Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre and the Women's Project present a new play about a working-class Polish immigrant woman and her many misadventures in love in America. More…
At a bus stop in a rundown New Jersey town, Darja, a Polish immigrant cleaning lady, is done talking about feelings; it’s time to talk money. Over the course of 20 years, three relationships, and three presidents, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both. Playwright Martyna Majok’s 'Ironbound' is a darkly funny, sad portrait of a woman for whom love is a luxury–and a liability–as she fights to survive in America.
"Martyna Majok’s 'Ironbound' shines grittily as an expertly-crafted theatrical experience that reaches audiences on a visceral, gut-punching level. Director Daniella Topol guides an exceptional cast through the barbs and minefields of time and relationships that expose the beating heart of humanity and strife. Marin Ireland gives a powerhouse performance." Full Review
"Marin Ireland gives a performance of beautiful complexity in 'Ironbound'...a quietly gripping play...Ms. Majok’s perceptive drama, with its bone-dry humor and vivid characters, illustrates how vulnerable people like Darja are, hostages to the vagaries of chance, unless they can manage to climb out of poverty. Ms. Ireland positively vibrates with the force of will that keeps Darja moving...'Ironbound' has been directed with economy and delicacy by Daniella Topol." Full Review
"Under Daniella Topol’s impeccable direction, the ensemble cast captures and shares the decision-making process of one woman who has for over three decades sought surcease from life’s seemingly insurmountable challenges. Marin Ireland offers a stunning performance of a woman whose decisions are driven by what matters to her most...'Ironbound' is a play not to be missed. It is not the easiest play to watch at times but its challenges are worth every moment of provocative surprise." Full Review
"Darja is played with rawness and vigor by Marin Ireland… Ireland’s performance is riveting and heartfelt from beginning to end…Daniella Topol has procured truthful performances from her actors who drive the story from beginning to end....Topol’s production is peppered with private moments that reveal deep, glaring truths about the characters’ inner lives...'Ironbound' is unsettling and unapologetic, and is most notably grounded by a visceral and electric performance from Marin Ireland." Full Review
"Majok's dialogue is rich with dialect and a mystifying, but wholly naturalistic lyricism...Under Daniella Topol's nuanced direction, the ensemble turns in vulnerable performances...It all rings true, right down to Bruce Springsteen playing from an offstage car and a requisite mention of disco fries." Full Review
"Martyna Majok’s rich play about a poor immigrant feels always on the move, determined to take us on a sad and funny adventure. What gives 'Ironbound' much of its vigor is the mesmerizing way that it unfolds, revealing bit by bit a picture of this complicated woman…The playwright, who was born in Bytom, Poland and grew up in New Jersey, has a feel for people in such communities, and an understanding of how the trying times that we are living through force survival mode upon them." Full Review
"Majok’s topical and insightful drama, skillfully directed by Daniella Topol, moves back and forth in time to show us a younger Darja...Onstage for all 85 minutes of the play—and wrung through a harsh machinery of pride, hope, desperation and regret—the excellent Ireland digs in and delivers a tough, moving portrait of a woman stuck in place." Full Review
"Ireland anchors the non-linear drama with an emotional fierceness that inextricably draws you into her character's plight...The lack of a sustained narrative makes the play drag at times. But its slower patches are compensated for by some genuinely moving moments...Director Daniella Topol reveals an authentic feel for the play's gritty milieu, and the male actors make vivid impressions in their smaller roles. But it's Ireland who's the standout of the production." Full Review
"Rising star Marin Ireland’s stirring and consistently believable performance as Darja, a Polish immigrant holding on for dear life amid crises with men and money, gives the intriguing work by Martyna Majok a sharp focal point...As directed by Daniella Topol, the three men inhabit their roles with an intensity that matches Ireland’s." Full Review
"The play is a sensitive look at one immigrant’s story over the span of 20-plus years. It’s touching and realistic, with Ireland giving a strong performance under the direction of Daniella Topol. The 90 minutes without intermission is compelling, but a bit of a downer, despite some humor to help temper the story...Majok’s writing is poetic and full of passion is..She is a playwright to watch." Full Review
"It’s a new play by Martyna Majok with a perspective I had not yet seen in mainstream theater...All Darja wants is to be a good mother to her son, a perspective shared by so many people on this planet. But the complications of her circumstances — also unfortunately not unique — make life a daily struggle. Marin Ireland plays Darja and I can’t speak highly enough of her performance." Full Review
"Actress Marin Ireland commands our attention and empathy as Darja…Gritty and gutsy, 'Ironbound' is written with a tell it like it is strength, sprinkled with twinges and cringes of humor…There might have been a bit more of an emotional tug if her character evolved somehow, but this is a show and powerhouse performance to be much admired." Full Review
"What saves 'Ironbound' from becoming oppressively depressing is Majok's flair for finding humor in the hubris of her characters. Although much of the play, even at eighty minutes, seems overwritten and often redundant, it ultimately finds its pace under director Daniella Topol. Ireland, who has never turned in a less than a memorable performance, lashes out in barrages of motor-mouthed vitriol with a Polish accent that are as laughable as they are lacerating." Full Review
"Even though we encounter Darja at various times over nearly 20 years, she never really ages or changes...Still, Ireland is, as always, a force of nature…The director, Daniella Topol, clearly has a sharp eye for casting…Even at its weakest, 'Ironbound' offers a view into the lives of characters we rarely see on stage, and they are rendered with considerable perception and wit. It would be nice, however, if this collection of scenes from one woman's life added up to a more complete portrait." Full Review
"Under Daniella Topol’s clear-eyed direction, all the performances are rich; the salty, and sometimes funny, dialogue has the snap and crackle of working-class and broken English; and Marin Ireland, on stage throughout, offers a rainbow of strengths and vulnerabilities. Dramatic development, however, takes a back seat to character depiction, and the effect is more a sequence of lively scenes than an emotionally absorbing or very convincing play about an immigrant’s struggle to survive." Full Review
See it if You are a connoisseur of brilliant naturalistic acting and a gritty, slice of life story.
Don't see it if You can't take a no frills venue with one bathroom for the entire audience.
See it if you thought nothing engaging can be done with four actors and an iron bench. Best writing this year, hands down!
Don't see it if you need a big production to feel like you are having a truly transforming experience
See it if you'd like to see a truly phenomenal actress give an ovaries-to-the-wall performance in a compelling character study.
Don't see it if you need every play neatly resolved and every question answered.
See it if A superbly acted, strongly written drama is something you'd like. Tour de force performance by female lead. Gritty, real & heartwrenching.
Don't see it if A play about the lives of regular people going through tough times, decisions & results, wouldnt interest you-or if u need lighthearted fare
See it if You are up for hard packed drama and an exploration of women's economic dependency in the modern economy.
Don't see it if You want something light & fun - this is the opposite of that - it is painful but great
See it if You want to see every actor giving a brilliant performance, finally get the appeal of Ireland or see a great atypical love story play out.
Don't see it if You're expecting Gina Gershon because she dropped out of the production.
See it if you're eager to see the excellent Marin Ireland (and an great supporting cast) in a quietly compelling drama. Beautifully lit and designed.
Don't see it if if you're turned off by or have trouble listening to heavy accents or have difficulty following non-linear plays.
See it if you are interested in seeing a masterful performance by Marin Ireland and likable, albeit flawed, characters
Don't see it if you prefer plays with ambiguous endings that can lead to discussion and debate after the show.
See it if You like intense drama and relate it to real life stories. Marin Ireland is masterful in her role.
Don't see it if You expect a light, fun George Bernard Shaw comedy. Or if you are in a sad state of mind
See it if you like virtuoso acting. Ireland is the Meryl Streep of her generation. She fully embodies, complete with stellar accent, fascinating Darja
Don't see it if you want a sensible plot. This is full of holes and inconsistencies, but it doesn't matter because the performances are superb.
See it if you care about social issues related to immigration; you want to see a solidly executed play with not too many unexpected twists.
Don't see it if you're in the mood for something edgy or controversial. There is nothing wrong with this production and this is just about the only problem
See it if Marin Ireland gave a ravishing and beautifully complex performance. Socially relevant issues. Support the awesome Women's Theater Project!
Don't see it if The acting is worth the admission price. Great student and artist discounts. Certain parts of the show can be a tad slow.
See it if great writing/storytelling, believable characters. Poignant moving story. Clever staging. Really powerful performances all around.
Don't see it if Unfortunately some points the author wants to make are drawn out & beaten to a pulp in the same scenes. Could be trimmed. Trust the audience
See it if you like strong women characters or watching Marin Ireland deliver a knockout, 80 minute, non-stop, fully dimensional beautiful performance.
Don't see it if you dislike dark, gritty drama's that offer a pretty grim portrait of people's lives.
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