for this production.
"It’s the discrepancy between banal content and lyrical form that draws tears from the specially susceptible among us (which would include me)...The result is a portrait of existence at its most unembellished. It’s the perspective with which we sometimes perceive our own lives when we’re feeling depressed...Maxwell does endow his characters with some consciousness of their existential loneliness. This gives them pain, but also illuminating flashes of eloquence...A bleakly enchanting show." Full Review
"Maxwell’s avant-gardism conceals a bittersweet, beautiful romance; the show’s deliberate awkwardness emphasizes the swoon at its center...Maxwell functions to the left of our brain’s typical enjoyment center: The acting is amateurish, and the singing registers on the McGill Pain Scale. But when the play is hardest to watch, it’s most worth seeing—particularly the unforgettable Allen, shaking her head at love, as heavy on her feet as a bull in the ring." Full Review
"An irregular, and magically simple, love story...The pain and pleasure of small moments shine through...While it is strange to listen to what should be impassioned conversations sans passion, you still just get it and it even elicits a kind of compassion for these characters...I left 'Good Samaritans' really feeling something, as well as considering how feeling small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things doesn’t disqualify the everyday good you can do in the world." Full Review
“By stripping scenes of their emotional charge, raw phrases jump out with clarity. Colloquialisms are exposed for their shallow content while the inarticulate nature of humanity is highlighted. With Maxwell’s stylistically unadorned touch, there is always a danger that beats will bleed into monotony. While ‘Good Samaritans’ is not exempt, those moments feel like badges of endurance to be worn proudly.” Full Review
"Extreme realism is presented here in full glorious action...It felt like we were be invited in to watch these characters speak words and phrases that many would describe as more of our ‘inner chatter,’ rather than external dialogue...It’s a strange brew, this theatrical piece. I would tend to label this more as ‘performance art’ over theatre, as it seems to require reading the writer’s artist statement to fully understand the experience, and even then, it’s hard to completely engage with." Full Review
"If you attend a play in order to be caught up in the emotional connectedness between characters, or even if you are looking for layered performances to lead you to a cathartic theatrical experience, best stay away from 'Good Samaritans.' But if you are willing to allow your disbelief to remain unsuspended and are prepared to look for the human spirit underneath the cardboard-seeming characterizations, you might just find yourself discovering and connecting with that spirit in Rosemary." Full Review
"My hope for the show ended almost as soon as the action started...Never in my life of theater attendance have I seen flatter, more monotonous, and less emotive delivery...The plot and its characters earned none of its claimed emotions...Why is this a musical? I never settled that question...I pitied the musicians whose talents surely outpace the show and the audience members whose $25 paid for their nap in a fully lit house." Full Review
See it if You have patience to sit thru a 90-min show that should be 30; to see Maxwell's work & great stage craft. Want to support experimental arts.
Don't see it if You have short attention span; aren't a fan of Maxwell's style (monotone, rapid fire, sans emotion delivery). Aren't keen on non-traditional
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