See it if you would enjoy the ups and downs of one woman over the span of much of her life. Well directed with great light, sound, projection.
Don't see it if you are looking for a plot w/ a definite ending. This is a review of moments presented that you string together. 2 actors in multiple roles.
See it if Through morphene haze, a photog recounts flashes of her life. Accomplished Johanna Day finds the vehicle for the full display of her talent.
Don't see it if Multiple-character supporting roles without props or wardrobe.Memory play not in chronological order.Age span from 10 to 62 not always clear
“For a play devoted to the ever-elusive mysteries of human existence, 'Joan' is remarkably transparent...Tedious grade-school-to-grave drama...Seldom very illuminating...Despite its scrambled, globe-trotting chronology ‘Joan’ is easy to follow...Belber provides snappy dialogue...If only the inhabitants of ‘Joan’ weren’t quite so fond of metaphors, which tend only to underline what we’ve already figured out.”
"‘Joan’ has led a normal existence...What’s less ordinary is how...Belber tells her story: in nonchronological vignettes that jump around various points in her life. Day does not inflect her portrayal as her character’s age shifts...It’s a daring choice that may turn off some audience members...Harrington and Neshat are marvellous as Joan’s family and friends, and Campbell-Holt directs with her usual sensitive touch...Even when it’s overwritten, ‘Joan’ is a fractured portrait that holds together.”
“You might nearly dislocate your jaw trying to suppress yawns through the heap of clichés that make up ‘Joan’...What partly relieves the play from its multitude of tired tropes is the way Belber manipulates the chronology...’Joan’ proves to be far more effective in style than substance. Although the triste story is terribly threadbare, at least the way the play has been rendered and staged is skillful.”
"Playwright Stephen Belber offers an intricate character study comprised of a barrage of brief nonlinear scenes chronicling the eventful existence of a woman from childhood to the age of 62. With the craft and depth of a fine novelist, Mr. Belber creates a mosaic of pointed incidents imparting vital information. These pass by rapidly with no discernable shape but then at the conclusion everything majestically falls into place...Johanna Day is towering as Joan."
"A kaleidoscopic look at its fictional, titular character through a lens of sweeping longitude that slowly creates an absorbing and dramatically effective portrait, at once banal and spellbinding...It is easy to imagine how in lesser hands this structure might come across as facile and disjointed, but Day is a treasure of the stage...The portrait of humanity painted by Belber’s play—especially given Day’s exquisite performance—is moving precisely because of its simplicity and ordinariness."