The Vineyard Theatre presents the world premiere of Nicky Silver's new comedy about love and marriage and everything in between. This production reunites 'The Lyons' playwright with director Mark Brokaw. More…
Martin thinks he has just married the girl of his dreams, but when Irene makes a surprising confession in their honeymoon suite, all their well-made plans fall apart. Nearly 50 years later, Irene’s children wrestle with their past and a mother whose secrets are quickly fading along with her memory.
"I loved the play. Using dark humor, Silver brilliantly explores love and conflict in both straight and gay relationships, family dynamics, and the serious concerns involving an aging parent. The script indeed includes provocative and moving themes and compelling and sympathetic characters…The many awkwardly hilarious moments were ably directed by Mark Brokaw…The cast is stellar. Most exceptional is Michael Crane…Ms. Gable brilliantly inhabits two entirely different roles." Full Review
"'This Day Forward' is not the collection of funny, cruel one-liners that have dominated Silver's recent plays. It is far more rooted in character. It is funny, but also more character driven. Irene, young and old, is a fascinating character, the centerpiece of a play filled with rich characters. Mark Brokaw has paced the play perfectly and the ensemble couldn't be better...The play deserves a future in regional theatre and beyond. It is one of Silver's best." Full Review
"Few playwrights can spin hilarity out of tragic circumstances as well as Silver...The dialog is often brutally funny. To say more would be to reveal too much. The entire production is top-notch. The cast of six, some doubling roles, are all superb...Longtime Silver collaborator Mark Brokaw directs with a sure hand. With Silver, the style sometimes threatens to overwhelm the substance, but that is a flaw I can accept." Full Review
"Upon a bit of reflection this was not the Nicky Silver play I expected. However, that is not to say that I didn't enjoy it or it wasn't good. I think Mr. Silver tried some new things here...Structurally, Mr. Silver has a great idea - 1958 and fast forward to 2004 two generations living the consequence of what we saw in Act 1...Act II is by far the more biting, acerbic, and serious of the two acts and judging from the audience reaction - the more successful and satisfying of the two as well." Full Review
"It’s all light and superficial. Not plausible nor believable. However the acting is convincing. And then all of a sudden in Act II everything begins to make sense. Sort of…The actors convincingly convey their newfound characters with warmth and honesty. And humor…Mr. Silver has captured both periods exactly and has created a theatrical coup with his double casting…It’s quite sad, believable and touching. Each act is nicely directed by Mark Brokaw with its own and quite unique tone." Full Review
"The team of playwright Nicky Silver and director Mark Brokaw display an impressive talent for packaging complex family drama as hip, off-beat comedy before getting to the guts of the long-term effects of dysfunctionality...‘While This Day Forward’ can certainly use a bit of punching up dramatically, and at its present state seems to require a bit of padding to fill out its two acts, the solid work of Brokow's ensemble keeps interest from sagging." Full Review
“‘This Day Forward’ shows much tighter control than many of Nicky Silver's early anarchic plays. Aside from offering a few wonderful characters in Malka and the older Irene, the play is disappointing as it sets up expectations which don't play out. When ‘This Day Forward’ is over, it leaves a feeling of something missing that failed to take place. It can't simply be saying that the sins of the parents are visited on the children - or could it?” Full Review
"Under Mark Brokaw’s steady hand, the acting is uniformly excellent and the actors manage their dual roles with authentic performances. Allen Moyer’s scenic design, Kaye Voyce’s costumes, and David Lander’s lighting are all exquisite. ‘This Day Forward’ comes with its difficulties. The second act is not as strong as the first and the magical realism at the end of the play is completely unnecessary and weakens the strength of the play." Full Review
"Comes together in the second act with more strength than in the first act, although there is much humor in the initial half too...Despite the laughter induced, the first act drags out so much that one’s patience can be tested...Silver takes a whack at marital relationships. Heterosexual or gay—it doesn’t matter. Relationships can be hell, and people’s dreams can remain unfulfilled and only wispy memories." Full Review
"Silver's caustic new play focuses on the damage that parents can inflict on children—it’s a broad canvas of emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse, distilled into two acts set a generation apart...Under the direction of Mark Brokaw, the actors in the play are terrific...Yet the characters sometimes veer toward caricature...If the whole feels a bit too programmed for quirkiness, there are plenty of jokes to leaven this dark survey of curdled love and romantic disappointment." Full Review
"Similar characters have appeared frequently in Silver’s work, most notably in 'The Lyons'...If 'This Day Forward' is not as strong, the playwright once more creates a play that deftly mixes funny and dark...Silver has a talent for comic dialogue that carries us through even an aimless-seeming play like this one. But then, at the very end, it suddenly, subtly, quietly becomes clear — it’d be easy to miss – that 'This Day Forward' has something to say about love and commitment." Full Review
"Clearly 'This Day Forward' is not a sequel, but neither is it really new in terms of the issues raised...Though it does have enough assets to make it reasonably entertaining, it's not prime Silver...With Mark Brokaw again at the helm, the shift from 1958 to 2004 and from character to character is balanced and smooth, as are the interactions between the characters. Under his guidance, the actors, all but two of whom are here double cast, give first-rate performances." Full Review
"Most of the two hours (with one intermission) is filled with chuckles and situations to which we can all relate when it comes to dysfunctional families and toxic parents. The ensemble, directed by Mark Brokaw, ebbs and flows with a familiarity and mostly precision timing...But this is one of Silver’s uneven plays, unlike 'The Lyons.' It spurts and sputters rather than continue rolling along." Full Review
"There will be a horrid, selfish mother; her children will grow into unhappy adults; their dad is dead or dying. Those criteria are dutifully met in the acid-penned playwright’s new black comedy...Such a bad beginning will never lead to a happy family, an obvious conclusion that Silver doesn’t do much to deepen or challenge after intermission. Mom never loved Dad, and 46 years later, everyone’s sad. That’s the short version of 'Forward,' which ranks at the bottom half of Silver’s output." Full Review
"As lively as all these exchanges are with these on-point actors and Mark Brokaw's bull's-eye-hitting direction, they're the culmination of the struggle, not the beginning of it...All we can do is hold on to what works post-intermission, which is pretty much everything...Act I is a complete nonstarter, with nasty writing and ugly acting that only sabotage the possibilities on which you'll want to believe Act II thrives...It does seem to end just once it's getting going." Full Review
"'This Day Forward' has many of the great hallmarks of Silver's canon...Yet the play never stops feeling like a second-to-last draft, one with a few great surprising scenes and a handful of predictable ones that are still a bit rough around the edges...Director Mark Brokaw does what he can to guide the company into performances that are more cohesive than the text, but no one pushes the comedy or the drama far enough to stand out." Full Review
"Between Mr. Silver’s witty, clever dialog and Ms. Fain’s engaging performance, the first act is mostly a keeper. I would cut out the second scene entirely, it did not move the plot along or reveal anything about the main characters. And frankly, you could do without most of the third scene too…As clever and insightful as Mr. Silver’s dialogue is, and as much as he invites us to laugh at the picture he’s painting, it’s just too bleak." Full Review
“The play (Act One, at any rate) reads funnier than it plays under Mark Brokaw's direction, which inspires only scattered and mild laughter. There is, though, a memorable moment of physical humor when the angry Martin leaps off the bed to be stopped in midair by Donald's outstretched hand. The best thing in the show, in fact, are its visuals, particularly Allen Moyer's substantial sets, carefully lit by David Lander. But in this case, the scenery doesn't equal substance.” Full Review
"The play does start off surprisingly, with a first act that resembles the sort of strained farcical comedies that populated Broadway in the 1950s...But little about the proceedings feels fresh, and...the brittle dialogue and thin characterizations aren't very funny or interesting. Everything in the sluggishly paced play feels attenuated and drawn with overly broad strokes...The performers try mightily but are largely unable to overcome the schematic nature of their characters." Full Review
"I won’t go so far as to say it borders on resolutely good...To give Silver some credit, he makes clear—or clear enough—what he wants to say with 'This Day Forward.' It’s a form of the old saw about the sins of the parents being visited on the children...The characters are so off-putting that they discourage any audience sympathy...The cast members do as right as possible with the requirements and as directed with his usual high level of competence by Mark Brokaw." Full Review
"Act I is overplayed and stretched, and Act II is laden with familiar family issues and mental illness, and neither feels entirely successful or fresh. While a welcome dose of Silver’s biting humor is in place, it’s like watching two would-be skits joined at the hip…Family eccentricities and the childhood scars that plague adults is typical terrain for Silver, but there are no new revelations or any compelling depth of emotion…The cast performs admirably, and Gable is a standout." Full Review
"The problem with this kind of comedy is the falseness of the premise…As the starting point for a family saga spanning five decades, it's dead in the water…That Brokaw's direction never finds its comic footing may not be his fault, given the insubstantial material he has to work with. Still, the cast does its best…There's little comedy, because the characters don't behave like recognizable human beings. And there's not much tragedy, because there isn't anything for them to lose." Full Review
"Fans of Mr. Silver’s angry wit and whimsy may feel he is missing in action in this portrait of a misbegotten marriage...The production has been directed with as much smoothness as the script allows by his frequent and fruitful collaborator, Mark Brokaw...'This Day Forward' feels unfulfilled, like a skeleton in search of animating flesh...The cast members are all perfectly fine. But an implicit and wistful question hangs over them: Is that all there is?" Full Review
"Playwright Nicky Silver can milk a story of a monster mother like nobody’s business. He and director Mark Brokaw did exactly that to near-perfection a couple years back in 'The Lyons.' They’re not at the top of their game in this latest far more uneven and less successful effort that’s bipolar in tone...Not much here that moves the conversation or the comedy forward." Full Review
"The play’s first 10 minutes are great fun…In the telling of how things evolve, ‘This Day Forward’ unfortunately loses the snappiness of its opening, becoming predictable and notably padded…The second act ultimately comes down to the sad but mundane matter of who’ll take care of Mom…The play has by then become fairly formulaic, and not in a persuasive way…The evening ends on a tentatively positive note, which, after the chaos we’ve witnessed, is perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of all." Full Review
See it if You want to see a comedy about life. You want to really know what people are thinking sometimes when they marry. You want to have fun.
Don't see it if You want a musical or can't stand slice of life stories.
See it if You enjoy plays that have many twists. If it's okay that you don't know where the play is going after the first act.
Don't see it if You find the premise too silly. If you need to understand the characters' motivations.
See it if You enjoy Nicky Silvers work, love intense dramas with wicked humor sprinkled in and enjoy thought provoking pieces about love vS security
Don't see it if Only like comedies, don't want to challenge yourself to see heavy hitting shows. Only like shows with happy endings
See it if you like smart (if somewhat quirky) storyline that is equal parts funny and a punch in the gut.
Don't see it if you don't care about parent/child dysfunctional relationships or looking at possibilities of how/why they turn out the way they do.
See it if You enjoy an intimate setting and a thought provoking look into the life of newlyweds and what becomes of them years later.
Don't see it if You are looking for a musical or large scale production.
See it if You want to laugh. You want to see great staging. You want to be entertained. You don't mind a slow moving story with attention to details.
Don't see it if You don't want to laugh. You are too serious. You need super fast paced theater. You don't want to see a love story. You like simple staging
See it if you enjoy a show that presents serious issues in a light and humorous way. There is still something to think about but without getting sad.
Don't see it if you don't want your standard beliefs about love and marriage to be tampered with.
See it if You want to form your own opinion. Not familiar with this playwright's work, I found it so sharply written so I felt deep cuts in my psyche.
Don't see it if Marital and family squabbles are not your thing. Also, if a critic you often agree with found it lacking.
See it if you want to see great costumes and laugh over lingering mis-steps between generations.
Don't see it if you want really tight ensemble acting - all actors are talented but not always coordinated with each other.
See it if you can appreciate comedy in the tragedy of the choices some make, old age, dementia, adult children's responsibilities; may strike a chord.
Don't see it if you expect only the screwball laughs Nicky Silver usually delivers.
See it if you're into quirky, funny, yet also affecting shows that experiment a bit with form, but pay off in the end.
Don't see it if you prefer completely linear narratives that don't detour along the way
See it if you enjoy the marriage of great writing with great acting. Act one was a bit more enchanting than Act two, but both were well worth the time
Don't see it if you are a stickler for "classic" Nicky Silver. This is a play outside his normal style. That being said, I found it both charming and funny.
See it if you like something light and entertaining. Acting is very good and there are some nice laughs. Overall a good piece.
Don't see it if if you are looking for something deeper than it is. There are some character disconnect. Its a bit flat in parts.
See it if you want to introduce your mom slowly to good theatre, and homosexuality.
Don't see it if you find cliches & farce too old school. Not enough contemporary quirk to make reviving this genre worthwhile. Stage Kiss, did it better.
See it if U want to see a wedding nite that should be happy, turned on its head. And we see how the lies & hurts revealed affect the next generation.
Don't see it if You're looking for a straight forward romance. Decades of marriage don't mean happiness. Sometimes the truth is a blunt instrument.
See it if You want a well acted, light albeit funny production of a woman torn between the desires of her heart and the expectation of others.
Don't see it if Loveless marriage and its negative effects on the entire family. You are uncomfortable watching one facing the onset of dementia.
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