Log Cabin
Closed 1h 30m
Log Cabin
77

Log Cabin NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(184 Reviews)
Positive
81%
Mixed
17%
Negative
2%
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.

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Member Reviews (184)

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53
Reductive, Funny, Indulgent, Disappointing, Modernized family

See it if you want to see a kitchen-sink LGBTQQIA+ comedy full of sitcom-style quips that struggles to find deep meaning from a shallow script.

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of JTF's Modern Family character; you're not progressive; you expect a sturdy log cabin from this flimsy house of straw.

79
Clever, Funny, Cliched, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if you're interested in LGBT issues, especially transgender issues, like stories about makeshift families and seeing diversity onstage

Don't see it if Not comfortable with LGBT issues on stage or with a transperson in a major role, have trouble with babies talking out loud, resent diversity

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 25th, 2018

"The undercooked 'Log Cabin' is schematic, lifeless and artificial in its examination of self-absorbed characters...I say characters, but really the six people represented onstage in MacKinnon's extravagantly upholstered production of this flimsy exercise are merely mouthpieces for a range of talking points...The play's core conflict, and it's certainly an interesting one, ripe for dramatization...The trouble is that Harrison hasn't successfully dramatized any of this."
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Variety
June 26th, 2018

“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.”
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Theatermania
June 25th, 2018

“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.”
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Lighting & Sound America
June 26th, 2018

“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.”
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Talkin' Broadway
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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New York Stage Review
June 25th, 2018

"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 performances."
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New York Stage Review
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
June 26th, 2018

“Harrison crams in just about every possible social concern in his overloaded scenario...Harrison’s dialogue is well-crafted and often in setup punchline mode peppered with plentiful pop culture references that falls flat...It’s all without resonance unless one is like the characters being depicted...The uniformly engaging cast embraces their brittle roles with flair...MacKinnon physically stages the actions with considerable skill and faithfully renders the author’s vision with inventiveness.”
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Theater Pizzazz
June 25th, 2018

“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.”
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CurtainUp
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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Front Row Center
June 26th, 2018

“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 conclusion.”
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Stage Buddy
June 28th, 2018

"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."
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Front Mezz Junkies
June 26th, 2018

“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."
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T
June 30th, 2018

"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."
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Broadway Blog
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
June 25th, 2018

“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.'”
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DC Theatre Scene
June 25th, 2018

"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.'"
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Gotham Playgoer
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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The Wrap
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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T
July 2nd, 2018

"Harrison brings up vital points about the interconnections between the gay and trans communities, but the characters are not fully developed, so we care little about the outcome. Chris is African-American and Pam is Asian-American but their racial identities receive scant play as does Jules’ status as a transplanted Brit...Director Pam MacKinnon delivers a taut production and the cast is sharp and funny...But it’s hard to get involved with the work past the chuckles."
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Stage Left
July 8th, 2018

"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."
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Towleroad
June 26th, 2018

“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."
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Daily Beast
June 25th, 2018

"'Log Cabin' wants to do good things. It wants to open up conversation and skewer the prejudices and hypocrisies within the LGBT community. But there is something in the static direction and the mannered-ness of the acting company that makes all these questions, all these issues packed tight, not urgent. The couples just don’t feel like couples, whether getting along or not getting along. Silly details stand out and annoy even more."
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Off Off Online
June 26th, 2018

“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.”
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Manhattan Digest
June 25th, 2018

"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."
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Show Showdown
July 7th, 2018

"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."
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The Clyde Fitch Report
June 26th, 2018

"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."
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Film Festival Traveler
July 3rd, 2018

"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."
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F
June 29th, 2018

“'Log Cabin' is only minimally successful in its project...’Log Cabin’ falls flat, feeling like an inevitably forced work — one delivered not prematurely, per se, but perhaps incoherently...His cast, though led by seasoned actors including Ferguson, are left with few tools to craft convincing performances and can do little to turn what becomes the sound of tiring, exhausting academia, queer theory turned dialogue, into something that sounds remotely like believable conversation.”
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