Lewiston/Clarkston
Closed 3h 30m
Lewiston/Clarkston
88

Lewiston/Clarkston NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(63 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
3%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Ambitious, Resonant

About the Show

Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre presents an evening of two plays by Sam Hunter ("The Whale"), written to be in conversation with one another, now performed on a double bill for the first time.

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Member Reviews (63)

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90
Epic, Intense, Moving, Masterful, Intimate

See it if 20 y.o.'s go on a treacherous emotional journey in harsh Idaho, seeking their identity and a viable future. Intense multilayered drama.

Don't see it if You are not up for an intimate confrontational experience with suffering characters. 3+ hrs in uncomfortable seats.

85
Ambitious, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Great writing

See it if Hunter's masterful diptych of small town rural life in western Idaho (his regional muse) Haunting & evocative w/mythic overtones Superb cast

Don't see it if Rattlestick's 'conceptual' union of the two works is a bit clunky but can't harm empathic, Chekhovian quality of dramas Long but rewarding

89
Ambitious, Affecting, Wrenching, Beautifully played, A long night

See it if you would like to see 2 heartfelt plays from an important young voice in the theater, beautifully played by 6 actors who give their all.

Don't see it if the prospect of sitting through 2 full-length plays, separated by a half-hour dinner break, is daunting to you. Read more

81
Two marvelous plays show how much the territories visited by lewis & clark & america have changed over 200 yrs, not for the better; what a treat to see in intimate rattlestick space

See it if 1st play beautiful rumination about how hard it is 2 return to rural roots, 2nd harrowing study of rural dysfunction; fine acting

Don't see it if you expect 2 see plays focusing on Lewis & Clark & their trip, rather than riffs on the trip; in slim 1st play key problems left unresolved Read more

87
Resonant, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Profound

See it if Ancestors of Lewis & Clark Expedition confront their alienation as did their forebearers in the America they cite for their malaise. Spartan

Don't see it if Chekov meets Dogma 95 film-style. At 3.5hrs. plot & character had better be developed, & they aren't. Folding chairs & bad grub aren't cool. Read more

94
Absorbing, Great acting, Unique & intimate theater experience, Intense, Great writing

See it if Incredible acting -- riveting. So personal and intense. Both plays were engrossing and v. emotional.

Don't see it if You don't like sitting in a theater for a long time. Seeing both plays in one sitting is long. I'd actually rather have seen them separately Read more

86
Absolutely brilliant putting both of these plays together

See it if You want to see two completely different plays in one night by the same author. Both are brilliant

Don't see it if You can’t dedicate over 3 1/2 hours They take the time in between both plays to serve food which leads to an almost 40 minute Intermission Read more

77
Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Slow, Intimate

See it if you want to see an intimate production of a pair of plays by a fine American playwright. The actors are almost close enough to touch.

Don't see it if sitting on a folding chair for almost four hours would be a problem or if you like upbeat stories with clear narrative arcs. Read more

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
October 25th, 2018

"McCallum’s beautifully calibrated staging is so intimate it seems to implicate you in its themes...Intimacy compensates to some degree for a slightly abstract quality in ‘Lewiston’...’Clarkston’ is the richer drama, with themes that are more tightly bound to characters and a plot both surprising and inevitable..Hunter’s golden diptych, no less than McCallum’s spectacularly unspectacular production, suggests that small rewards may be the only kind available.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 26th, 2018

"Hunter’s smart, sad, inquisitive plays rest somewhere between Jake’s tentative sense of wonder, Alice’s wry weariness, and Chris’s flat skepticism...They need one another — 'Lewiston' especially needs 'Clarkston,' which is tightly crafted, tender, and at times devastating, while its preceding play feels more nascent, as if Hunter’s still finding his way...Exposed is how both production and audience feel, and that’s as it should be."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 25th, 2018

“Theater rarely gets more physically and emotionally intimate...‘Lewiston/Clarkston’ is chamber theater of the most deeply moving kind...‘Lewiston’ benefits greatly from the excellent performances...’Clarkston’ deftly works in elements related to Lewis and Clark with discussions about the explorers' historical legacy...McCallum's superb staging makes excellent use of the versatile space...You'll have a palpable sense of having shared something special with your fellow theatergoers."
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Theatermania
October 25th, 2018

"For the daring theatrical explorers among us, 'Lewiston/Clarkston,' directed by Davis McCallum, is obviously a must-see. Marathon evenings like this aren't a frequent occurrence...The actors are practically on top of us, but not in a confrontational way...The introspective silences often speak louder than the words...'Clarkston' is far better, a satisfying entree that features three excellent performances...As noble an experiment as America itself, and just as imperfect."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 14th, 2018

"Unequally compelling dramas...'Lewiston' tries to cram too much into ninety minutes, with awkward results...It helps enormously that 'Clarkston' has an ending that, for all its ambiguities, offers at least the possibility of peace for some of the characters...Even marked by a certain up-and-down quality, 'Lewiston/Clarkston' is filled with good performances, and Hunter's ability to mine drama out the lives and conditions of his corner of the Northwest remains unique."
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New York Stage Review
October 25th, 2018

“An exceedingly special and highly unconventional theatrical event. Small in scale—like the work of a miniaturist—but major in scope, Hunter’s impressive opus features a tiny cast, working almost literally in your laps and giving massively powerful performances...The two plays are altogether different...The plays are exceptionally insightful...The performances brought forth from the actors by McCallum are each and every one exquisite.”
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New York Stage Review
October 25th, 2018

“A riveting, haunting two-part play...Under McCallum’s intuitive, compassionate direction, the actors give performances of startling emotional transparency...We are reminded, in both plays that both that historic mission and its leaders were flawed, by factors ranging from imperialism to personal demons. Hunter isn’t preaching about the inherent corruption of powerful nations or their heroes; it’s human fallibility in the context of larger social forces that intrigues and moves him."
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TheaterScene.net
November 28th, 2018

"While McCallum's production of 'Clarkston' is much more effective than his 'Lewiston,' taken together Hunter's two plays are ambitious in scope and epic in theme. 'Lewiston/Clarkston' is an unforgettable experience of young people searching for their roots as well as a star to guide them. Ultimately satisfying in a way few plays are, Hunter's 'Lewiston/Clarkston' will stay with you long after you have left the theater, their characters resonating with you long after they have left."
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CurtainUp
November 9th, 2018

“’Lewiston and Clarkston’ were always meant to be performed together...They offer windows onto our struggles with the burdens of history...’Lewiston’ is a story about ghosts...The conflict in this play draws more on what has happened in the past rather than anything we actually witness...’Clarkston’ ultimately steals the show with its wrenching portrait of lives coming undone...The performances are vulnerable and utterly convincing.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
November 10th, 2018

"I might not have gone, and then much to my horror, I would have missed out on something pretty damn special and astonishing. Because what playwright Samuel D. Hunter has done with his new two play evening, 'Lewiston/Clarkston' is dynamically astounding...The writing by Hunter is profound and exceedingly real, showcasing an interpersonal desire for connection and understanding...The acting is across the board magnificently moving and heart-breaking."
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Exeunt Magazine
October 28th, 2018

"Williamson: Hunter is so skilled at drawing the outside and the inside together and at letting external circumstances inform internal life...'Clarkston' is a better play, but 'Lewiston' lays some important groundwork in terms of tone and mood for the latter play to really soar...Sims: 'Clarkston' is also just a brilliant, brilliant piece of writing. Williamson: The quality of the acting in Clarkston – from all three actors – is truly extraordinary."
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T
December 5th, 2018

"Playwright Samuel D. Hunter has written a new classic American play, not quite a tragedy, but that being said, there are no resolutions to the inauspicious events...Even though the two works are complimentary, 'Clarkston,' the latter of the pair could easily stand on its own and please future audiences. This is one of the best plays of the season and without doubt some of the finest performances. Give yourself a holiday gift and find a ticket to one of the remaining shows."
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New York Theater
November 3rd, 2018

"The production offers something of a counter-argument to Jake’s pessimism: In the theater, there is still something to discover, and it may well help us feel more alive...Such close proximity of audience to actors could be a challenge for both. But even at its most intense, 'Lewiston/Clarkston' is never less than credible, and all the more moving, thanks to the direction by Davis McCallum and the six-member cast, who give astonishingly good performances."
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Gotham Playgoer
November 8th, 2018

"As usual, Hunter is very compassionate toward his characters, all of whom must struggle for freedom, whether economic or sexual or from addiction...The actors are all superb and are so close that you can practically touch them, a proximity that magnifies your connection...I felt that the direction by Davis McCallum was more than a little sluggish...I would have preferred skipping 'Lewiston' and just seeing 'Clarkston,' which I felt was clearly the better play."
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Off Off Online
November 3rd, 2018

"Hunter peppers these compelling plays with characters who are descendants of 19th-century explorers Lewis and Clark...Where ‘Lewiston’ is about finding home, ‘Clarkston’ is about fleeing it. Where ‘Lewiston’ slowly peels back layers of story to reveal harsh realities, ‘Clarkston’ tears open its wounds and lets them seep...McCallum and his production team keep things intimate, staging the plays for an audience of 51.”
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