Defibrillator presents the New York premiere of this award-winning British play. Four cultural icons collide in a New York hotel room in 1953 in an intimate, site-specific theatrical experience. More…
What if four icons of Ike's America - Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Joe DiMaggio, and Senator McCarthy - met in a New York hotel room in 1953? All four are tormented: the actress by her insecurity, the big hitter by his need for an heir, the scientist by his moral guilt over the bomb, and the politician by his paranoia. Directed by James Hillier, this site-specific production tells a story of what might have been in a meeting of four famous minds.
"What is significant is that these characters are tropes for four of America’s most important sectors: the Sciences, the Arts, Politics, and Sports...Mr. Johnson’s script is wonderfully complex and replete with layer upon layer of meaning...See 'Insignificance' as soon as possible...Do not miss out on this rare opportunity to see important theatre performed in the most intimate of spaces where 'actors and audiences alike breathe the same oxygen.'” Full Review
"'Insignificance' might be the title of Terry Johnson’s beautifully nuanced play, but thanks to Director James Hillier’s careful direction and a flawless cast, the impact it leaves is quite substantial...[There are] many intelligent nuggets in Johnson’s brilliant script. His understanding of our common fears, desires, and disappointments is extraordinary...All four actors in this perfect piece are award worthy...The heady piece is perfect for a unique night on the town." Full Review
"Director James Hillier and his cast work with such unwavering confidence and control that you quickly forget where you are and find yourself completely absorbed by the material...You either go with this sort of thing or you don't, but if you do, you'll likely find yourself surprisingly engaged and even moved by the characters in 'Insignificance...Tremendous credit here goes to the performers, who give these famous figures an inner-life that far transcends the preciousness of the premise." Full Review
"Hillier has brought 'Insignificance' back to New York in a site-specific production, a choice that not only enhances the play's intimacy, but adds a nice dose of quiet tension...Though there are plot twists and coincidences that are a bit hard to believe, 'Insignificance' works well as a good story rather than as a significant play. The audience's familiarity with the characters ups the entertainment value. A fun change of pace, well-played and well-staged." Full Review
"An overstuffed fantasia about fame, sex and power built around an imaginary meeting of the minds in a New York hotel room in the 1950s...The revival makes for an intimate, well-acted gathering for 60 audience members, but the concept isn’t especially illuminating. It also highlights the contrast: five-star hotel; two-and-a-half-star play — one that doesn’t always avoid caricature and overly familiar material about four 20th-century icons thrown together here." Full Review
"I can imagine this playing off in a traditional setting, but within this intimate environment the insistence on sticking with the original material and interpretation feels inappropriate...This production does feature some very strong performances...The enormous effort shown by the cast can’t compensate for the disjointed production...These characters feel lost in completely different plays. It’s as if the actors have each been directed to run full speed in opposing directions." Full Review
'There may be a reason that Johnson's play, written in 1982, hasn't been seen in New York before now. I'm afraid that 'Insignificance' is an all-too-apt title; the play is all concept and no payoff...A case of a problematic play further hurt by a kind of stunt production. Some extraordinarily people have been made unconscionably dull." Full Review
See it if Like a very unique setting, small cast, great acting, unsuspecting scenario, atypical venue. I loved the whole setup of this play.
Don't see it if Like traditional theater, claustrophobic, cast walking back and forth in front of you,
See it if you want to see an original site specific play, if you like immersive theater and don't mind sacrificing content for location and great look
Don't see it if you want to see a classic Broadway production with stage changes. If long dialogues bore you. If you don't understand english that well.
See it if you are up for a theatrical experience unlike anything you've seen before. Incredibly imaginative while being completely realistic and true
Don't see it if you need excitement or feel uncomfortable in small audiences or need to be more than 3 feet away from the actors
See it if you enjoy an intelligent play performed in an interesting venue
Don't see it if you are so young that you don't remember anything about the McCarthy era, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio or Albert Einstein.
See it if you like site-specific, intimate house, dialogue driven theatre. Exceptional performances by all four in the cast.
Don't see it if you are expecting "immersive" theatre. this is absolutely NOT immersive on any level, although I have heard it called that.
See it if you want to see some great acting in an intimate space and a unique experience.
Don't see it if you don't like plays with historical figures or you have a hard time staying attentive to slightly slower paced shows
See it if You enjoy unique stagings, history, pop culture, baseball and absorbing, intimate theatrical performances.
Don't see it if You hate tight spaces, discussions of scientific theory, gum popping and barefoot geniuses.
See it if you'd like to witness some strong acting up close; you're nostalgic for the 1950s; are a fan of Marilyn Monroe or Albert Einstein.
Don't see it if you're looking for something truly immersive. It's site-specific but doesn't need to be - yet would the play hold up without the hotel room?
See it if you have an interest in history and want to see historical figures acted well.
Don't see it if you don't like site-specific shows. This show does not seem to need to be site-specific, but it is.
See it if Fond of site-specific staging, enjoy name-dropping and self-satisfied references to pop culture
Don't see it if thought Copenhagen was too realistic, looking for a plot, annoyed when concept show relies on but misrepresents historical figures
See it if You want to sit in a hotel room with 50 strangers while hearing some atrocious dialogue. It's not immersive theater. It's just a weird venue
Don't see it if ...yeah. Don't see it.The actor playing DiMaggio was the one redeeming thing in the show. Bless him. He did what he could with that dialogue
See it if This is a great play that looks at fame through the eyes of 4 icons. The staging lifts the themes and makes for astonishing performances
Don't see it if Its a small playing space which might be difficult for some people.
See it if so much fun to go to a five star hotel and be in such an intimate audience of only 50 people to see these actors up so close.
Don't see it if you don't like small spaces or luxury hotels
See it if You like being surprised. This show is unusual, intimate, site specific. Great acting, very cool concept.
Don't see it if You don't like theater in unconventional spaces.
See it if Great performances that draw you in from the very beginning. You'll feel like you're part of the show! Brilliantly written and performed!
Don't see it if There's no reason not to see this show... Treat yourself!
See it if you want to have a great time with people like Albert Einstein in your face as he turns on the bedroom light.
Don't see it if you want to sit in the 20th row of a large theater where you are unable to see the expressions on the actors' faces.
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