See it if Rarely seen Kopit drama gets a potent staging (esp w/P'house's limitations) Absurdist dramedy/spectacle concerning Indian genocide by US
Don't see it if Cast size limits needed dramatic scale despite strong lead performances (esp Hardart) Kopit's tone veers toward Bretchian with mixed resilts
"Impressive theatricality does not offer sufficient razzle dazzle to mask the play's deficiencies...Unfortunately, the play seems very much of its time...Structurally and dramatically, the play keeps the audience at a distance, and the characters are not emotionally involving. Either we have grown numb to this national critique, or 'Indians' accomplishes a rare feat in making genocide seem dull...Ultimately, 'Indians' is a frustrating theatre experience."
“Performed by 11 actors in 28 roles in a play originally staged with 50 actors, the production makes use of some rather strange casting so that not everyone is suitable for their assigned parts. The cross gender casting for the First Lady and Senator Dawes may be a contemporary touch but takes away from the historical authenticity of the drama. Actors recognizably reappear in second and third roles so that it becomes difficult to follow who is who.”
“The Metropolitan commits actorcide by having only 10 actors play all the roles, occasionally crossing genders to do so. The Goliath of Kopit's play wins before the David of this theatre can even draw its slingshot…For all the promise dormant in its iconic Western figures, the play is essentially a progression of scenes with a static dramatic arc and a persistently polemical purpose…Dully paced direction lacks propulsion…The Metropolitan's actors range from competent to amateurish.”
“This early work is neither linear history, nor unabashed polemic...It’s peppered with absurdity...Creative staging and playing farce earnestly are both paramount to make a production of ‘Indians’ successful. The first, Roe handles skillfully...The second necessary factor, however, has no moorings...This is an extremely mixed bag. The play would be served by cutting a good 20 minutes, but better served by better acting. Its message comes through loud and clear regardless.”