Libra Theater Company revives Toni Press-Coffman's drama about one man's struggle to move past grief and find human connection and love again. More…
Kyle Kalke, an astronomer since childhood and a high school 'science nerd,' falls for flamboyant, outspoken, open-hearted Zoe, who, astonishingly, loves him back. When she is kidnapped and murdered, Kyle is left to wrestle with the puzzling realities surrounding her death.
"'Touch' is an affecting play wonderfully staged with superb acting…'Touch' tells a very personal story of abiding love, the deep pain of loss, and the potential for healing after a tragedy. It is a completely enthralling show. The four-person cast is exceptional in their roles as they capture raw emotions and often unsettling moments…'Touch' is a show like you've never seen before. The distinctive characters and emotionally charged plot make it unforgettable." Full Review
"Nostalgia and grief spill from each expertly crafted line...The dialogue is fresh, raw, ragged, and at times troubling...The entire company has produced a beautiful tragedy about a violence whose effects are felt universally. The actors all deliver a thrilling (sometimes frightening) range of emotions that fill the small Theater C of 59E59...In the intimate room of the theater, there is no choice but be dragged in, to fall in love, to be devastated, to be horrified." Full Review
"Playwright Toni Press-Coffman infuses several difficult passages with humor or takes us aside to illuminate earlier, lighter events…Relationships are layered and believable...Though it could be a bit shorter, the play will hold you fast. You may wince, grin, and tear up. Director Nathaniel Shaw has done a splendid job with both staging and characterization…Pacing, paramount in this piece, is marvelous…The nuance and depth of Pete McElligot’s performance is riveting." Full Review
"A fascinating tale of a great love crushed by a violent act, it’s part love story, part murder mystery, and a tender dissection of the human spirit...Artful humor, and flashes of humble yet cosmic grace relieve the sadness…With marvelous skill under the sure hand of director Nathaniel Shaw, McElligott and playwright Toni Press-Coffman continually pull us back in…Dramatic focus and entirely believable points of conflict make this slow-moving story grab hold for its full two hours." Full Review
"This is a play for grown-ups and not those who have attention-deficit disorder...The splendid cast includes Pete McElligott (Kyle), who carries the play for the first half, and whose subtle, nuanced, always interesting performance is prize-worthy...The excellent director is Nathaniel Shaw...The playwright has expertly crafted a work using astronomy to both define the protagonist’s life and help him cope with death by lifting him above the terrestrial here and now." Full Review
“Toni Press-Coffman’s 2000 drama now having its first New York revival is a talky play whose first act is told almost entirely in monologues addressed to the audience. However, its depth of emotion and its detailed powerful character study make this an unusual evening of theater. Under Nathaniel Shaw’s compelling direction, the cast of four made up of Pete McElligott, Amadeo Fusca, Emily Batsford and Katrina Lenk are totally believable as they inhabit these characters.” Full Review
"A tender and humane play about love, loss, mourning, and a search for meaning, opening tonight in a well-acted and, yes, touching production…'Touch' is at its best when it is fully focused on Kyle as a struggling and realistically complicated, not always pleasant individual…Under Nathaniel Shaw's direction, McElligott does a splendid job of bringing the devastated Kyle fully to life and gives us good cause to join him through the long, sometimes meandering journey out of darkness." Full Review
"It requires a delicate dance to make a character we never see feel real enough for us to care about, while not hitting us over the head with necessary information. Fortunately, the playwright’s text and McElligott’s delivery are more than up to the task...Where the show runs into problems is with the character of Kyle...Direction by Shaw is rather slow-paced...Problems aside, 'Touch' remains a quietly involving piece about the human heart and the ways people respond in times of grief." Full Review
See it if You want to go on a journey of tragedy, grief, and finally, hope. Excellent writing and character acting.
Don't see it if You don't want to be immersed in strong emotions.
See it if You love the short stories on NPR radio where the story is told rather than performed. This is 10% show and 90% tell. Well done, but talky
Don't see it if You require action. Small quibble with plot resolution, but still an intelligent and moving high quality evening in the theater. Try it.
See it if you like completely engrossing long monologues to start a show, acted extremely well, a connected ensemble cast, & dark/sad themes.
Don't see it if you only like funny, witty plays with rapid banter, large, moving sets, or musicals!
See it if you like darker shows, vaguely reminiscent of The Night Of, or a slower-moving, more in-depth episode of SVU
Don't see it if you have little patience for slow/long monologues -- I definitely felt the show dragged at points, especially in the beginning.
See it if an intimate setting for an up close look at the impact of loss on decisions and relationships; strong storytelling
Don't see it if subject matter of murder is too emotional; extended periods of actor's storytelling is not engaging for you; you want something uplifting
See it if you like intimate small theater exploring difficult life issues, science vs spirituality, and can manage a meandering plot and execution
Don't see it if you don't like small theater, actor monologues, difficult subject matter, poetry
See it if you enjoy deep emotional subjects, intimate staging
Don't see it if you are sensitive about dark realities, death, murder and rape, you want to see something light and entertaining
See it if You like somewhat nonlinear stories exploring science, spirit and the aftermath of grief in the wake of crime
Don't see it if You or someone close to you have been the victim of a violent crime, or if you have very strong feelings about prostitution
See it if If you like great acting with intense plot and deep meaning. Theatre that requires arresting and engagement
Don't see it if If you like short shows that have quick and light weight themes.
See it if You enjoy dramas about people dealing with loss and love, motifs about the stars and cosmos, and simplistic, straightforward storytelling.
Don't see it if You are sensitive to grief, or are interested in pieces that are outrageously original, eclectic, or ambitious.
See it if You like intense shows that make you smile with the main character even when your heart is breaking for him.
Don't see it if You don't like dark, gut-wrenching plays in tiny theatres.
See it if you want to see extraordinary acting (lead is mesmerizing!) in a beatiful, well paced drama that feels honest and touched my heart.
Don't see it if you want a simple story. This one is uniquely told. Think of it as a mosaic. Some parts are dark but you need them to see the light.
See it if you enjoy excellent acting and an absorbing, if dark, plot interspersed with humor; you are a bit of a romantic.
Don't see it if you dislike monologues; you are totally unromantic; shows describing rape and murder upset you; you can't sit through a two+ hour show.
See it if You want to see excellent acting performed in a small theater - you are only a few feet away from the performers.
Don't see it if You are not interested in viewing the emotional and psychological reactions to a life altering tragedy.
See it if you like-romantic dramas-story on the survival of the human spirit. excellent cast especially lead who gives moving heartbreaking monologues
Don't see it if you want a comedy or you don't like-multiple timelines-small venues-minimal set design-profound introspective on love, loss & moving on
See it if You enjoy dramas with intimate sets and likable characters. A beautiful love and loss story with surprising perspectives on human behavior.
Don't see it if You try to avoid off broadway plays that are performed in very small theaters and cover agonizing topics.
See it if a small ensemble telling a (overly sentimental at times) story about loss and survival from it is something that interests you. Great acting
Don't see it if you don't like non-linear storytelling, a script that needed to have killed a few more of its darlings, an intimate set and long monologues
See it if A fantastic piece performed effortlessly and memorably is your cup of tea.
Don't see it if family themes and other nefarious acts aren't something you find entertaining.
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