Closed 1h 30m
Inanimate
Soho/Tribeca
79

Inanimate NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(27 Reviews)
Positive
85%
Mixed
11%
Negative
4%
Members say
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Ambitious, Edgy

About the Show

The Flea Theater presents the world premiere of this dramedy about a young woman infatuated with an inanimate object.

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Member Reviews (27)

85
Edgy, Resonant, Quirky, Romantic, Funny

See it if I found this lovely story both moving and eye-opening. It made me ponder how distinctive and special each person can be.

Don't see it if You don’t have an open mind for unusual sexuality. You don’t have a soft spot for romance.

84
Edgy, Quirky, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You like cutting edge plays and are open to learning about an unusual form of sexual attraction. The Flea Theatre is in its new home.

Don't see it if You like conventional love stories and linear plots. Do not like small, intimate theaters. Read more

Critic Reviews (18)

August 30th, 2017

“As directed by Courtney Ulrich and performed by the Bats…this play unfolds as a sort of normcore comic variation on ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ which insists we regard its central relationship as worthy of high flights of poetic fancy. Such a perspective could so easily lean toward smirky voyeurism or cloying cuteness…But ‘Inanimate’ wins us over by contextualizing its exotic subject in the bedrock of the familiar…The script is freshest when it sticks to Erica’s transformative worldview.”
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August 31st, 2017

"Even a playwright with the combined skills of O'Neill, Kaufman and Hart, Wilson, and Vogel would be hard-pressed to make this syndrome comprehensible...For most of its 85 minutes, it appears to be running around in various directions, its sheer energy often signaling desperation...Ulrich's direction gives the action more pace and pizzazz than you might think possible...The performances by the Bats...are a pleasure...But, given its setup, 'Inanimate' is dead on arrival."
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September 3rd, 2017

“One never knows whether to laugh or to cry at Erica's predicament which makes human relationships difficult. Nevertheless, the writing is often poetic and the acting is first rate. Led by Lacy Allen as a charmingly confused Erica, the cast devours their roles with the authenticity of a new classic. ‘Inanimate’ joins the ranks of plays by Annie Baker and Lucy Thurber which deal with characters in dead-end towns in New England.”
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August 31st, 2017

"The Bats do a wonderful job with this material. Lacy Allen stands out as the central character, portraying Erica’s quirky sexuality without turning it into an SNL skit...Director Courtney Ulrich tastefully navigates delicate intimate moments involving a can opener...But the play feels conflicted in tone and genre. Is this a ridiculous, quirky comedy or an honest exploration intended to challenge our tolerance of an alternative lifestyle that may seem too peculiar to accept?"
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August 31st, 2017

"The playwright poetically captures Erica relaxing into her emotions with telling details that ring true...This production shines when it allows Erica’s freak flag to fly, and settles into the distinctly oddball and delicious comic stylings of the various embodied objects and everyone’s passionate oddities. All the actors are able and game...The only plot line that feels appended, despite a fine performance by Tressa Preston, is Erica’s older sister Trish."
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September 18th, 2017

"The play manages to navigate a sometimes uneasy line between a comedic take on an unconventional relationship and a more serious story about the difficulty of coming to terms with our desires...When the play ventures away from what's the central triangle of sorts...it risks losing its footing...The charm of 'Inanimate' is its ability to intrigue us by the suggestion that another world lives within our own...'Inanimate's' tenderness and quirky humor make for a lively combination."
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August 31st, 2017

"'Inanimate' is a somewhat misleading title for such a buoyant, funny, and heartwarming journey of self-acceptance and love...Each laugh is genuine and plentiful. Each emotional moment is sincere and pitch perfect...Robideau treats his characters and subject matter with a sincere respect and compassion. He emphasizes the importance of community while feeling isolated in dealing with disappointment or grief."
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September 18th, 2017

"'Inanimate' succeeds in taking us down a very funny and touching road into the real world of Objectum Sexuality that seems perfectly timed in our world’s preoccupation with others' sexual preferences and/or gender affiliation. Wonderfully directed by Courtney Ulrich, we cheer on Erika and her gradually eye-opening and embracing of herself, not as an outsider, but somewhat of a pioneer...It’s powerful, exciting, and a whole lot of fun."
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August 30th, 2017

"'Inanimate' is full of humor, but, much to his credit, playwright Robideau is never mocking. He makes Erica not just sympathetic and credible, but the winner of every argument...But if some of these object personifications are inspired, the director also has to take the hit for the highly uneven seven-member cast...The play could probably benefit from some trimming in any case...Even so, 'Inanimate'...is a pitch-perfect choice to inaugurate 30 Thomas Street."
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September 12th, 2017

“Robideau's writing veers between realism and surrealism, mingled with poetic expression and an accent on the comic, but he manages to make Erica's dilemma sympathetic without turning her into a freak…Still, it's never quite clear just how much he's parodying Erica's OS and how much he's taking it seriously…Courtney Ulrich's imaginative direction, helped enormously by Megan Culley's terrific mood-setting soundscape, keeps the intensity level high throughout.”
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September 6th, 2017

"Robideau cheerfully exploits his heroine’s unusual turn-on — and her surreal inner life — for quirky laughs, not overtly cruel ones...Erica and Kevin are appealing and the subject is potentially fascinating, so it’s a shame Robideau seems content with sight gags, shallow psychology, and a goofball plot...Ulrich and the Flea’s young actors, the Bats, keep it broad, bright, and zany, but a couple more drafts could have pushed the script past the Judd Apatow stage of semi-edgy rom-com."
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September 8th, 2017

"A good choice to carry on the Flea’s reputation for offbeat material...The Bats are clearly enjoying their roles and their enjoyment is infectious. Director Courtney Ulrich’s staging is confident and fluid. The subplot about the sister’s ambitions does not blend well with the rest of the play. At times it is difficult to decide whether the playwright intends for us to feel sympathy or bemused scorn for Erica’s condition. It’s an edgy play that’s not for everyone."
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September 10th, 2017

“The energy and eagerness of youth are both strengths and weaknesses...The actors aren’t helped by the tonal shifts and absurdism in the script nor, perhaps, by their lack of life experience. That applies to Robideau as well…The actors’ likability makes up for some of the flaws...Absurdism requires some kind of realistic underpinning as a jumping-off point, but here absurdism and purported realism lie cheek by jowl with each other, and they are at odds."
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September 4th, 2017

"It’s an excellent premise for a play. But, Mr. Robideau, why do those who practice objectum sexualis have a thing for a thing?...Robideau is instead content to have us say 'Isn’t this bizarre?' for 85 intermissionless minutes...Give Robideau credit, though, for getting one important aspect right. He never goes for laughs when detailing Erica’s condition...And let’s not criticize director Courtney Ulrich, who stages 'Inanimate' with integrity."
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September 20th, 2017

“When Erica was in 9th grade, she fell in love with a stapler. Later, she got into bigger things - like a gazebo, and now, a Dairy Queen sign. She also speaks to lamps, stuffed bunnies, and can openers. The challenge for the audience is to decide whether Erica is mentally ill. Perhaps we should be tolerant and supportive of her sexuality. This is a thought-provoking play with an extraordinary cast. If you can handle the subject matter, I highly recommend it as the must-see show of the season.”
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September 4th, 2017

“This play aimed true in almost every regard. The dialogue was crisp; the set (scene, costume, lighting, and sound) design was on point; and the acting, phenomenal. Beyond that, ‘Inanimate’ intrigued me with its oddities and left me wondering about the intricacies of the human mind. Regardless of the conclusions you may draw from seeing this play, which is about Erica having sexual relationships and feelings for inanimate objects, I am certain you will be entertained.”
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August 30th, 2017

“Robideau’s script admirably balances humor with compassion for his subjects…Under Courtney Ulrich’s direction the skilled cast’s treatment of the material aids in building sympathy for its characters…Performances are thoughtful and actors are fully engaged…‘Inanimate’ is a wildly funny show, but never loses sight of its characters’ humanity...This is an excellent show to open The Flea’s new space; it’s thoughtful, relevant, and utterly enjoyable—well worth the time.”
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September 9th, 2017

“Full of heart, compassion, and just enough inappropriate sexual innuendos...Allen shines as the awkward woman who doesn’t understand why she feels the way she feels…Borden steals the scene every time he is on stage with his presence and genuine comedic appeal...Robideau’s script is clean and fun. A bit long, but the subject is very well handled…Courtney Ulrich’s direction is spot-on….‘Inanimate’ pulls you in from the first moment.”
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