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“A tired rehash of the obvious talking points, served up with a minimum of nuance...A rare dramatic staging by Martin Charnin...and he handles this awkward script awkwardly. His cast clearly needs help...At least ‘Secret Sea’ has a polished design...But this is an especially dreary evening that tips its hand far too early yet still allows its characters to express their clichés at length. If you've ever wondered what ninety minutes of hand-wringing might be like, this is the show for you.” Full Review
"Cate Ryan has found a meaningfully engaging subject; her flawed but well-meaning characters and situations will move many theatregoers. You can argue with the clumsy infusions of personal tragedies each of the couples calls upon to justify their positions, or with the play’s egregiously sentimental epilogue, with its quote from Yeats's "The Stolen Child," but the core issue—for all the superficiality of its treatment—is affecting enough to keep you in your seat for the play's 80 minutes." Full Review
"More tolerance experiment than a traditional play, it asks that you confront your own beliefs and prejudices about when life begins and ends, and what it means in the interim...If it never completely succeeds, it's an admirable effort, and one of the most fearlessly serious and human plays I've ever seen. Its refusal to rely on tricks and tropes is refreshing, as is its eschewing the easy answers and tidy conclusions...I was not, however, moved in any way but intellectually, remotely. " Full Review
"Under Martin Charnin's pacey direction...The actors do their best to downplay the sense that we are watching a debate about marriage, parenthood and the bad deck of cards we're sometimes dealt...Ms. Ryan doesn't dish up a facile happy ending and the finale she has devised is eloquently heart-felt. She's also written some good dialogue. However, the top heavy plot with its too convenient details left me wondering if 'In the Secret Sea' wouldn't work better as a documentary." Full Review
"Ryan has done her research, and the technical sections of the play ring with a fair amount of seeming accuracy. It is in the relationships among the five characters who populate her story that she falls short...It’s only the very real pain felt by Kenny, which young Adam Petherbridge conveys most movingly, that piques our interest...A noble attempt to dramatize a difficult subject, but there is no majesty in the telling, and it left me informed, but unmoved." Full Review
"The title of Cate Ryan’s brilliant and captivating script comes from the idea that a woman’s womb is like a secret sea, and this interplays masterfully with the concepts and moral issues that are raised...The stand-out performance of the evening was provided by the father-to-be, played confidently by Adam Petherbridge...At times shocking, but always engaging, 'In the Secret Sea' will leave you mulling its thought-provoking questions long after the last curtain call." Full Review
See it if You get a free ticket. Terrible script, and most of the cast overacts. The son was mostly good but his final scene was SO hokey.
Don't see it if You're looking for a satisfying theatrical experience and value your entertainment dollar.
See it if You want a serious drama about a heavy topic. Though it wasn't the best play, it does make you think about how you'd react in that situation
Don't see it if You're easily depressed, don't like talk-heavy plays or are narrow-minded. This play did not blow me away at all, but the actors were decent
See it if you enjoy straight theater by seasoned performers on a lovely set that you'd like to live in. No easy answers here.
Don't see it if you have a strong opinion about abortion that you want validated. No real solutions are presented & the plot and characters feel artificial.
See it if You're ok with a quiet somewhat clichéd if well meaning serious drama designed to begin conversation; or have conservative friends to bring.
Don't see it if You're looking for a light-hearted evening, a detailed intellectual discussion or have unshakable conservative views of social issues.
See it if You understand Catholicism, holiday traditions Like dramas about difficult decisions, controversial topics, family drama. Like great acting!
Don't see it if You expect edgy, modern characters who keep you on the brink of discovery. Expect an exciting new perspective on a current topic.
See it if you enjoy drama. Show was tight, but often predictable & bit repetitive. Ending excellent. Plot a bit reminiscent of Twilight of the Golds.
Don't see it if you are looking for light, enjoyable show.
See it if There are no other shows playing & someone offered you free tickets. The book was absolutely pathetic. Didn't blame the actors; they tried
Don't see it if You love theatre or even like theatre or hate theatre but want to try it out one last time.
See it if It has a very nice set. may provide for a good discussion after the show about a difficult topic. you like your shows dripping with cliches
Don't see it if you enjoy a show with sharp dialogue that makes sense, relationships that are believable. provides 'thought out' arguments on a loaded topic
See it if I really can't recommend this play to anyone. It manages to offend both sides of the abortion debate - a neat trick.
Don't see it if A bunch of people sitting around talking about things that are none of their business. Preachy. Made no sense.
See it if You like serious themes like religion and ethical dilemmas and acting that's earnest
Don't see it if You expect the writer to respect the audience by not having the actors guess stupidly about what could be wrong with their pregnant kids
See it if You like contemporary drama with relevant themes and believable characters. You can"t stay uninvolved as soon as the theme is revealed !
Don't see it if You can't deal with realistic dramas about heart wrenching subjects. This is not light theatrical fare.
See it if you are a fan of bad Lifetime movies- this is pure melodrama and camp under the guise of a Very Important Topic on a very cheap set.
Don't see it if You are looking for a thoughtful debate play on abortion (the pregnant woman isn't even a character), nuanced writing, or quality acting.