"This awkwardly plotted 'tragicomedy,' with its sketchy humor and one-dimensional characters, feels like a missed opportunity to deliver some timely satire regarding greed and privilege in the halls of power...The performances here are energetic...Hruska's contrived plot and choppy dialogue, however, make it difficult for the actors to create characters worth caring about. Director Rick Lombardo doesn't help in this regard, preferring instead to wow the audience with special effects." Full Review
"This one is likely to go down as one of the season's real head-scratchers...It doesn't help that the characters behave and speak like no human beings ever seen...Rick Lombardo's production is certainly polished and his cast is remarkably committed, when they aren't mugging shamelessly...'Ring Twice for Miranda' is fantasy suffering from a case of insufficient imagination. It never establishes a coherent world and the characters' motivations are often left bewilderingly unclear." Full Review
"I can think of several reasons why Mr. Hruska would take a stab at this idea...What I do not understand is why or how this script was chosen for a full production. It lacks substance, and the story line has no pulse. In addition, what were the director Mr. Lombardo’s thoughts as he assembled the many pieces of this narrative? His direction–literally, as in what direction was he going–was never clarified. More’s the pity, because everyone involved in a production works hard." Full Review
"Alan Hruska's labored, dystopian 'tragicomedy'...has the musty air of one of those European, allegorical, politically tinged, absurdist satires of the 1950s and 1960s-think Ionesco, Sartre, Dürrenmatt, Arrabal, or Frisch-but without their wit, cogency, depth, or flair...Apart from scattered moments, there's precious little to keep you invested for nearly two hours." Full Review
"An almost unbearable two-hour evening...Hruska defuses any potential insight with his quick dips into apocalyptic absurdism, ostensibly in imitation of (or paying homage to) Samuel Beckett...This isn't regimented or coherent enough to be satire. If it's intended as serious drama, its frequent comedy is at odds with rather than in tune with the underlying distress. And if laughs are the goal, their dark shadows are forever fighting them for focus rather than enhancing their necessity." Full Review
"The show takes on how half of America feels right now in this political climate and should resonate, but there are many problems with this production. First: Pearce, Connell and Thiesfield all seem in a different play. I blame part of this on the director Rick Lombardo. It’s almost as if this play does not know what it wants to be. Is this a farce bordering on theatre of the absurd and deep like Ionesco, or complex and layered like Sartre? Right now it lives between those two worlds." Full Review
"All that work from the main players in the power struggle, Elliot and Miranda trying to hold onto their humanity, keeping the tension in a place of mystery and realism, starts to fall away as secrets and dynamics are revealed. The reactions of others are generally believable but the one big reveal doesn’t make as much sense at it should to really power home the conclusion...The second half fails to shed light on the dynamic. It disappoints, leaving us as lost as those two servants." Full Review
"Rick Lombardo directs with a charming gracefulness...'Ring Twice for Miranda's' chilling dystopian themes and its delusional narcissistic Sir become even more relevant in the current political climate in America. The play raises important and enduring questions but does not have the dramatic strength to carry the weight of these rich questions...That said, Mr. Hruska’s new play explores the dimensions of tyranny and the loss of personal freedom in a convincing way." Full Review
"The attempt is more interesting than the result, as the play lacks the tightness and synchronized drive needed to rise above good intentions...Despite the colorful performances, the work lacks the sophistication to make us either care about the characters or their plight. It all seems like an exercise in existentialism without the sufficient wit and know-how to succeed on the level needed to fulfill the play’s commendable ambition." Full Review
"Hruska dabbles in existential world-weariness, classism, apocalyptic darkness, the Holocaust, spinning it skillfully, if pretentiously, into a surreal entertainment that induces much head-scratching but is not without its literate pleasures, not to mention fine acting and surprisingly intriguing production values." Full Review
“Director Rick Lombardo adeptly ratchets up the tension as the scenes progress...Hruska’s dialogue bears a striking resemblance to Beckett…Hruska is a skillful plotter…Still, the dystopian setting is beginning to feel stale, and if Hruska is making an important philosophical point, it isn’t as clear as those of his European models. The actors are all very good, and there are dramatic pleasures in ‘Ring Twice for Miranda,’ but they don’t amount to more than a thoroughly capable sci-fi yarn.” Full Review
"Described as a 'tragicomedy,' there’s too little of both tragedy and comedy to make it succeed. Both the characters and the jokes are thin, especially the poorly-acted Miranda (Katie Kleiger), a maid in the home of the wealthy Sir...The acting is both over-the-top and all over the place...It’s like they all wandered in from different plays and decided to just hang out for a while...A labored and false story that is nearly as much of a wasteland as the world it inhabits." Full Review
"The plot feels awkward and contrived, yet retains an element of intrigue especially regarding what exactly Miranda does for Sir. Lombardo’s direction is serviceable considering the plot contrivances and the underdeveloped characters. The acting unfortunately is stylishly uneven...I think 'Miranda' wants to be an amusing commentary on our current state of political affairs, especially with regard to greed and privilege, but the hastily cobbled together satire fails to fully satisfy that goal." Full Review
"Playwright Alan Hruska's script has a Pinteresque quality, with dialogue that is sometimes cryptic, offbeat characters with uncertain motives, and an overarching aura of menace. How you feel about the play may depend on how much you like that kind of writing...The way that 'Miranda' plays with mood is one of its best assets...Unfortunately, the play itself isn't as compelling as these production elements. It does have its moments...But it's not quite worth the wait to get there." Full Review
"The actors fit into this nihilistic dystopian scenario well but it is like watching a straight jacket being slowly strapped up. The plot is too slight to justify the length of the play…The playwright Alan Hruska has strong feelings about his subject, but the play doesn’t provide characters deep enough to communicate his message, witty though they may be. However, the director Rick Lombardo has given the actors a good realistic base that serves to give grounding to the darkly absurd situation." Full Review
“If good intentions were reason enough to skew a review to the positive, ‘Ring Twice for Miranda’ would merit a rave. With one line toward the end, playwright Alan Hruska makes his intention clear, affording a retroactive degree of admiration for the somewhat muddled content that had preceded it…Directed as an exercise in existentialism, the acting is pretty much surface all ‘round, a choice dictated by the characters’ unnatural behavior rather than by acting-class lessons.” Full Review
"'Ring Twice for Miranda' is not particularly well written. It seems like the director Rick Lombardo did the best he could do with material of intermittent quality. Even so, the play kept my attention, and there were merits in it beyond its problems...The setup is intriguing...All of the acting was top-notch...'Ring Twice for Miranda' is a very handsome production both visually and sonically...I found 'Ring Twice for Miranda' had enough going for it to warrant recommending it." Full Review
See it if You'd find a metaphorical and political play interesting. The characters portray various social groups but don't quite hit the mark.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy absurdist or surrealistic drama.
See it if You are interested in dystopian fiction that allows reflection on how femininity is perceived and what people value
Don't see it if If you want a full story that comes to a neat end
See it if you want to see skilled actors doing their darnedest to make it work; if you wonder about Sartre's "lost" sitcom; if nice sets are enough
Don't see it if if the idea of elaborate dystopian fantasy set in mansion/costumes from CLUE does not intrigue you
See it if you enjoy drama that is only a bit offbeat and enjoy a small theater experience
Don't see it if you don't like to think about the world falling apart and what you would do for a roof over your head
See it if you like to experience intimate theater as venue is nicely small & cozy that the performance is just a few feet away from you.
Don't see it if you get easily bored as the pacing is slow and the lack of a musical score & the dark ambience make it conducive for a catnap. Drink coffee!
See it if You want to see another will acted show, that remains a bit confusing all the way through
Don't see it if You want to see something more real, more familiar or are into plays that don't leave you with many questions
See it if you are interested in a unique and unpredictable show that is well acted and well written
Don't see it if you are not interested in shows dealing with doomsday scenarios and/or shows that are not necessarily happy and light
See it if you like dramas about people stuck in futuristic dystopian societies and enjoy tracking shifting power plays among the characters
Don't see it if paper thin characterizations or plots that strain believability drive you up the wall. Also inconsistent tone shifts...
See it if you want a beautifully acted, intriguing and disturbing play that makes you question what defines pleasure in a desolate dystopian world.
Don't see it if you're looking for light entertainment. This play is not FUN & not PERFECT. But critics got it wrong! Not FUN doesn't equal not WORTHY!
See it if A interesting play about how middle class jobs are disposable. Sadly a near reality if we don't get our politics in check.
Don't see it if If your a tea party Republican and believe that the middle class, service providers and the arts do not bring value in to to our lives.
See it if Interesting concept, slow at times. This in fact may be a glimpse of our future in light of the direction which we are presently headed.
Don't see it if If you enjoy only musicals and crystal clear non ambiguous plays.
See it if You're a fan of a show where society has fallen to the point of eating babies to survive; if a play that moves at a snail's pace is alright.
Don't see it if You like a show with "Snap-Crackle & Pop", this ain't it. You want singing & dancing, go see Cats! Lots of perversion. It never took off :~(
See it if Existentially inclined. Shades of Beckett, Sartre, Ionesco. Very strong lead. Interesting, efficient staging. Downtown show in midtown venue
Don't see it if Playwright pads running time with supporting characters chatter. Expensive retail ticket.
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