Abrons Arts Center presents a new drama about Dennis Toledo, a troubled Iraq vet and shoe salesman who's suddenly forced to go sober. More…
Dennis has managed to anesthetize the enduring wounds of his service with prescription drugs. But when he’s arrested on a domestic violence charge and sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court, he’s forced to find new ways to handle his volatile tangle of emotions. Further upheaval with his wife leaves him perched on the edge of recovery with an all-consuming drive to win full custody of his six-year-old daughter.
"The poignant new drama turns out to be an unexpected celebration of a marriage of true minds. I mean the kind of meld that occurs when a playwright and a performer seem to blend into a hypernatural unity, making artificial words sound realer than real life...Perez is giving the kind of instinctive yet disciplined, all-out emotional performance that makes you wonder why he hasn’t been doing Brando-stature parts...Masciotti’s distinctively awkward dialogue has never sounded more organic." Full Review
"This resonant piece brings life to the news stories about veterans’ struggles and the larger issues of psychological trauma and a cumbersome VA system...Joel Perez does an outstanding job as Dennis...Director Ben Williams has taken an awkward space and found creative uses for it...An illuminating work of a veteran struggling to get out of the fringes, this is a fast-paced, moving, timely play that brings a humanity to the veteran’s plight, executed with sensitivity and creativity." Full Review
“A bold, emotionally explosive peek into the impact of post-traumatic stress…Perez gives a masterful performance...It's an intense, fast-moving setup and Williams' direction and Climer's scenic and costume design are perfectly calibrated for maximum impact…My only criticism is the play never explains what motivated Dennis to enlist…Still, this production packs a lasting punch and forces the audience to grapple with the wounded warriors living in our midst.” Full Review
"Masciotti is thorough, unsparing, and precise about the specifics of Dennis’s existence and the one-step-forward-two-steps-back progress he makes...While these details are important, though, they’re hardly unique, and the play can get bogged down in them...The piece is most interesting–more alive, more energetic, more revealing of interesting facets of character–in the moments that don’t deal with Dennis’s issues in such a head-on and literal way." Full Review
"Masciotti’s best tool is her ear. She hears the twists and malapropisms that give language its occasional wrong-foot poetry...But this time, the comic technique seems out of tune...Here, conventional slides into cliché...Williams creates a lush aural and visual world...But the play turns Dennis into a mockable figure...The characterization lists towards condescension, curdling the play’s attempts at sentiment. It’s all fun and language games until someone really loses." Full Review
“The discomfort of watching Masciotti’s ‘Raw Bacon’ doesn’t lie in the painful story she wishes to tell. Unfortunately, it comes from the writer’s own failure to tell that story with the complexity, nuance, and imagination it deserves. Directed by Williams, and performed by a solid cast led by Perez, ‘Raw Bacon’ is a surface-grazing take on the classic American tale…Although the production has many virtues, it ultimately falls prey to clichés it would have done better to push against.” Full Review
See it if Vet tries to make a future for himself while suffering from PTSD. I was glued to my seat and drawn into this man's life.
Don't see it if You are not interested in a story set in the present day, dealing with real life vets issues.
Also Terrific writing and acting. Excellent use of the set.
See it if You want to see a complex well written story about a vet dealing with ptsd. It was a very emotionally compelling play.
Don't see it if You don't want to feel frustrated and helpless with regard to vets who need help after returning home.
See it if crucial play about the psychological toll combat takes on veterans, and the struggle to adjust to life.We feel his fear and helplessness.
Don't see it if .....just see it! do not miss it.
See it if An evening of mostly absorbing drama about PTSD interests you. There's little boredom here.
Don't see it if If you are put off by an aggressive protagonist and a cliched ending.
See it if you want something that's a bit out of the box in structure and source. Staging is pretty dope.
Don't see it if you want something classical where you'll understand every single coated meaning.
See it if An important topic which hits many real issues in the struggle to regain control of ones life after serious problems.
Don't see it if It just does not present its characters as believable human beings. The script and direction undermine authenticity despite actors effort.
See it if Might be most important show I've seen this year. Brilliant. Stellar performances. Great staging. Powerful. Hope it transfers to bigger.
Don't see it if Stories about PTSD are tough for you.
See it if you can hab=ndle an intense drama that is not exactly a feel-good show but tells of something important and very real.
Don't see it if you expect to be entertained, lulled into the comfortable numbness, and fed silly lines all the time when you're in a theater.
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