A journalist writes an article about ghost hunters in rural Virginia. More…
Kim is a journalist, writing what she thinks will be a run-of-the-mill article about a father and son team of ghost hunters. As the three of them pass the evening outside a haunted barn, waiting for spirits to reveal themselves, what begins as just another day at the office soon becomes a night none of them will forget. In the paranormal world, the ghosts you hunt may be closer than you think.
"A gifted storyteller, Schwend certainly knows how to send tingles up one's spine with this gruesome tale, which may leave some members of the audience reexamining their own irrational rage...The title of the play might refer to the author's tendency to ramble...She wraps it all in a chilling homage to the horror genre. Few things could be more American than a slasher play about our own misplaced and hypocritical rage." Full Review
"Without the aid of effects or even a costume change, Soule’s two-sided performance is haunting; the raw quality of watching a scenario unfold live or a simple lighting trick can denote a spirit adds to the shivery atmosphere. Whatever the case, the execution is successful if slow-to-build. While 'The Other Thing' might not make for an entirely realistic storyline, it still allows for one thing to be realized—ghost hunting could result in a closer encounter than prepared for." Full Review
"This first act runs more than an hour, and if some kind of ghost doesn’t make an appearance before it’s over, walkouts would be perfectly justified. But that wouldn’t be advisable...True to her word, Kim delivers a ghost story, with real thrills and quite a few chills. But the scribe undermines her own good work, because while the vengeful ghost she conjures up makes a good case for the mayhem she causes, not all of her victims deserve their fate." Full Review
There is more going on than what meets the eye in Emily Schwend’s sharp and twisted 'The Other Thing.' It’s a feminist revenge fantasy disguised as a traditional ghost story. It’s a nasty little parable about carrying the scars of your parents. And it’s a winking switcheroo where the men come in three different flavors, all of them too chatty for the dangerous woman in their lives who has had just about enough...Having seen the play in early preview, I hope that a few of the kinks have since ... Full Review
"To its credit, the play takes almost all of Act I to reveal its true nature, and when it does it’s unexpectedly exciting and unnerving. The second act is another story...Schwend has a gift for storytelling, as evidenced by the well-structured first act. But in her zeal to communicate, she drowns her message in excess that makes it unfathomable." Full Review
"It’s a shame that Schwend limits Kim’s dissociative identity disorder to a mere two modes—mild-mannered or murderous—because she is capable of far subtler shadings. Promise flickers at the top of the second act...That frisson soon dissipates, though, with a return to the narrative through-line: There’s a body count to maintain." Full Review
"'The Other Thing' spikes a ghost story with a twist of feminism. That unusual recipe gives the play a certain novelty, but Ms. Schwend’s dark drama, ultimately comes across as preposterous...The second act proves livelier than the first, even though my interest tended to flag once Kim’s erratic behavior has been tidily explained." Full Review
"We must understand the stakes and accept that they're high enough to not only merit our attention, but capture it, and 'The Other Thing' falls well short of that mark. When the real game is unveiled, and the guiding force behind it all, unmasked, it's tough to stifle a laugh — not the right reaction for a play that's ostensibly trying to keep you on the edge of your seats and operating at the edge of your wits." Full Review
"Sadly, the show’s an average, dull misfire...Most of the time you’re wondering whether a certain character is haunted or schizophrenic, which is actually a good question for a thriller. But the show’s scare tactics, poorly staged, fizzle. Worse, they end up drawing unintentional laughs, like the tin-eared dialogue...Tectonic plates move faster than the action here, which keeps getting clogged by go-nowhere tall tales." Full Review
See it if you like other-worldly tales so much that you'll watch a third-rate one. During the endless clean-up, I calculated the paper towel budget.
Don't see it if you value your time. There are no thrills or insights to be gained from this script. The slow, based-in-reality staging did it no favors.