Irish Rep's new production juxtaposes two short plays by Irish master Brian Friel: "Lovers: Winners" (1967) and "The Yalta Game" (2001), both of which center on a couple in the blossoming stage of romance.
"Lovers: Winners" follows the story of Mag and Joe, two teenage lovers who meet at the top of a hill to study for their final examinations, make plans for their upcoming wedding, and prepare for the child they are expecting. Meanwhile, two narrators relate the darker events surrounding that day.
In "The Yalta Game," adapted from Chekhov’s short story “The Lady with the Lapdog,” Dmitry and Anna fall in love while on vacation from their spouses. In their courting, Dmitry teaches Anna about the Yalta game—a game in which visitors invent stories about the people they see in the square. But is their love—is any love—real or imagined? Forever or ephemeral?
See it if If you want something that Is based on relationships . It gives you both the happy and sad.
Don't see it if If you want a bigger production or something more lavish.
See it if Is romantic love a wishful respite from grim reality, or is love the reality that ultimately matters? Is it worth the sacrifice?
Don't see it if You don't want to feel happy and sad at the same time. You want a concrete resolution rather than one that makes you ponder.
See it if Two bittersweet one act plays portraying the complexities of relationships; great acting; you appreciate small, intimate settings.
Don't see it if you need action, elaborate scenery & costumes - this is bare bones; you prefer love stories with happy endings. Poor sight lines.
See it if You like Friel. An intelligent thoughtful playwright. Two plays about love, relationships, hopes and reality. Very original. Makes one think
Don't see it if Irish accents throw you off. Young girl hard to understand. Not for everyone. Very talky. Small stage little theater not much of a set.
Also Second play is adaptation of Chekhov story.
See it if you're a fan of Friel. Acting students take note: some wonderful monologues, especially in Lovers:Winners.
Don't see it if you need action. Both plays are quite static. Sightlines in the first play make it difficult to see the actors. Try for front row.
See it if You appreciate lyrical writing about the tumult of burgeoning love (young and older ) told in a duo of intimate pieces
Don't see it if You want space and extravagant production
See it if you love Friel and fine acting in a very intimate space, are open to unfinished stories and love found and lost plot lines.
Don't see it if happy endings and questions answered about "what happened" are essential; if Irish accents are a challenge you will have to listen carefully
See it if A beautifully written and acted romance. It is heartwarming to sit close and listen to inspiring words.
Don't see it if You are looking for A robust fast moving loud extravaganza
See it if you love Friel, and welcome a chance to see plays of his that aren't often (or ever before) done in New York.
Don't see it if you think "Lady with a Lapdog" was perfect as a short story, and (despite good acting) doesn't work as well when adapted to the stage.
See it if you don't mind leaving after the first act. Lovers/Winners was good, I thought the Yalta game went on for way too long and was boring
Don't see it if you're looking for something uplifting
See it if you enjoy Irish theater and thoughtful, interwoven narratives.
Don't see it if you prefer dynamic, edge-of-your-seat quicker paced theater or like more ensemble-oriented shows.
See it if You love the great playwright Brian Friel and the intimacy of a small house at an excellent Off Broadway theater. Great acting, directing.
Don't see it if You want a huge Broadway size house and marquee actors. These actors are original and talented but not for people coming to see Kinky Boots
See it if You love Brian Friel and want a very entertaining show with excellent direction and acting.
Don't see it if If you don't like very small theatres.