See it if You enjoy variety. I loved the characters in Helpers and the unfolding truth in After the Wedding. I thought How It Ends was awful.
Don't see it if You aren't willing to sit through one bad play in order to see two good ones.
See it if you want to enjoy a sharply written and naturally, confidently, effectively acted one-act play by Neil Labute (After the Wedding).
Don't see it if you aren't prepared to sit through a throw-away one-act by Cusi Cram (The Helpers) and an execrable, amateur play by A Rey Pamatmat.
See it if you don't mind sitting through 2 uncompelling two-handers to get to the last piece, which is well-acted, fascinating and thoughtful.
Don't see it if you're expecting the 3 plays to have any thematic links, or if you're expecting the 3 plays to have any real dramatic heft.
See it if you have a prepaid subscription or you have a special interest in one or more of the playwrights.
Don't see it if you are looking for something special and/or memorable.
See it if you are a fan of Neil La Bute. His play is outstanding, blessed with good directing and acting. The last play is sophomoric. The first, meh.
Don't see it if you will be satisfied by only one of the three plays.
See it if You enjoy plays laced with lots of profanity. You especially enjoy watching mediocre plays being performed by talented actors.
Don't see it if Profanity used excessively is not your thing. You are not in the mood to be indulgent about less than proficient contemporary playwriting.
See it if are a LaBute fan or if you are a fan of short plays that don't go very deep
Don't see it if like theater with more meat on its bones
See it if Like short plays by known and upcoming playwrights. Grounded was really good and the O'Hara pkay broke the fourth wall like usual.
Don't see it if Want standard dramas. These are a bit quirky.
“‘After the Wedding’ is the type of one-act play that suggests a larger picture outside of its diminutive frame. The other works in the program are more self-contained...'This Is How It Ends' feels like an extended high-concept joke that emerged from a merry late-night gab session...'The Helpers' is an amuse-bouche...One-act plays are the tapas of the theater world. They can be small and beautiful-but the ones here mostly leave you wanting more."
“Cram’s 20-minute piece is the least substantial: an anodyne park-bench reunion scene...Neil LaBute’s equally brief but more substantial ‘After the Wedding’...Tautly written, well acted and directed with cool assurance by Maria Mileaf, it delivers a quick and dirty jab...A. Rey Pamatmat’s ‘This Is How It Ends’...Is a hot-messy mix of amorphous theology, outré humor and redemptive gay sex. It’s at once too big and too small to satisfy, but the flavors are certainly bold.”
"'The Helpers' is a bittersweet comedy about two captivating characters that shows how difficult it can be to embrace others. It is superbly written and wonderfully performed…In 'After the Wedding' the dialogue is completely compelling and seamlessly delivered...'This is How it Ends' is a well-staged, creative show that uses clever characterizations to develop its theme. The creative team has done a great job of bringing this fascinating variety of plays to the 59E59 stage."
"The most amusing piece is also the thinnest: 'The Helpers'...Provides further evidence of Cram's wry way with a line and difficulty with plotting…'After the Wedding' shows the playwright Neil LaBute spinning his wheels...'This Is How It Ends' may have looked good on paper, but it suffers from poor construction and a marked deficit of wit…If these plays were the best of what was available, I shudder to think what else was on tap."
“The most fully realized, is a small bijou of a work, Cusi Cram's 'The Helpers'...Thanks to smart and often funny dialog and bang-up performances by the players, the play is a touching charmer in every way...A. Rey Pamatmat's ‘This Is How It Ends,’ is a fanciful consideration of the very last day of life...The play is too over-the-top to find its footing...One will make you smile wistfully; one is likely to disturb; and one will possibly leave you scratching your head.”
“One of the advantages of one-act play festivals is that even if you don’t
like all of the offerings, you are certain to like at least one.
Unfortunately, the three that make up 'Summer Shorts: Series A' are all a disappointment.
This is particularly surprising considering one of the plays is by the
usually reliable Neil LaBute. All of the new works in this evening seem like
either pieces of longer plays yet to come or undeveloped ideas that have not
been fleshed out.”
"In ‘The Helpers’ despite naturalistic direction, the play attempts to move too far, too fast…In LaBute's 'After the Wedding' the dialogue here is typically fast and clever, with direction and acting to match…'This is How It Ends’ stands in noted contrast...There's something intriguing about how out-there this play is...The cohesion between all three pieces feels rocky, and Series A totals up as an uneven collection, leaving you more weary of the one-act rather than energized by it. "
"LaBute’s ‘After The Wedding’ is a seductive and disturbing bit of sleight of hand…Labute’s pen is still lethal and his aim true. The other two plays do not fare nearly as well…Burke and Dubliner do everything they can to keep ‘The Helpers’ afloat, but it is not enough to keep our interest...In ‘This Is How It Ends’ Mr. Pamatmat’s writing rises to the level of an original high school play, and these actors carry out their duties as well as they can. Mr. Iskander’s direction is no help."