Soho Rep's new satire pokes, picks, and plucks at a society swimming, spinning, sloughing, and slurping through the fog of war. More…
It’s springtime in America. The war is finally over. Grotilde has completed her life’s work of losing the last 10 pounds, General Michail has proposed, and the President is up to his new tricks. So what if the weather is a little strange and the last soldier won’t come home?
“This short, rapid fire of a raucous romp is wildly entertaining, yet illuminating in its unparalleled marksmanship at exposing both the ridiculousness of reality and the surreal qualities of truth. Director Lileana Blaine-Cruz's thoroughly spot-on choices are a tremendous testament to Kate Tarker's thoughtful script...It’s a delight to experience something that catches you off guard with its hilarity, yet makes you think in the most nuanced and complex way." Full Review
“A loud, filthy burlesque...’Thunderbodies’ seems mostly to be an excuse for linguistic, rather than political, mayhem...Blain-Cruz has a careful eye for goofy theater business...Jeffers makes several funny, subtle choices...In yet another splendid Off Broadway performance, O’Connell roars through the play, devouring the props and chewing the scenery. Whenever she speaks, the audience crows with delight—it’s such a pleasure to watch a woman really eat.” Full Review
“I understand that this is satire...And it is supposed to be funny – the lines indicate this even if the actual staging does not make it so. But for me, satire is usually connected to something...There was none of that here. Just a group of willing actors going through the motion and promising to catch one another as they flew through the air. They do, and everyone ends safely on their feet. Why it all happened, and why we sat and watched it – well that is the mystery.” Full Review
"Though 'Thunderbodies' is bursting at the seams with ugly vitality, its parade of rapacious cartoons feels like little more than a pair of middle fingers...Leaving the potential for real danger and real pathos untapped...Blain-Cruz hasn’t helped Hernández get below its surface...There’s always something to look at in 'Thunderbodies,' but there’s not always something to think about. If the play is to find its power, it will need to get a little more rigorous in the search for its own heart." Full Review
"Stuffed with cute word twists and tiresome satire...But even if satire is your thing, you might like it to be funny or pointed. 'Thunderbodies' isn’t much of the first or any of the second. Its language is so promiscuous and its object so blurry it seems merely scattershot...Everything moves at the pace of a frantic party while also desperately signaling subversion...'Thunderbodies' certainly had me divided — between morbid curiosity and loathing." Full Review
"Mockery without bite, a screeching cartoon based on the proposition that constantly referring to genitalia somehow constitutes a mordant comment on the state of the world. Tarker is a new face, but it's hard to imagine what possessed the perfectly fine director Lileana Blain-Cruz to sign up for this misbegotten project. She has seemingly urged the company to perform at a sustained level of screeching." Full Review
“Doubling down on Tarker's instincts, Blain-Cruz directs the play as if its greatest enemy is thinking too much about it. Popping up and ducking out all around Matt Saunders's blue-and-yellow pastel set, the actors recite their lines quickly, apparently unconcerned if all of them are heard. Zhao's garish lighting (a strobe effect goes on so long you wonder if it's actually intended to induce epilepsy) and Botez's sublimely awful costumes are also calibrated to distract from Tarker's words.” Full Review
See it if Giddy biting satire of American culture with exaggerated characters. Metal music. Zany over-the-top action. Challenging to interpret.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy weird edgy "nonsense" plays with campy characters saying ridiculous things. Small loud theater. Explicit sex talk.
See it if not sure how to place this - loved half of it, didn't care much for the other half. Certainly unusual/ambitious enough to be worth watching.
Don't see it if you don't like oversaturation of somewhat monotonous satire
See it if you want to see a play given a full production that is still in dire need of about 100 rewrites.
Don't see it if there are other plays on your "Must-See" list. Just skip it.
See it if You are open to the bizarre, weird and wonderful. This is a mad world of peculiar characters and it’s bloody brilliant! Brave work all round
Don't see it if If you don’t like experimental theatre or if you only like linear plots
See it if You like splash without substance and imagery without anything significant to say behind it.
Don't see it if You want something behind the absurdity to hold it up. As it is, this play is floundering and I'm shocked Soho Rep picked it for the season.
See it if You like thrill rides. This play is wacky, satirical, unadulterated fun. It also doesn’t care if there’s a clear message. It’s about fun.
Don't see it if You are epileptic. It is quite literally dizzying, and contains a full scene with intense strobes. But if you like the thrill, jump in.
See it if Kate Harker is a brilliant young playwright who brings an astounding capacity for scathing word play and broad and incisive comedic insight.
Don't see it if If you are not in the mood for broad slapstick comedy with a cutting, message about our times, you won’t like this play.
See it if you'd like to see a dazzling example of the strain of savage farce that, since UBU ROI, breaks out from time to time in modern theater.
Don't see it if you are looking for a night of quiet contemplation.
See it if you want to see an anarchic, absurdist, futurist, madcap comedy that provides a profound, startling, satirical indictment of war.
Don't see it if you aren't prepared for the unconventional; you don't enjoy absurdist or political theatre; you're tired of dystopian visions of our future
See it if You're ready for a unique take on war exhaustion, you don't mind surprises, you enjoy rapid wordplay, you like to see great downtown artists
Don't see it if You can't bear criticism of the USA (even constructive), you abhor puns, you prefer that your theatre is pristine, you are prone to seizures
See it if you'd like to see what a contemporaty version of Jarry or Ionesco may look like, if done terribly.
Don't see it if you are looking for anything subtle, well written or well directed.
See it if You find sight gags and random verbal whimsey worthy if your time.
Don't see it if You are expecting satire, or any serious comment on society and war. I heard lots of laughter from the audience but this was without merit.
See it if you like the work that soho rep does... they’re special because their work is singular
Don't see it if if you don’t want to be forced to think - whiled being entertained.
See it if You appreciate offbeat theater, can process a comedic/absurdist look at war & conflict, and want to see really good actors up (very) close.
Don't see it if You don’t have a sense of humor that values absurdity, or if you like your theater and it’s messaging served up in traditional fashion.
See it if You want to see a superb, totally out there performance from Dierdre O'Connell, top notch design work, and your sense of humor is puns.
Don't see it if You have a low tolerance for the absurd and grotesque. I experienced the show as a very long inside joke that I was sometimes clued in on.
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