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Lonely Planet (Keen Company)

From 101 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent

About the show

Keen Company revives Steven Dietz's acclaimed 1993 drama, an intimate portrait of two friends at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. More…

Small map store owner Jody becomes increasingly fearful of the world outside and the dangers it poses, refusing to leave his shop. Meanwhile Carl, his spirited friend, begins filling the store with a variety of mysterious chairs. Funny, moving, and deeply human, Steven Dietz’s landmark play examines how we all navigate troubled times.

Member Reviews (101)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent
Avg Score

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Resonant, Profound

See it if While of it's time w/o seeming dated, Keen Co revival is heartfelt & poignant Superbly acted and carefully staged, Dietz's elegy shines

Don't see it if Slowly paced for effect, it can seem a bit lethargic Knowlege of the era & devastation enhances effect but not needed Quietly haunting

Great acting, Toothless, Dated, Uninvolving, Unfulfilling

See it if you're a fan of Arnie Burton or Matt McGrath--as always, they give excellent performances.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play that may have felt groundbreaking when it was written 20+ years ago but now feels pretty toothless.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you enjoy a great piece of theater. The acting, writing and staging are all excellent. This is a very moving and intelligent play.

Don't see it if you do not like shows about gays and /or the AIDS crisis.

Also Everything about this show is absorbing including the stage change whi... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Two extraordinary performances, Great staging, Profound

See it if you want to experience a hidden gem of a play. The two actors give wonderful performances. Jonathan Silverstein directed beautifully.

Don't see it if you don't like nuanced plays. This is a fine, intelligent drama.

Also Let's hope that Steven Dietz's other plays are revived by companies li... Read more Read less

Poignant, Funny, Great acting, Subtle, Understated

See it if want to see wonderfully subtle, quiet acting. in an intimate theater, simply told. and you want to laugh. Two perfectly matched performances

Don't see it if You have no interest in stories about the early HIV crisis.

Also I really cant say how much I enjoyed this performance. It was funny ye... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky, Slow

See it if you are looking for a play about what’s not being said between two characters.

Don't see it if a slow simmering two character morality play isn’t your thing.

Also Who knew that a playwright could write a whole play about what’s not b... Read more Read less

Resonant / relevant, Great set / lighting, Absorbing / well-written, Deeply moving yet comforting, Excellent performances

See it if you can handle caring, sympathetic AND empathetic (for many) riveting story-telling/acting. Very funny, sometimes intense & very vulnerable.

Don't see it if you're numb. Solid dialogue (w/numerous monologues) that frees sighs of warm introspection. Welcome escape & short respite from the norm.

Also So much loneliness; so much love. DO. NOT. MISS.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Sweet, Moving, Thought-provoking, Exquisite

See it if You love Arnie Burton and Matt McGrath - both are terrific. Or if you aren't familiar with them, go and fall in love.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in a play about AIDS, aging, loneliness and friendship. But you would be missing out.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great staging, Great acting, Riveting

See it if Such an emotionally rich, gripping play! Swept into poignant story of two friends w/ boundless, shared affection, patience, & sublime pathos

Don't see it if you're averse to intimacy of a two-hander, wrenching topic of loss & the grief & fear it engenders, rendered with humor & exquisite pacing.

Also A must-see. From the first notes of the mostly '80s "soundtrack," I wa... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if you want to see a moving story that is as much about friendship as it is about losing friends during the early days of AIDS.

Don't see it if you want to see something fast-paced; or prefer plays with more than two actors.

Also I liked the humor and sometimes fast-paced discussion between two frie... Read more Read less

Absurdism lite, Heavyhanded symbolism, Comic and sometimes touching performances

See it if you're a fan of Burton or McGrath, their easeful comic rapport papers over a script burdened with symbol and whimsy

Don't see it if non-realistic elements in a realistic staging bug you; direction sometimes underemphasizes the tenuous arc of the play

Also This revival of a play from 1994--the first wave of theatrical respons... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want to see a story about a friendship during the aids crisis. You are willing to watch a show paced show.

Don't see it if You want a face passed show. You want humor.

Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you enjoy small, intimate but well acted plays

Don't see it if you don't like works about the AIDS epidemic

Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Intense

See it if You want to see excellent acting in a very touching, well written play

Don't see it if You want a light, fluffy show

Great acting, Moving, Great writing, Clever

See it if You want to see a compelling play about the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Don't see it if Prefer more direct writing or don't care to see work about LGBT history.

Great staging, Great acting, Dated, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see two wonderful actors, working together, creating, playing, grieving listening.

Don't see it if you have seen many plays about AIDS and can't bear seeing another sad story.

Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Dated

See it if You want to see 2 amazing actors that are better than the material

Don't see it if You expect something ground breaking

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You like relationship stories and don’t require a large cast to enjoy a show. You’re interested in issues that are relevant and fact-based

Don't see it if Discomfort with homosexual characters or the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis from the standpoint of a group initially affected the most

Also The acting was wonderful. I believed in the friendship of the characte... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Slow, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy a small 2 person play that deals with the pain of the AIDS crisis in a unique way.Quirky characters & strong performances by both.

Don't see it if The subject matter might feel dated to you or prefer more realistic/linear storylines.

Also A small play - has impact in a more quiet way. Not a must see but wort... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You can sit through an okay first act to get to an amazing second.

Don't see it if The set up nearly lost me. But when I locked into the characters I didn't want the play to end.

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You want to see a couple of excellent actors in a clever touching play

Don't see it if You don't like 2 person shows

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Resonant, Intense

See it if You like stories that focus on friendship, you like emotional monologues, want to see a capture of the AIDS crisis

Don't see it if Shows with just 2 actors aren't your thing, if you don't like plays, if actors addressing the audience personally makes you uncomfortable

Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see thoughtful, well acted theater that gives you something to think about and chew on.

Don't see it if You're looking for something light and fluffy. This one requires some thought and caring.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You have an interest in a smart, well acted, original two man play about the rise of AIDS. It's a unique metaphor for the times

Don't see it if You prefer large scale productions or don't want a sometimes heavy subject matter. You prefer lighthearted. It's funny, but not a comedy.

Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a glimpse into the AIDS crisis, or if you’re a fan of the actors.

Don't see it if You want an emotional experience that connects you to the AIDS crisis, as storyline seems shallow.

Also Actors were great and concept is interesting, but overall it just didn... Read more Read less

October 19th, 2017
"Mr. Dietz has something besides humor in mind and that something — the weight of grief, the paralyzing fear of illness — emerges over the course of the show...In the plain, affectless staging by Mr. Silverstein, Mr. Burton and Mr. McGrath expertly underplay the characters...You may wish, at time...
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October 19th, 2017
"Its depiction of the plague years still hits hard. And it’s hard to imagine a better cast than the stars of this revival, directed by Jonathan Silverstein for Keen Company. As the two characters spar with each other, mostly through inspired put-downs and bon mots, McGrath expertly parries Burton...
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October 19th, 2017
"It's easy to see why this particular text is rarely regarded in the same breath as its seminal contemporaries...'Lonely Planet' has a hard time figuring out what it wants to be: Is it a poignant tearjerker or an absurdist fantasia (on national themes)? Dietz can't make up his mind...Fortunately,...
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October 23rd, 2017
"Silverstein has found an ideal cast and he has guided them faultlessly through the script's hairpin turns...Seeing 'Lonely Planet' was an almost combative experience; even as I resisted Dietz's setup, I fell under the spell of his writing and the performances...Dietz gets at something hard to sh...
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