Summer Shorts 2018: Series B
Midtown E
73

Summer Shorts 2018: Series B NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(15 Reviews)
Positive
67%
Mixed
33%
Negative
0%
Members say
Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Quirky

About the Show

This annual festival of new American short plays returns to 59E59 for its 12th consecutive year.

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Member Reviews (15)

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66
Absorbing (sparring partner), Promising (the plot), Dreadful (ibis), Lightweight

See it if you want to enjoy a refreshing, resonant, playful one-act (Sparring Partner) about a burgeoning office romance during a lunch in the park.

Don't see it if you aren't willing to withstand a promising, aimless let-down (The Plot) & half-baked, cliché-ridden play (IBIS) to get to the LaBute payoff

88
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like well written short plays. Big impact;little wasted time.Acting/directing is uneven.Writing is all quite good.

Don't see it if you want something big & brassy.These make you think and feel.And for god's sweet sake, make the alarm clock face backwards or set it!

Critic Reviews (8)

August 6th, 2018

"'Summer Shorts B' offers three distinct takes, some more enthralling than others...'Sparring Partner' is unquestionably the 'realest' of the three plays. While 'The Plot' and 'Ibis' each leave us with a sense of magic and mystery, 'Sparring Partner' mostly leaves us cold and straining to hear Jones as he vamps a one-sided phone call during a painfully delayed blackout. It's a disappointing way to be released back into the Manhattan August, but we're ready to cross that threshold all the same."
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August 7th, 2018

“Each of the plays depict intriguing stories about the human experience and portray fascinating interactions between people...With the finest writing, directing, and acting, Summer Shorts 2018 offers something for many theatrical tastes...It is an outstanding opportunity to be engaged by great shows that are now emerging on the theatre scene.”
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August 8th, 2018

"It takes an old pro to redeem the second series of one-act plays...‘Sparring Partner’...LaBute's script is admirably taut, with each little encounter inexorably pushing the couple toward a revelation...Less successful is Zajdel's ‘The Plot’...It has an eerily amusing black-comedy premise...But is undermined by a lack of action...If ‘Ibis’ disappoints, Berliner's direction keeps things fairly lively and the cast is fine...Even if two out of three plays disappoint, 'Season B' has plenty of rewards."
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August 6th, 2018

"The plays in 'Summer Shorts 2018 - Festival of New American Short Plays' have often had a theme running through all the offerings in each evening, however they were concealed or obscured. This year's Series B is about two-character relationships at a tense moment in their developments, sort of sparring partners as one of the plays calls it. Unfortunately, the plays in this series by Neil LaBute, Claire Zajdel, and Eric Lane all need further work as they are premises rather than finished plays."
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August 12th, 2018

"Only marginally better than Series A…A few amusing quips…aren't enough to compensate for 'The Plot' being a play in search of a plot…Equally lackluster is…'Ibis,' which begins in a film noir style…By the time 'Ibis' ends, we've moved from film noir to film blah…'Sparring Partners,' while a minor work about a conventional office romance, nonetheless lands one on the chin…A fine-tuned blend of script and performance in which each lifts the other to a higher level."
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August 7th, 2018

"Uneven...‘The Plot’: Groome and Robinson are full of neurotic angst but offer no sense of family cohesion, and Rees has little idea of where to steer his actors on the nearly empty stage...’Ibis’: Cleverly constructed dialog that feels mathematical...Broad turns in a charismatic performance...'Sparring Partner': The chemistry between Jones and Christie is perfectly tempered and Kandel brings sharp focus to LaBute’s view of the stakes and mistakes of playing a game too long.”
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August 6th, 2018

"We were rather disappointed by the plays in Series A. We have just seen the plays in Series B, however, and we found them to be far more entertaining...'Ibis' is far and away the most convoluted and intricate of the three works – perhaps even a bit too much so for a one-act play...I found 'Sparring Partner' to be the best of the three plays, not only because of LaBute’s writing but equally importantly because of Joanna Christie’s and Keilyn Durrel Jones’s sparkling performances."
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August 7th, 2018

“‘The Plot’...A dark comedy...Some of the humor is too broad and the exposition of personality traits is too explicit...Lane’s enigmatic 'Ibis' explicitly addresses storytelling...Lane’s work is suffused with a haunting strangeness, and despite some minor kinks, this is the play that will stick most deeply in my memory...LaBute’s ‘Sparring Partner’, the most polished of the three plays, concludes the evening...Featuring terrific performances...The dialogue is sharp and naturalistic.”
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