Closed 1h 30m
A Persistent Memory
Midtown W
67

A Persistent Memory NYC Reviews and Tickets

67%
(15 Reviews)
Positive
53%
Mixed
20%
Negative
27%
Members say
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

About the Show

Jackob G. Hofmann's new drama examines the virtues of grief, the impact of childhood memories, and why we shouldn't allow our pasts to define us.

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Member Reviews (15)

45
Pretentious, Confusing, Unmemorable, Slow

See it if ...I can't remember why you should see it. (I recall some decent performances & the germ of a good premise about the reliability of memory.)

Don't see it if you aren't prepared to weed through an overstuffed play, with too many storylines and too many scene shifts with too little payoff.

55
Confusing, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if you do not mind disjointed scenes or are interested in an unusual look at human emotions as compared to elephants.

Don't see it if you like conventional quality storytelling and staging.

Critic Reviews (12)

June 6th, 2016

"It's not that 'A Persistent Memory' is abstruse or hard to follow; rather, it's that the scenes don't build to a coherent portrait of the canker gnawing at David's soul…Furthermore, the script is loaded with plot danglers that never get addressed…Under Jessi D. Hill's direction, the search for a clear throughline fails and the performances are highly variable…'A Persistent Memory' is so weighed down with plot points and psychological baggage that it tips over."
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June 1st, 2016

"David doesn't know when he is...Hofmann, with the purest of intentions, has let this plot point dictate the form of the entire play without a believable anchor as to its appropriateness...Ledbetter does all he can with David...but he doesn't link them all together into a single unified personality any more than the writing does...You get a similar sense of confusion from director Jessi D. Hill, as if she's attempting to wrangle a bunch of ideas that just don't add up."
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June 3rd, 2016

"A gripping and emotional account of the experiences that mold human memories and the lasting impact they create...Ledbetter does a convincing job of portraying a young adult who wrestles greatly with being present in life...'A Persistent Memory' is powerfully haunting and will leave audiences pondering the significance of memory in determining their life’s journey. A smart, valuable, and heartbreaking piece of theater that you won’t soon forget!"
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June 1st, 2016

“The play’s development is beautifully structured by the playwright to symbolize and reveal David’s emotional growth however haphazard because it is relayed by emotional memory. This is cleverly effected by Hill’s superb direction evidenced by her choice of dramatic elements in the production design...The elements which are evocative and measure the poetic, philosophical concepts intimated in the play raise the themes to a heightened symbolism. It is ingenious crafting.”
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June 1st, 2016

"Neither Jessi D. Hill’s snail-paced direction nor any of the mostly low-energy performances...can do much to enliven Hofmann’s play...Hofmann also includes several intrusive expository monologues...His choice to scramble the play’s chronology may have poetic qualities but it’s a distracting conceit that only serves to highlight the play’s weaknesses...I’m afraid ‘A Persistent Memory’ is one I’m likely to soon forget."
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June 1st, 2016

“It is hard to tell where exactly this play fails, as the acting is so inconsistent and the cast speaks in a singsong that lulls you to sleep. The plot is so convoluted that you don’t care enough to pay attention. Ledbetter is not charismatic enough to make us care and his role is thinly written and confusing. Jessi D. Hill’s directing doesn’t help. Even the design elements don’t fuse properly. I honestly don’t understand how this got produced. For a 90-minute show, it felt like an eternity.”
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June 14th, 2016

"Playwright Jackob G. Hofmann can clearly write. In this play, however, he seems to have been carried away by his own dialogue. Diverting exposition makes the piece feel jerky, muddling essential plot lines, losing the interesting elephant metaphor in the shuffle. Drew Ledbetter (David) is the weak link in a talented cast…Accents are varied contributing to authenticity."
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June 2nd, 2016

"A slow-moving drama...Told nonlinearly, 'A Persistent Memory' pieces together moments to offer a muddled message...Jessi D. Hill makes the most of the text. While the pacing is inexcusably slow, Hill does try to track David’s journey clearly...'A Persistent Memory' is one of those shows that you can see the team put the effort into constructing a strong production but the text was just not up to par, yet."
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June 1st, 2016

“A touching story about dealing with grief that comes after loss. The playwright Jackob G. Hofmann and the director Jessi D. Hill each did a wonderful job creating a world of a young man that is falling apart and Drew Ledbetter delivered the role convincingly. The rest of the cast of six supplied a strong counterpart to the main character and developed miniature stories of their own adding onto the meditation on memory, love and grief.”
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June 8th, 2016

"Hoffman’s nonlinear approach to memory issues works well…However, because none of the story lines is linear, they prove so confusing that the ending, when it comes, is unexpectedly abrupt. Both playwright and director allow the script to get lost in an abundance of stories that never dig deep enough...Director Hill uses the actors well to create a fluid expression of time against David’s memories weaving in and out, but in the end 'A Persistent Memory' still feels like a series of vignettes."
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June 1st, 2016

"Drew Ledbetter gives a tightly wrapped and interestingly layered performance...Each individual scene is a clear, well-wrought bubble of lived experience, but the play consciously tumbles the chronological order. It has that Stoppard-like effect...It’s less simplistic you might say, or less clear, or more ambiguous and artistic. I can’t say the totality of the effect is moving exactly...On the subject of humans, it’s smart, engaging mostly, and ultimately an uncomfortable puzzle."
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June 3rd, 2016

"'A Persistent Memory' exhibits impressive emotional and narrative depth in a crisp, concise production…A complex story about love and loss…Throughout the play, the narratives are carefully balanced, as Hofmann delicately unfolds the connections between human and elephant strategies of dealing with trauma and memory…In a leading role, Drew Ledbetter exhibits an easy command of the stage, a skill that is characteristic of each cast member."
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