The Oregon Trail
Closed 1h 25m
The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail NYC Reviews and Tickets

(56 Reviews)
Members say
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great acting

About the Show

Fault Line Theatre presents a play that contrasts the trials of an adolescent girl growing up in the late '90s with her 19th-century video game counterpart.

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Member Reviews (56)

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Slow, Insipid, Excruciating

See it if It was a rough show to get through . I was itching to leave after 15 minutes. Bad script. Poor staging .... I wanted to root for it, but ...

Don't see it if I would not recommend it.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Relevant

See it if Despite an overall muddled feel, Brunstetter's then/now feminism often succeeds Acting is good esp E L Perkins but conceptualization stalls

Don't see it if Contemporary scenes never felt as potent as 1850s ones & lacked a needed punch Difficult to empathize with Vaynberg's malaise (acting?)

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
January 22nd, 2017

"A feisty, formally inventive comedy...Ms. Brunstetter has scripted earlier plays...'The Oregon Trail' is a great improvement, particularly in its nifty first half-hour. In Ms. Vaynberg’s expressive hands, contemporary Jane’s sly humor and cringing embarrassment feel wonderfully real and raw, horrible and funny...The play makes a forward leap to Jane’s thwarted adulthood and becomes a more formulaic piece...The language in the 1840s scenes starts to irk, as do the sorrows of present-day Jane."
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Time Out New York
January 26th, 2017

“A sour, low-stakes comedy…Beyond scratching a specific nostalgic itch, the play offers few rewards…Jane's not really functioning, yet throughout the show's 90 minutes of self-destruction and indulgent passivity, neither she nor her doctor sister brings up therapy or medication. Whether Brunstetter is making a point about generational malaise or actual illness, she's spent too little time speculating on a cure.”
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January 22nd, 2017

"The subject is heady, and for a good chunk of the play, 'The Oregon Trail' delivers both a nuanced portrait of depression and a gently humanized vision of a game where, for the most part, the main goal was to kill weary travelers from typhoid...Yet 'The Oregon Trail' also never feels as fully fleshed out as it should be, with the sequences in the 1800s particularly shortchanged toward the end. Director Geordie Broadwater has a strong vision, though."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 1st, 2017

"Depression is not an easy state to dramatize, and, in any case, Jane comes off as a pill—whiny, narcissistic, a perpetual victim...The fact remains that Jane's depression is presented without any insight and we are led to believe that her sufferings are equal to those of Then Jane, a notion that would be laughable if it weren't so grating...Brunstetter is a talent to watch, but this 'Oregon Trail,' I'm afraid, leads to a dramatic dead end."
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Talkin' Broadway
January 23rd, 2017

"There's much that's good about 'The Oregon Trail.' Broadwater's staging is incisive, funny, and quick-moving. The physical spot-on for both eras. And with the exception of Arturo...the acting is well pitched with the writing. Still, Brunstetter's writing and conceptualization could be sharper, and, as witty as the references to it are, the game is more of a diversionary tactic than a fully integrated storytelling mechanism."
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Village Voice
January 23rd, 2017

"Brunstetter explores how depression is carried in these women’s bodies and how they articulate that sorrow in their respective eras. Their shared despondence resonates at times, though in this production, the 1800’s segments never feel as sharply drawn as the contemporary scenes...When the play clicks it's engaging, but that fascination can ebb and flow, and the themes tend to circle the wagon without gaining depth. But there is a sincerity and warmth to these young women."
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