Midnight Lunch Productions presents Edla Cusick's new drama about sobriety and cross-generational romance. Starring longtime character actor Thomas G. Waites. More…
Austin, fresh out of his seventh stint in rehab, is desperate to reunite with his wife and teenage daughter. But, inconveniently, he falls in love with his sobriety counselor: a young male gardener 30 years his junior.
"As portrayed by Thomas G. Waites, Austin is tough, tender and very flawed. It is a virtuoso performance that keeps the entire show afloat...This cast of five creates a microcosmic look at a family in turmoil, a family that hides its real feelings and sins from each other...All the performances are robust and very New York...Ed Setrakian directed, working hard to avoid melodrama and overacting. He succeeded admirably." Full Review
"There’s a lot to like here, and Cusick has certainly picked some compelling themes and created some engrossing characters. However, the scenes feel incomplete, as if the best pieces were edited out...While these unresolved questions help propel interest, their ambiguity leads to confusion about who these characters truly are and whether we should be invested in them emotionally. Cusick has created the groundwork here for a great play, but as is, 'Austin' has not fulfilled its potential." Full Review
"Perhaps a better production might have made some of this less squirmworthy (some scenes read better than they play) but director Ed Setrakian strikes out on several fronts, including his inability to evoke from his players the right blend of comical lightness and emotional depth. He’s also failed to inspire a simple unit set from designer Tsubusa Kamei (set and lights) that would have helped move the episodic piece along at a steady clip." Full Review
"Luckily for Cusick, the director of her new play hired very good actors; they are the saving grace for a rambling and extremely shopworn script...'Austin' is riddled with narratives, most of which are poorly thought out...Setrakian’s staging for the most part is passable. However, he hasn’t helped the writer clear up some of the clumsy story lines, and much of the blame for the play’s failure belongs to him...Even with the quality of the actors, there isn’t a character worth caring about." Full Review
"'Austin' is a real lulu, an undercooked Mulligan stew of family dysfunctions. The playwright has no knack for creating plausible characters...Not only does she have no idea how to structure a scene or build to a curtain line, the play unfolds in ten scenes over the course of 90 minutes, and it often seems as if half of the running time is taken up watching stagehands rearrange furniture in the dark...This family needs therapy, stat; so does 'Austin,' the play." Full Review
"'Austin' is a painfully ludicrous tragic play set in the present that is bizarrely written, unevenly performed, and ineptly presented...Cusick presents a jumble of short scenes that shift locales with overdone characters in ludicrous situations spouting cliché-laden dialogue...Watching Mr. Waites is exhausting and bewildering...Director Ed Setrakian’s staging is barely adequate." Full Review
See it if You like confusing theatre, over-acting (although I liked the daughter), a non-gay gay subplot, the "F" (gay slur), decent staging...
Don't see it if Dislike gays, extramarital affairs, obscene language
See it if you enjoy Tom Waites. Otherwise, stay away. FAR away. Horrendous script, feebly supported by even worse acting & staging. Confusing ending.
Don't see it if you enjoy Tom Waites. SO wanted to see him live; SO disappointed. And his daughter is in the show, too. A new career should be considered.
See it if you enjoy long scene changes, insipid characters, and gross overacting.
Don't see it if you prefer good writing, good acting, good direction.
See it if you need a cold seat while a driving rain passes by or if you can be satisfied merely by enjoying Tsubasa Kamei 's imaginative set design.
Don't see it if you're still breathing. Seriously, there is absolutely no reason to see this show. Next time I'll check reviews before grabbing comps.
See it if You like drama in which all the elements of the theatrical production, acting, the score etc., are good; it rarely happens.
Don't see it if you do not like serious theatre, and prefer light entretaiment.
See it if The alcoholism recovery angle is not believable. The gay angle seems to have been an afterthought.
Don't see it if The concept and the script are weak and the acting conforms to the material. Sorry, I wanted to like it.
See it if You think a gay plot means having a brief 1 second male-to-male kiss (and nothing else throughout the whole show!)
Don't see it if You want a coherent plot or good acting. The last scene is baffling, & comes out of nowhere. Almost 2 hours with no intermission. Very slow
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