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A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds

From 14 member  reviews
Members say: Confusing, Ambitious, Clever, Great music, Quirky

About the show

Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop presents two short stories by Obie-winning playwright Mac Wellman adapted for the stage, each telling a tale of the imagined inhabitants of real asteroids that have been split apart.


Astrological disturbances split asteroids apart. Loved ones are wrenched from one another and these asteroidal inhabitants soon forget they once lived as one world. How do you deal with aliens when you feel alienated yourself? Mass amnesia buries their shared history, and it seems impossible that these estranged neighbors ever coexisted peacefully. Will they now be able to reach across borders and share a world of difference? Live music and an installation-style production design coalesce into a vibrant and deliriously theatrical event as Wellman’s hysterical verbal acrobatics lay bare the madness of our own small world. 

Member Reviews (14)


Confusing, Ambitious, Clever, Great music, Quirky
Avg Score

Very weird, Well acted, Music well used, Long/wordy, Mesmerizing/unfocused

See it if you love sci-fi. Highly imaginative solo stories, well-performed w/band accompaniment. Funny, strange, eerie, astonishing, ethereal moments.

Don't see it if you want coherence. Altho the worlds are well-depicted, the message is unclear. ACOM is journey (not destination). Mesmerizing, but long.

Also This work is definitely not for everyone. It is challenging/strange. B... Read more Read less

Quirky, Hypnotic, Ambient, Poetic, Confusing

See it if Storyteller with four musicians recites weird poetic tale. I enjoyed the creative ambient music, the lighting, and the two worlds.

Don't see it if The stories are strange and difficult to follow. I found myself lulled into a trance by the overall effect.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Well acted, Compelling score, Thought-provoking

See it if Dense, imaginative & head-scratching short works by Wellman set to mesmerizing scores Hard work & intense focus provides results w/acting A+

Don't see it if Wellman is an acquired taste & often provides more frustration than pleasure Pieces exert a hypnotic pull thru music & rich linguistics

Quirky sci-fi, Really interesting music, Strange and unsettling, Avant-garde

See it if Like 1-person telling an outlandish and creative out-of-world story w live music alongside. You sorta hafta be in the mood for this one.

Don't see it if You only like traditional theater, don't like sci-fi, accept that some parts are squirm-inducing. Some moments thrilled, but mostly, ouch.

Also I should have known from the description that this show was not for me... Read more Read less

Great musical combo, Resourceful design, Language is dense and sometimes hard to follow, Paired off-kilter monologues

See it if you're a fan of Wellman's odd, incantatory, language drunk sensibility; you like seeing literature staged; you're willing to listen intently

Don't see it if Non-theatrical text annoys you (though Wellman is credited as playwright, these are verbatim excerpts from a recent short story collection)

Also It's hard to make a case for these stories as theatrical texts. The ad... Read more Read less

Great music, Ambitious, Unconventional, Clever, Confusing

See it if Strange stories from inhabitants on other worlds relating their memories, co-existences (not unlike ours), while using language creatively

Don't see it if Following non-continuous and concocted notions is not a easy path to follow

Confusing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if to pay respect to Mac Wellman. He probably doesn't deserve this sort of treatment though.

Don't see it if Two short stories. Despite the description, no adaptation has been made to the text for the stage, this is just solo readings with music.

Also As much as I admire Mac Wellman's plays I'm not entirely sure the stor... Read more Read less

Clever, Great singing

See it if you like weird sci-fi stories; the music was really well done and really enhanced the atomsphere

Don't see it if your attention strays

Also I really really enjoyed the first story, and could not for the life of... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Great writing, Great musicians, Fluffy

See it if You love words, words, words..... as Shakespeare said...

Don't see it if You are looking for something dinamic, or you like shows with story, in the Aristotelian way...

Confusing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Quirky, Great music

See it if You like podcasts. This felt like a live recording of a podcast. There was zero narrative action at all.

Don't see it if You hate experimental theatre or you need to understand everything that happens in a show.

Also I thought the 2nd half was infinitely better than the 1st half. The fe... Read more Read less

Edgy, Weird, Quirky

See it if enjoy listening to two- 45 minute monologues filled with nebulous disjointed SAT vocabulary- (with live music which was quite enjoyable)

Don't see it if don't like Bizarre and would like to understand the story. Prefer a typical theater with a real stage. unable to climb flight of stairs.

Also The actors were extremely talented. Personally i would have left after... Read more Read less

Confusing, Great music, Allegorical, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You love Sci-Fi, long monologues, live music (piano, percussion, trumpet, and guitar), and plays adapted from books.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with cavalier descriptions of murder and suicide. You prefer cohesive storylines.

Clever, Edgy, Masterful

See it if like original live music and watching new material dont mind long monologues

Don't see it if want showy typical Broadway fare=

Also I enjoyed this- small theater- very different -- had to pay close atte... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you enjoy being left out of the joke

Don't see it if you expect to derive feeling from a show. Extremely cerebral, literary, but just not interesting

February 8th, 2018
"Wellman's exquisite and hilarious short stories come to life in this production where imagination and stark reality intersect...A whimsical exploration in the mold of such bands as Tunng and Son Lux...Wellman’s text is both poetic and volatile, and combined with Siragusa's excellent comedic timi...
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