Michael Weller's world premiere drama revolves around the love affair between a scoundrel carousel barker and a maid at a Catholic Young Women’s Inn. More…
His confused violent passion and her simple unshakable devotion form the combustible heart of this dark fairytale for grown-ups. Based on the play 'Liliom' by Hungarian master Ferenc Molnár (which inspired Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 'Carousel'), Weller's reimagining is set at Coney Island during the Great Depression of the 1930s; a place and time when work was scarce, and life was a matter of desperate survival.
"The final scene is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Even just reading the script brings tears to my eyes. Perhaps it is just one of those things that one cannot fully express in words...Lovingly directed...The production is a theatrical gem, despite the limits of space and budget...In spite of playwright Weller's placing the play in Coney Island, the Old Country permeates in its insistent darkness; and I mean that as a compliment." Full Review
"'Jericho' is not a lovable play, and yet I found it unaccountably moving...The first act is defeated by the small space and Braza’s graceless deployment of her company, and it’s not helped by the amateur device of a narrator...Something almost miraculous happens when we return from the intermission...The awkward pacing of the first act gives way to a beautifully choreographed death scene the actors can really sink their teeth into." Full Review
"The script gives us well-developed, empathetic characters and a gutsy story...A fine cast...Weakness lies in its second act, when the story's fabulistic element pushes to the fore and things get uncomfortably silly. Fortunately, Weller has composed a beautiful closing scene that restores the first act's gritty, colorful spell...A believable world where privation and desperation live side by side with hope, optimism, and a perpetual carnival." Full Review
"A provocative and disquieting expressionist narrative...It’s a beautiful story, smoothly directed by Laura Braza, but it’s also highly problematic...Weller negotiates this rather well, but the images it conjures gave me pause. There’s a thoughtful epilogue...Weller’s dark fairy tale for adults is prophetic, as our current national debate about sexual harassment and our current political climate emphatically suggests." Full Review
"Despite Jericho’s physically abusive outbursts, which unfortunately were sometimes more heard than felt in Mr. Flutur’s performance, Julie loves and pursues him at all costs...Sloat’s fully felt and entirely committed portrayal of Julie sustains the complications of watching a woman stay in an abusive relationship. Mr. Weller achieves the difficult task of empowering a woman to go after what she desires, clear-eyed, even when what she desires may be unsafe and unpredictable." Full Review
"The last scene is so movingly done that it tempers the impression of this frustratingly uneven world-premiere production...Mr. Weller adds a vaguely ghoulish, shape-shifting narrator to the proceedings, which is also a bold move...It pays off. But Ms. Braza never gets her arms around one of the trickiest things about 'Liliom' and its variations — a tone that shades from violence to euphoria, menace to humor. The audience response is sometimes unintended laughter." Full Review
"A complex and brutal love story...Unfortunately, this shaky production, playing out during the desperate days of the Great Depression, feels unfocused and hard to hold on to...A cast of strange oddball characters unsteadily directed by Laura Braza with an overly exaggerated edge playing to the humor at the expense of the darkness...Much of the script is heavy-handed and comically over the top...The direction just never feels strong or clear enough." Full Review
"The play is uneven. Its biggest misstep is the device of Dr. Ruhl who’s irritating and distracting (ever present) throughout...Two outstanding actors shine: Hannah Sloat inhabits just the right quiet resolve...Pope portrays Mrs. Mosca as if having given her much thought...Director Laura Braza seems to have taken a loose hand. Good actors are swell, the poor ones ungoverned. Pacing is fine, stage movement effective if not creative." Full Review
“Michael Weller whose last New York premiere was the misguided musical version of ‘Doctor Zhivago’ has done a fine job of adapting Molnár's ‘Liliom’ to an American setting. Unfortunately, The Attic Theater Company premiere is not quite up to the task. Except for two of the secondary roles, the casting of Laura Braza's production leaves much to be desired.” Full Review
"This production provides evidence why it has remained out of the repertory...In spite of good performances...the color-blind casting in a historical period of keen racial divisions is jarring...There are other bafflements...Molnár’s original is now a period piece with little to say to viewers conditioned to loathe sexual abuse...Clumsy writing and direction. You may want to stick with the musical version." Full Review
See it if you have the chance, it was a perfectly written and all the actors were well casted.
Don't see it if your expecting Carousel. I've never seen Carousel or any version of interoperation of this play but that's the feedback I've gathered.
See it if I liked it more than I thought I would. I am told this is based on the story that Carousel is based on. The actors were all very strong.
Don't see it if Very interesting redemption story. Held my attention. See it if you like stories that have a twist. Don't see it if you don't like a
See it if You want the full story behind the Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel. It's so cool to see the story not in musical form!
Don't see it if you are expecting the musical or need a full and lavish version of the classical musical.
See it if You enjoy plays that are entertaining and transport you to plays like Carousel and places like Coney Island.
Don't see it if You don’t want to see old revivals and musicals.
See it if y.l.t. see Coney Island in a play; also to say AHA! this is what Carousal was all about, Mixed acting skills. Intimate stage works for us.
Don't see it if you are expecting a musical or if you expect a BROADWAY production. Score is an average of 80 & 75
See it if You would like an uneven new adaptation of a classic play with some good touches by a talented cast.
Don't see it if You remember well the musical CAROUSEL and will critically judge any other adaptation.
See it if you intend to see the musical Carousel on Broadway. This is an updated version of the play Liliom upon which the musical was based.
Don't see it if you don't like an old fashioned play. Nowadays beating is not considered a display of love so that part of the play and musical is dated.
See it if you're interested in an updated, Americanized version of Molnar's Liliom; are a Weller fan curious about what drew him to this quirky tale
Don't see it if a sometimes uncomfortable mix of realism, whimsy and absurd comedy bother you; you don't like authorial flourishes like adding an emcee
See it if You'd like a promising Depression-era Coney Island update of the dark Carousel source material. Good cast, rough tech, script needs tweaking
Don't see it if You haven’t the patience for a show that 5 performances in should have been much tighter physically. Notes to the stage manager, please.
See it if you want some good moments in a good attempt at the somewhat familiar story.
Don't see it if you want consistent performances, well developed characters, or smooth scene transitions - this fell flat on professionalism, only mediocre.
See it if you have an acedemic interest in Liliom, Carousel, and new work based on older pieces.
Don't see it if you love Liliom, Carousel, or if it bothers you to see ambitious theatre companies taking on more than they can handle.
See it if you're interested in the source material or have a personal connection to the production.
Don't see it if you'll be bothered by a wildly uneven cast, comical fight choreography, and a physical production that's trying too hard.
See it if Easy-to-follow storyline that doesn’t stall. A rather large cast for off-broadway opens up a buffet of personalities
Don't see it if Feels like a long recap of a series where it tells us what to feel instead of making us feel something. Chemistry is lacking
See it if You want to see a realistic love story that takes place almost 100 years ago
Don't see it if Other than the love story a lot of the play is fictitious and if you need something to be believable you may not like it
See it if you suddenly wake up one morning and say, "Tonight's the night to see 'Carousel' without the music."
Don't see it if you always miss the songs when you see a play that's been turned into a musical (or in this case, a play based on the original).
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