Black Lab Theatre presents 'Crude,' a dark comedy about the fallout from an ecological disaster and the price you pay for selling your soul in the new millennium. More…
When a catastrophic environmental accident threatens to derail Kurtz Petroleum, it's up to documentarian turned big oil public relations flak Jaime Kurtz (TV Land's Younger's Nico Tortorella) with the help of his commercial making bro-buddy Aaron and Aaron's drug dealer Manny to come up with the perfect pitch to save the company, his relationship with his environmentally conscious wife Brittany, and his stolen dog .
"'Crude' is Jaffe’s grenade thrown at questionable oil practices...It’s doozy banter...'Crude' is also a character study the handsome Tortorella calls on his major acting chops to portray. One of Jaffe’s achievements is that in only 85 intermissionless minutes he presents one promising young man’s total disintegration, and Tortorella is up to the demands...Directed with understanding and skill by Kel Haney." Full Review
“With a good amount of things that somebody might consider lowbrow and in bad taste, ‘Crude’ is full of self-irony and little delicious nuances...This is not a theatrical production to which you would take your grandmother. The good part is that all the salty humor is backed up with fresh and somewhat unconventional performances, inventive director’s work and a disturbing drama of the modern generation.” Full Review
"The play, by Jaffe, pits societal issues such as environmental responsibility against the ugly realities of the corporate world and its money-driven agenda...Under Haney’s tactical direction, 'Crude' challenges audiences to consider what is worth fighting for. This dark comedy boldly makes a statement about the struggle of staying true to one’s identity and values – and how failing to do so can be the reason one's life goes up in flames." Full Review
"This isn’t to say that the well-acted play doesn’t offer some worthwhile thoughts; it’s just that its socially important concerns are buried in a playwriting spill of marital squabbling and irresponsible behavior that are more concerned with the personalities involved than the larger issues. ‘Crude’ covers its potentially potent ideas with sitcom attitudes the way the dispersant Corexit dissipates oil into smaller particles; it may look better on the surface but the underlying problem remains." Full Review
"Watching Mr. Tortorella is the pleasure of this production…The play itself is too much like an extended sitcom, and the issue-based arguments that Mr. Jaffe orchestrates can seem wildly inorganic…What keeps things interesting is Mr. Tortorella, who surfs the switchbacks of Jaime’s moods with unusual grace…Do we care, though? Mr. Tortorella’s impressive effort notwithstanding, I don’t know why we would." Full Review
"If 'Crude' is any indication, Jaffe isn't doing much for the environmental cause; so blatant are his tactics that his play ends up a sermon aimed straight at the already converted. Rarely have the dramatic possibilities of a catastrophic situation been mined to so little effect...The director, Kel Haney, struggles to get much of anything out of this and her cast seems equally lumbered...The title also applies to its dramaturgy." Full Review
See it if If you want your belly to hurt from laughing this is your show. An original based on what could happen to an oil company.
Don't see it if If you are conservative and don't like drug use or profanity .
See it if You want to see absolutely top-notch acting in a well-written piece which ably breaks down a relationship, friendship and moral challenge.
Don't see it if Youd like a creative challenge-this is a straightforward piece. Also, you may dissaprove of characters choices & thus, not sympathize w/them
See it if You enjoy dark seriocomedies with antihero leads whose choices when dealing with real-life tragedy often produce questionable results.
Don't see it if You don't like contemporary plays with strong language and suggestive adult themes that depict a little more of the dirty side of humanity.
See it if a brisk, unsparing tale of choosing between your best & worst self appeals. "Younger" fans will enjoy this departure for Nico Tortorella.
Don't see it if Crisp, unmerciful writing and acting that fully realizes it aren't your thing.
See it if Like to see a married couple argue about different points of view on a topic. Are a fan of Nico Totorella and like wonderful young actors.
Don't see it if You are under age 16 or are offended by heavy drug use and sexual innuendo.
See it if you like dark humor, like world premieres, want to see the business of oil compared to drug dealers, and like modern problem plays.
Don't see it if you hate the F-bomb, hate references to Houston, aren't comfortable with drug use on stage, and hate intimate and small venues.
See it if you'd love watching a great comic actor upclose in a tiny venue - male lead's rendition of a drug-fueled ad brainstorming session is AWESOME
Don't see it if you're expecting a serious or hyper-informative criticism of our fossil-fuel addiction, that scenario provides the conflict but is not focus
See it if You'll enjoy the scenes with the woman since they're lively and fun.
Don't see it if You probably won't like the scenes with the 3 guys as they are cringe-worthy (frat boy antics and poor acting). Storyline far-fetched.
See it if Jamie must contain the PR mess of his family's oil co spill. On 1 shoulder:His wife, a green angel On the other-Aaron a devilish colleague.
Don't see it if You need protagonists you can root for. Bad influence Aaron (W Tre Davis) & the philosophical drug dealer provide the most entertainment.
See it if you want a silly/funny show about a serious subject that makes you think about how you view big corporations and the environment
Don't see it if you don't arrive early! Seating was terrible and being short did not help. Also don't see if you don't care about the environment, etc
See it if you're a fan of Nico. He's good. You want to provoke a conversation about the subject. With low expectations, it's funny. Solid, not boring.
Don't see it if offended by a bit of language and drug use. You want fully realized characters with coherent arguments. Lots of cliches. Mixed messages.
See it if If you want to laugh at some lewd, crude humor and don't mind slightly trying-too-hard-at-substance motifs/want an easy 80-90min. of laughs.
Don't see it if you need immersion/investment, are critical of actor's portrayals of drug influence, find excessive cursing a poor sub for better dialogue
See it if you like new works. It has a familiar hit them on the head feel. A lot of the dialogue could be reworked, however, some of it is funny.
Don't see it if you don't like long winded shows. It was too much big oil bad, green energy good. Characters have no depth and fall flat.
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