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Log Cabin

From 30 critic and 183 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents this world premiere comedy, which charts the breakdown of empathy that happens when we think our rights are secure, revealing conservative hearts where you’d least expect. More…

It’s a faraway age of hope and inclusivity; in other words, it’s 2015. When a tight-knit circle of married gays and lesbians – comfy in the new mainstream – sees themselves through the eyes of their rakish transgender pal, it’s clear that the march toward progress is anything but unified.

Stage Buddy

"Sparks fly between friends and lovers as gay and trans rights are discussed in 'Log Cabin,' Jordan Harrison’s superb play about LGBTQ politics...Just in time for Pride Month, this dark comedy delivers very contemporary commentary on same-sex marriage rights, social and economic privilege, and the horribly lagging rights of trans people...The performances in 'Log Cabin' are excellent and the characters’ chemistry outstanding." Full Review


“Exhilarating and insightful…An uproarious look at parenting, long-term relationships, and the lie of ‘normalcy.’ ‘Log Cabin’ is a howler that will keep you laughing as you watch through the space between your fingers. Harrison deepens his characters in surprising ways as the play progresses, a process supported by clear and multilayered performances…MacKinnon delivers a tight staging, with all of the laugh lines landing and the design elements serving the story.” Full Review

New York Stage Review

"What Harrison is getting at here, and it couldn’t be a more timely consideration, is the challenge of sustaining empathy in a culture increasingly defined (and polarized) by identity and perceived privilege...Overwhelming dilemmas are made to feel intimate, injected with a graceful oddball wit, and thus emerge a little less terrifying, even as they haunt us...Director MacKinnon, an expert miner of the pain and humor that define friendships and family dynamics, also culls sharp, touching perf... Full Review


"The cast is uniformly excellent and unquestionably invigorated by the sheer force of Ferguson's high octane performance. But a special shout-out goes to Brannon and Monahon who do comical double duty as the babies. Harrison has found another niche for his keen dramatic and comedic sensibilities. It is easy to see that director Pam MacKinnon is totally in synch with this satiric play." Full Review

Off Off Online

“Explores currents of non-heterosexual identity in a nearly comprehensive way…Well-directed by Pam MacKinnon…Though the debates are serious, Harrison leavens his script with sometimes unexpected comedy…The last scene, between Hartley and another infant, talking about what the future holds, has a quiet, thrilling power. It’s a brilliant capstone to this thoughtful, challenging piece.” Full Review

Manhattan Digest

"Even with so many hot-button themes, Harrison’s script avoids sermonizing. Instead, it gives us the chance to be better. To understand each other and offer compassion. To remind us of our own battles for acceptance. This talented, intuitive, and racially diverse ensemble delivers Harrison’s razor-sharp writing with flair. In the process, it provides a much-needed dose of introspection. It’s a rare gift we should graciously accept." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Jordan Harrison's mostly splendid new comedy at Playwrights Horizons raises questions that raise other questions, and they flow naturally from interesting, compelling characters who manage to be both consistent and surprising...It might all be too much to digest if Harrison's writing weren't so lively and witty...He's helped by Pam MacKinnon's spot-on direction, which wrings additional humor out of silences and subtle reactions." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"Jordan Harrison’s thought-provoking new play...His philosophical musings go down easy thanks to his wit, which is served well under the direction of Pam MacKinnon by a fine cast. It is no surprise that Jesse Tyler Ferguson lands Harrison’s jokes; he is portraying a character that at least on the surface recalls Mitchell Pritchett on 'Modern Family.'" Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"Jordan Harrison’s new comedy of manners at Playwrights Horizons is quite entertaining, but not all that coherent...The entire cast is very good. While I always enjoy seeing Jesse Tyler Ferguson, I would like to see him in a role that is not so completely within his comfort zone...Pam MacKinnon directs with her usual assurance. I enjoyed the play, but I felt it skimmed the surface of too many topics without going very deeply into any of them." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

“Directed with crisp and effective pacing and style by Pam MacKinnon...Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Phillip James Brannon are fascinating as the sweetly cuddly and most recently married gay couple, Ezra and Chris...Alliances shift and stereotypes collide with reality in 'Log Cabin,' with some feeling realistically uncomfortable and other decisions and scenarios seemingly harder to understand or digest." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Under MacKinnon’s direction, the superb cast enlivens Harrison’s script as he meanders through perhaps too many issues for one play. The strength of his play lies not in the bickering of the adults, but in the musings of the Babies. When the Babies chatter with their parents, with one another, or think to themselves, the script sparkles and the action on the stage brightens...Having adults play the parts of infants and being able to 'hear' their thoughts works well." Full Review

Front Row Center

“Harrison covers a great deal of territory in a land to which much attention has not been paid. Like I said – hats off to that. But at no time does he take a deep dive and let one of these complicated themes take the wheel. As a result, the story drifts without landing. These actors have no sticking place, and the tale remains vague in its direction. In the end, it is left to the two toddlers to explain to them and to us what the writer’s intentions are. This is a less than satisfying conclu... Full Review

The Clyde Fitch Report

"An old-fashioned romantic farce and comedy of manners seen through an early-21st-century social and political lens...A rare and rich dramatic context whose potential remains unrealized...The play takes on profound, small-scale changes in our social and legal acknowledgment of love is love is love. When Harrison skitters off into another joke or unfettered farcical plotting, the depth of feeling is compromised. When his characters hit on enduring truths, however, his speeches resonate." Full Review

Film Festival Traveler

"Bumpy but funny...Makes pertinent points while painting with a broad brush how much—or how little—the country’s attitudes toward gender and sexuality have changed in the past few years...Harrison’s script is basically out of a sitcom, where the characters are mainly differentiated by how quickly they can hurl the next witticism at the others...Manages to be entertaining and thought-provoking at the same time...MacKinnon directs adroitly...a first-rate comic cast." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"This trim play is no gay fantasia on 21st century themes...Ferguson has the fun part, in neurotic Ezra, and he has fun with it; he’s amusing and engaging without being too sitcom-star focus-pulling...It’s director Pam McKinnon whose work is most essential to this play’s success...While the mess of issues and situations hit upon in the play sometimes threaten to overwhelm, the staging and portrayals stay firmly in hand, propelling the play on." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"Harrison attempts to tackle sweeping themes both intimate and societal with varying degrees of success. Talented cast...Oddly stagnant pace under the direction of Pam MacKinnon, which forces moments of gravitas. Still, Harrison is able to dig his heels into a how a community defined by its ability to rise up and fight nevertheless manages to compartmentalize itself in a way that heeds progress. The heels are dug so deep, though, that 'Log Cabin' feels stuck in the mire of its own making." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Its episodic, skeletal plot, populated by skin-deep characters preoccupied by issues of gender identity, only fitfully overcomes the impression of it being a cable-TV sitcom pilot...Directed by Pam McKinnon to stoke the play's comic embers for as many laughs as it can get...Jordan Harrison is a wit to watch. Here's hoping that, next time out, he can house his precious gift for rousing laughter in a sturdier structure than 'Log Cabin.'” Full Review

The New York Times

"Marginally less homogeneous than the traditional gay play. Unfortunately, it’s also less coherent...To keep the discussion going he is eventually forced into plot improbabilities and surreal workarounds...It’s a shame that the powerful ideas Mr. Harrison means to conjure about mainstream gay people’s 'failure of empathy' are trivialized and in some ways negated by his own failure of empathy: his failure, that is, to make his characters human." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“If the first question you might have asked a gay person three decades ago was ‘Are you sick?,’ the list has expanded considerably: ‘Are you married?,’ ‘Do you have kids?,’ even ‘How do you identify?’ in ‘Log Cabin,’ Jordan Harrison often explores his subject with both humor and humanity, but even award-winning director Pam MacKinnon can't help having the play feel more like a college lecture than a fully-realized exploration of the dilemmas faced by gay people today.” Full Review

The Wrap

"Harrison is an immensely talented writer, and he knows how to explode the theater not only with one-liners but with the delayed retort that hits the bulls-eye without the target ever knowing it. With 'Log Cabin,' Harrison also exposes his tendency to telegraph where his play is going and sermonize...The very talented cast almost makes us believe we’re watching fully developed characters and not mouthpieces for the playwright’s polemic." Full Review

Stage Left

"Mr. Harrison supplies arguments disguised as people...Director Pam MacKinnon stages the play well, with a handsome, rotating set design by Allen Moyer, but ultimately, I am unsure what Mr. Harrison is trying to cohesively say with the many fragmented, tension-filled conversations of this play...When a mostly-naturalistic play so bluntly tackles contemporary issues, it helps for its characters to be people first and foremost, rather than the arguments they represent." Full Review


“This chafing of identities against one another in trying to claim space is interesting territory, if not handled very sensitively or with clarifying nuance here. Because the voices on stage chiefly serve as mouthpieces for points of view, their conflicts aren’t rooted in character and do little to challenge or deepen our understanding...MacKinnon’s production maintains a plodding pace, generating little momentum." Full Review

Show Showdown

"Harrison's annoyingly didactic 'Log Cabin' presents characters who come across as op-ed essays rather than humans...A good 95% of what these people say is pedantic, and even intra-couple squabbling is forced to represent some point or other rather than being specific and personal...There are some funny lines; some of the performers are quite good; the show is rarely boring. But it is mediocre at best." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“A cast of prize pills whose activities are so poorly motivated that, after a few minutes, one struggles not to tune them out altogether...MacKinnon's direction is smooth enough, but there is little she can do about the limp dialogue and gaping holes in the script...The arguments are so pro-forma and the characters so thinly drawn that it quickly devolves into a victimization Olympics that neither amuses nor stimulates...This shallow, sour comedy isn't even remotely up to the task.” Full Review


“There’s potential drama — and comedy — in this situation, if Harrison had the heart for it. Unfortunately, he’d rather just talk about it. There comes a point, roughly midway through the play, when the principals are so talked out on the subject that two of them go against character by having a quickie in the nursery…Conversation, of which there is much, is clever enough, but mostly shallow...Harrison has taken it upon himself to explain it all, at length and ad nauseam.” Full Review

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you love great acting

Don't see it if you don't like lesbian and gay issues

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoying wonderful acting. I found that I've had some of these same conversations ... or at the least similar ... with my daughter.

Don't see it if you don't like being out of your comfort zone.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Resonant

See it if you like relationship themes with a good mix of humor and drama

Don't see it if you want a full-fledged comedy or are not accepting of gay and trans rights

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you want to see something very modern and contemporary to today’s LQBTQ climate.

Don't see it if you don’t want to grapple with post-modern social issues.

Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You enjoy excellent ensemble work on gay themes involving family, futures. And friendship. There was a very clever staging component used.

Don't see it if You are not interested in gay themes and interpersonal struggles.

Funny, Great acting, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like good writing & acting. Deals with LGBT issues, emphasis on the T. Uncovers prejudices we like to think we don't have. Very funny.

Don't see it if you are homophobic.You won't get it.Play shows how LGBT relationships are at heart same as straight ones. Also shows lingering biases.

Absorbing, Funny, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a story about LGBTQ relationships, their challenges, their interactions, and their hopes and dreams

Don't see it if You are not comfortable with candid discussions on LGBTQ topics.

Funny, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You like great acting and funny shows Different and entertaining Good and interesting show

Don't see it if You are bias against gay couples and transgenter issues

Ambitious, Edgy, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if LGBT all the way. 2 interracial homosexual couples and a transgendered. Topical issues galore. Great space. Total frames. If these interest

Don't see it if You, than it's a must see. If you're offended by the above or slurs, then don't see. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a refreshing take on life

Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you are ready to laugh and be puzzled by the imperfections of "having it all"

Don't see it if you are not ready to look in the mirror about isms, parenting, long-term relationships, and what is "normalcy."

Clever, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like timely, somewhat political and very relevant plays that will leave you thinking and feeling hopeful.

Don't see it if you are homophobic or uncomfortable with some sexual content.

Relevant, Hilarious, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if Like to listen to new ideas and debate about gender identity issues.

Don't see it if You want fully formed characters over ideas.

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you want to see a thoroughly entertaining show about relationships

Don't see it if you don't like seeing shows about gay and transgender relationships

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Edgy

See it if Like shows on gay themes. Shows about how minority cultures and prejudices change over time

Don't see it if There was symbolism, talking babies, providing commentary for what otherwise would be pure naturalism-this dichotomy can be disconcerting

Also This was just an update of Papa Woof Daddy Hot. Same theme and plot st... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Learning more about the LGBTQ community and how they interact with each other

Don't see it if Changes in attitudes toward the LGBTQ community

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You are interested in LGBTQ issues or are politically progressive, you are willing to open your mind to think about challenging issues.

Don't see it if You are homophobic or transphobic.

Funny, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if really enjoyed this play overall. it hit on a lot of very relevant issues.

Don't see it if i saw it early in previews, and at that time it probably still needed a little more polishing.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in LGBTQIA issues...if you like JTF and if you like good acting...wonderful ensemble cast

Don't see it if you don't want to think and just want to be entertained... you are especially rigid in your thinking -- or better yet, maybe DO

Absorbing, Edgy, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You’re interested in contemporary LGBT and gender issues in an edgy comedy.

Don't see it if If you’re not interested in gender, sex, trans issues.

Very entertaining / must-see, Good (slightly dizzying) book, Edgy / raunchy, Great performances, Excellent staging

See it if LGBT issues interest you. 2 G&L couples explore marriage & having kids; add a T&Bi couple to the kids-having mix; stir & see what you get.

Don't see it if any of the above is not for you. There's A LOT to take in, including a little self-love (tactfully turned slightly sideways) all in 90min.

Also MUST-SEE: could easily be 30min longer w/intermission.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Resonant

See it if Wonderful reflection on the transgender experience with surprising twists, clever writing and great acting.

Don't see it if you will be annoyed by a quirky subplot with unexpected reflections by unlikely characters--

Log may fog and bog

See it if JT Ferguson fan. Horizons fan. Uber broad minded. Enjoy cheese chats on great spinning sets. Have money to burn in cozy venue.

Don't see it if Had enough LGBTQ theater to last a lifetime. Absolutely relentless theme here.

Also Ferguson is like part of the family. He has the best role and looks li... Read more Read less

Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if / for a peek into the life of LGBTQ couples and how far we've come in a few short years.

Don't see it if you're not in the mood for a living-room play or LGBTQ subject matter

Also Turntable sets are all the rage these days, and usually turntable tran... Read more Read less

Funny, Ambitious, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky

See it if you enjoy a play featuring contemporary relationships and the newness of the transgender identity

Don't see it if a slightly stentorian Jesse Tyler Ferguson is upsetting to you. The gay and transgender issues may be confusing and trite if you are neithr

Disappointing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like plays that delve into the dialectic.

Don't see it if you want the dialectic masked behind believable drama. The conversation the play is having is great---the construction is cookie cutter.

Cast & Creatives (13)