“An object lesson in the magic of live performance, building a striking theatrical experience out of a slim, unsettling folk tale of a script…Jarcho breathes mood and texture into the play’s archetypal characters and broad narrative strokes. The piece is realized with confidence and control in every detail, anchored by Ben Jalosa Williams’s immersive live sound design and a bravura performance by Pete Simpson in all three leading-male roles.” Full Review
"This disregard of the classic elements of style makes scarefests a natural field of exploration for Ms. Jarcho, a queen of experimental mayhem. Traditional logic, coherent plots and credible acting have never been among her priorities...All these men are played with ripe and delirious hamminess by Pete Simpson, who is giving one of the most unlikely and dazzling comic performances of this season. Funny he may be, but it is Simpson who brings the show to its sobering conclusion." Full Review
"While a visually stunning and cleverly staged production, there is still room for improvement. The script at times sacrifices clarity for intrigue, and none of the characters seem to have been developed thoroughly enough...The co-existence of camp and horror also seems to make them negate each other: the rapid shifts between styles make it hard to truly get lost in the story." Full Review
"Jarcho has spun a metaphysical conceit around her characters, putting the audience inside what turns out to be a B-movie...On the page this is interesting, but on its feet the different modes create confusion. Is the goal black comedy?...Is it 'terrifying?' Well. Shows can be both comic and scary at once, of course...But it needs delicate calibration. This is where execution muddies the issue...The play's parts, which seemed so healthy separately, just won't make a functioning body go." Full Review
“Who’s more terrifying: the monster or its victims? Playwright and director Julia Jarcho...will answer the question in a tidy, melancholic monologue at the end of her new horror comedy, ‘The Terrifying.’ What she won’t do is scare you or make you laugh, though the production frequently tries to do both, pummeling you with a seat-rattling sound design and often goofy humor...All of it is a sensory overload and too much fuss for a messy commentary on how monsters come in all shapes and sizes." Full Review
See it if "Penny Dreadful" meets "Waiting for Godot" is your idea of good theater
Don't see it if you expect naturalistic acting in a metaphorical tale, or can't tolerate the same actors playing multiple roles (sometimes in the same scene
See it if You're interested in baroque language and fear. You can take pleasure in unusual, off-beat acting styles. You love amazing sound design.
Don't see it if You need naturalism in your theatre. You can't look past some bad acting and poor lighting design. You dislike jumpscares and/or malaprops.
See it if ...you enjoy new works, horror, edgy, dark, downtown theater. Great use of space and sound design. Cast gives 100%.
Don't see it if ...you want light-hearted entertainment; there is dry humor. I get that the writer is making social commentary but not quite sure what it is
See it if you want to see a show with incredible design elements (and live sound design!) as well as a play that explores typical theatrical rules
Don't see it if you want a straightforward play that's easy to understand.
See it if you enjoy small theatre plays with limited cast and dystopia feel.
Don't see it if you're looking to be scared or creeped out. A lot of sudden loud noises meant to strike fear, instead caused some laughter.
See it if you appreciate great tech. Really interesting use of the staging. Very intriguing to see a horror piece adapted to the stage.
Don't see it if you aren't willing to leave the theatre with a lot of questions. Ending came out of nowhere and was un-earned.
See it if You enjoy defamiliarization and experimentation, horror tropes remixed, innovative set, sound, and costume designs.
Don't see it if You don't like loud noises or negative capability.
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