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"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
"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
"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
"'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
"This dry hump of a comedy, with affectations of tragedy stapled in, got me to laugh, or rather snort, only once...Its people are just ordinarily crazy, not fantastically so. And ordinarily crazy people are no fun. Nor can they be very tragic, if you hate them — as I defy you not to do. Despite the laborious efforts of the cast, working under the direction of Silver’s longtime collaborator Mark Brokaw, they are unable to enlist the audience in any kind of sympathy." 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
"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
"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
“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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
“‘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
"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
"You have the recipe for a first act which is, despite what tries to pass for antics, painful, sad and over long...This is not the Nicky Silver we know–which would be fine if it worked...The premise of the story might make a good 1950s, black-and-white melodrama if we cared. Alas, we don’t. Director Mark Brokow does the best he can with the material. His skill is obvious." 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
"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
"Hilarity should ensue, especially since Joe Tippett, a master at playing lovable lunks, has been cast as the other man. But everyone else seems, under Mark Brokaw's unsubtle direction, to be trying too hard, almost turning to seek the audience's approval after each funny bit...The more interesting second act...Here I felt as though I was getting the unedited notes from one of Silver's therapy sessions...I wish him well as he tries to resolve his issues with his mother." 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
"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
"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
"'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
See it if you're content with a few, but not enough, laughs; you'd appreciate some nostalgia in the 1958 first act.
Don't see it if you expect that the two time frames would have anything to say about changing gender norms or relationship attitudes; there's nothing there.
See it if You are a consistent fan of Nicky Silver's writing. Also, it's worth catching if you like messy family stories and difficult characters.
Don't see it if A show punctuated predominantly by characters fighting would put you off. (Think "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" but with less insight.)
See it if you have nothing better to do. It's predictable, much of the acting is dull. Set is excellent. Very predictable.
Don't see it if you are looking for characters you care about. Totally uninvolving. Acting is uneven.
See it if The first act was somewhat of a slapstick farce. Very funny. Then the second act seemed to be an entirely different play. more of a heavy
Don't see it if drama. If you like farce you will enjoy Act 1, but Act 2 is a downer. All in all I liked it, but I felt the second act changed the mood.
See it if a nostalgic Nicky Silver fan. The thrill is semi gone. Funny Act I, depressingly bleak Act II. Fain glows beautifully in her bridal gown.
Don't see it if you hate plays that travel half a century after intermission. Cly Park did it perfectly, but here a cheap gimmick requiring cheap tickets.
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 Minor league Silver; has unpolished feel to it, Good acting by ensemble & Brokaw (Silver's go-to) directs with brittle gusto - nothing works
Don't see it if Silver fans (me!) will be very disappointed. Also the "monster mother" theme has grown a bit tiresome
See it if June Gable and Joe Tippett are terrific actors. They bring something special to this mediocre exercise. Holley Fain was fine as 1958 wife.
Don't see it if Sadly the play is obvious, tedious and predictable. I had such high hopes for Nicky Silver's latest, but all were dashed. Next time, Nicky!
See it if You're a Nicky Silver fan, or want to see a very smooth & pro cast give life to a well-staged ultimately flat & unresolved script.
Don't see it if You want a second act that really flows & resolves the first. Well packaged, good looking show with a very polished ensemble, but for what?
See it if You're a fan of Nicky Silver's work or enjoy "comedies" that are more dark and depressing than funny.
Don't see it if You think you're going to see a romantic farce of a comedy, as the marketing would lead you to believe. This is borderline upsetting.
See it if you're rightfully a huge fan of Nicky Silver—his delicious, poignant humor & ear for family dynamics are present, but plots aren't relatable
Don't see it if you're looking for relatable, present-day story, or if you dislike family or interpersonal drama and dynamics—the meat and potatoes here
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 like Nicky silvers great wit. Not one of his best, but it has its moments. The actress who plays the mother is great.
Don't see it if You don't like witty one liners and edgy characters.
See it if You like plays about relationships and written by Nicky Silver;all areas are covered - reluctant brides, mother conflicts, two time periods
Don't see it if You expect to laugh a lot and want the characters to be unpredictable;dialogue & situations seemed forced and boring
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.
See it if you like plays about dysfunctional families and love everything Nicky Silver writes. Also if you like well designed sets!
Don't see it if you require all your plays to have original themes/dialogue/etc. or want a feel-good, happy family show.
See it if You're a die hard fan of Nicky Silver. Or if you've always wanted to see a Linda Lavin show without Lavin.
Don't see it if You think people in 1958 should be given dialog like they're in the 50's. Or if you want a show with any characters you don't hate.