Lonely Planet (Keen Company)
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Lonely Planet (Keen Company)

Lonely Planet (Keen Company) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(101 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (101)

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530 Reviews | 278 Followers
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. Read more

455 Reviews | 101 Followers
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. Read more

54 Reviews | 15 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you enjoy a well-acted show with a small but talented cast of two. It delves with an issue without manipulation.

Don't see it if you don't like small casts or nonmusicals, or are offended or bored with gay issues. Read more

258 Reviews | 103 Followers
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. Read more

297 Reviews | 78 Followers
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. Read more

83 Reviews | 13 Followers
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if If you like small (2 person) plays that explore the earlier years of the AIDS epidemic, but never manipulative, and always interesting

Don't see it if You prefer linear, predictable tearjerkers that manipulate your emotions. Or if you are not interested in revivals of a "period" (90s) piece

95 Reviews | 16 Followers
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.

812 Reviews | 133 Followers
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. Read more

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
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 times, for a dash of immoderation, but the show’s deceptively gentle approach is also what makes it stand apart in our angry times."
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Time Out New York
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’s superlative sardonic takes. They duel as though their lives depended on it—which they ultimately might."
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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, when the loquacity of the play becomes soporific, the performances more than make up for it...Silverstein stages the play with sensitivity."
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Lighting & Sound America
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 shake off about the way gay men had to deal, daily, with death...Keen Company was right to revive this troubled, troubling play just now."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 19th, 2017

“The play's premise is straightforward, and the plot is relatively uneventful...The explicit and implicit intertextual connections sometimes detract from the effectiveness of the play as these come off as inorganic and self-consciously writerly...The absurdist elements and the burdensome weight of symbolism often occur at the expense of character development and relationships...Burton and McGrath are wonderful, and their performances compensate for perceived frustrations in the script.”
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October 23rd, 2017

“Under Silverstein's placid direction, Jody and Carl never really get angry with each other or show much emotion. The entire play remains basically on one level. Anshuman Bhatia's setting is very realistic, but on the other hand something more surreal might have been in order. Paul Hudson's lighting usually telegraphs the time of day, but not always. How much time goes by is never made clear.”
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Theatre is Easy
October 19th, 2017

"The performances and high standards set forth by Keen Company's production of 'Lonely Planet' exemplify all that Off Broadway can offer...The company puts forward a challenge to think on, connect with, and truly hear the confusion of a tumultuous time...'Lonely Planet' shows us the 'Greenland Problem' of it all: which messes do we accept as a part of the world that we live in, and which distortions do we ignore, or else find the strength to face?"
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Front Row Center
October 20th, 2017

“What touched me so deeply about their relationship and what I think Steven Dietz captures so well, is their complete and utter acceptance of each other without judgement...The performances by both Arnie Burton as Jody and Matt McGrath as Carl were stellar...I think what makes ‘Lonely Planet’ so relatable now, is the sense of danger looming for the characters that makes them feel vulnerable in ways they’re not used to.”
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