Members say: Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing

About the show

The Roundabout Underground presents this New York premiere, a comedy-about-a-tragedy set in small town Kansas.

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Bobbie killed Casey in the middle of a cornfield in Milton, Nebraska. Two years later, Milton’s residents are ready to tell you their side(s) of the story. 'Bobbie Clearly' pushes the boundaries of the Roundabout's Black Box Theatre, with a sprawling cast of eccentric characters and an ambitious narrative that pulls back the husk of rural life. Written by Nebraskan Alex Lubischer, a second-year candidate in the Playwriting Program at Yale School of Drama and the newest playwright discovered by Roundabout Underground.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


"So we spend much of 'Bobbie Clearly' struggling to understand why the title character would want to move back to the community where he murdered one of his classmates...Lubischer's play jumps the rails, as contrivance and sensationalism overtake what was a sensitive exploration of a difficult story...None of it would work without emotionally vulnerable performances from the actors...We never get to see Bobbie clearly, which feels simultaneously less satisfying and more truthful." Full Review

The New York Times

"Takes on many difficult subjects, in several styles. Lubischer seems to have packed his first professional NY production with a sampler of his skills, as if it were a résumé...I wish the production achieved better control of its tone, which seems to wander...Davis does right by the play’s moments of highest tension and emotion...Plays are also about characters, and most of the ones in 'Bobbie' are too contradictory for the cast to act convincingly." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Lubischer demonstrates a rare sense of command...Borrowing motifs from everything from 'Our Town' to 'Serial', he displays real craft and scope. The performances, too, are executed precisely...The play’s bold combination of violence and jokiness—the horrifying content told with such gentle mockery—left me confused and sometimes even angry...Lubischer is very interested in Bobbie and has written him a complicated and intriguing play. He’s scarcely imagined Casey, though." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"As a group portrait, 'Bobbie Clearly' is often quite gripping...The playwright, Alex Lubischer, is clearly talented -- he certainly knows the territory -- and he finds plenty of drama in fraying friendships and the strange permutations that can be caused by grief. His three-act structure is awkward, however...Sets up a bizarre which point 'Bobbie Clearly' loses any sense of reality...A distinctly flawed work, it is nevertheless an affecting look at a community living in tension." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"Lubitscher was aiming for a portrayal of small-town life...rather than a portrait of Bobbie. The performances from the talent show are more entertaining than relevant...The quality of the acting varies widely...While I admire the playwright's ambition and raw talent, I do not feel that he was able to maintain firm control over his material. The tone wobbles from moment to moment...Davis keeps things moving along smoothly. While I would not call it a success, I am not sorry that I saw it." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"An awkward mix of satire and sad reflection...Lubischer has captured the community spirit...Either the playwright or the director has incorporated a tone of parody that unnecessarily pulls us away...The hodgepodge of darkish humor and authentically dark emotions never fully coalesces...In need of careful revision. With the exception of Constance Shulman's pitch perfect portrayal of the town's lone cop, we spend far too little time where it is needed." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Fearless and mesmerizing...Chase emphasizes the uncomfortable intimacy, sometimes having actors appear directly behind audience members in the back rows...In revealing these characters at their most self-conscious and aspirational, the playwright initially flirts with mocking clichés about small-town folk...But as the play progresses, Lubischer, who is in fact from Nebraska, makes his townspeople increasingly difficult to pigeonhole." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Lubischer has created a boldly compelling and mysterious piece, filled with interesting characters. It is a play that is intentionally withholding, and it ultimately fails to fully engage only because it remains too stubbornly opaque...A simple conceit, elevated by Davis's creative and dynamic staging...There are smart bits..But because we’ve never really found out what happened—what exactly Bobbie did, what motivated him, how he processed it—we can’t engage in this examination of the fallout." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you like shows that deal with the results of a violent crime.Explores impact on family, on the community, and on the killer.

Don't see it if you want clearly drawn play that explores these issues.Cast is too large.Hard to remember who is who.Acting is good, but writing needs focus

Great acting, Great writing, Great direction, I really enjoyed this mash-up/smash-up

See it if You like problematic, imperfect plays that require you to think, while you laugh and cringe and learn about people you will never know.

Don't see it if drama laced with farce and irreverence offends, you want answers to senseless murder. I totally checked out for the gratuitous buck gutting.

Also It took me a long time to reconcile my verbal introduction to Bobby as... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you want to see a wonderful performance by Constance Shulman.

Don't see it if you don't like long dramas. Also, the title character is a cipher.

Also I felt that the playwright, Alex Lubischer, was packing a little too m... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you like mockumentary style dialogue. you don't mind a show that hasn't found a clear lens or focus

Don't see it if you want a story that is masterfully and intelligently told with clear reasons behind writing decisions.

Also For this show to work, the characters need to be captivating and since... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you might like a genre-bending story about a tragedy in small town and lasting effects over years (drama, comedy, documentary elements).

Don't see it if you don't see the humor in cringe-worthy talent show performances or don't like intimate staging in which the house lights are often on

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You like shows that do not spoon feed the points to the audience; you are ok with complexity and ambiguity.

Don't see it if This is incorrectly billed as a comedy and tragedy but it’s not funny enough to be considered a comedy.

Uneven, Great ensemble acting, Purposely slow, Thought-provoking script, Well staged, directed, and lighted

See it if you like a thought provoking script in its early developmental stage performed by a very talented ensemble cast on a well designed stage.

Don't see it if you blindly follow professional critics. Sure there are flaws-including one very big one at the end-but overall this is a promising start.

Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Incoherent

See it if you want to see a play about a murder in a small town and how the citizens react to it and the murderer during a 10 year period.

Don't see it if you don't want to sit for 2.5 hours and not get a satisfying answer to a most important question in the play.

Thought-provoking, Unfocused, Intimate, Meandering

See it if you enjoy melodrama.

Don't see it if you dislike intimate staging and/or suffer secondhand embarrassment.

Also There are flashes of brilliance in this script, but ultimately it does... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a drama about a murder and how it affects members of a small town in Nebraska. It is well staged and acted.

Don't see it if you like comedy or a great set. The staging is good but simple props are used.

Also I enjoyed the natural acting of the characters but the Why question is... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Incomplete

See it if you like sagas of midwestern small towns spread over multiple years about a murder by a 14-year old boy & its aftermath, to see town react

Don't see it if you are expecting answers to its mysteries, don't like quirky characters that make fun of such locales, can't relate to troubled young folk

Absorbing, Dizzying, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you enjoy long drawn out dramadies; don't mind no real conclusion

Don't see it if you want a show with a real ending, something not so confusing

Also Show doesn't answer important questions, explain necessary facts. It l... Read more Read less

Edgy, Well-crafted writing, Polished ny debut, Characterizations thin

See it if An outwardly funny piece about a tragic occurrence, nicely developed if a little long. Some characters are sketchily drawn & remain...

Don't see it if tangential to the story but the emotion is palpable & as in reality not all questions are answered. A fearless new voice.

Funny, Captivating, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You love and support new theatre. It’s bold and ambitious in it’s style and direction. So so cool and interesting!

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable in tight spaces or with actors being in your face

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy multi-talented actors, strong direction and new young playwrights with real promise. Extremely well-produced.

Don't see it if You prefer not to spend over two hours sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on lightly-padded folding chairs. You don’t want to turn your head every

Also few minutes to see the actors who are all around you. The play takes o... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Riveting, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you want to see an ambitious, winding take on a multitude of difficult issues. You are happy to be engaged for a couple of hours.

Don't see it if you want some coherence. The interview format is a bit lazy and the characters reductive leading to the actors floundering.

Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if If you like great ensemble cast work and quick dialogue exchanges and thoughtful, engaging writing and great actor/audience connections.

Don't see it if If you don't like actors to be very close to you and acting all around you or if you find the subject of teen murder too difficult.

Ambitious, Clever

See it if you like character based plays where all the information isn't spoon-fed to you.

Don't see it if you like lite and fluffy entertainment.

Also I'm not sure if this is a dark comedy or a funny drama, but I dug it. ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You want to be totally absorbed in a drama with interesting characters, frightening moments, and (thank goodness) some comedy.

Don't see it if You don't like a long play, (2 hours, 20 min) that keeps you totally suspended.

Also Great acting with many heart wrenching moments.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You like fast paced, great acting plays about a life event from multiple angles

Don't see it if You are looking for a fully buttoned up production with great staging, music, etc

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You enjoy seeing what a director can do with a theatre the size of my living room.

Don't see it if You don’t like shows that don’t get to the point until the third act (which is literal here since it’s three acts).

Great acting, Great staging, Ambiguous

See it if You appreciate a cohesive overall production.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with unanswered endings and stagnant character arcs.

Also The design, acting, and directing of the play were masterfully perform... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want a thoughtful and provocative show with incredibly talented actors. Action is close-up (no audience participation)

Don't see it if you need to know all of the answers to all of the questions in a play You're very squeamish (it lasts 5 mins max and you can look away)

During previews
Ambitious, Edgy

See it if A black box show brings a community together as they deal with tragedy.

Don't see it if A tale of murder in a small town brings up the question why, but you may want an answer.

During previews
Delightful, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you find comedy in dark subject material

Don't see it if dark comedy is not for you, or if you're overly sensitve to murders or corn.

Cast & Creatives (18)