Orange Julius
Closed 1h 20m
Orange Julius

Orange Julius NYC Reviews and Tickets

(29 Reviews)
Members say
Confusing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Slow

About the Show

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Page 73 Productions present the NY premiere of this drama about the relationship between a transgender child and their dying Vietnam vet father.

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Member Reviews (29)

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Incomprehensible, Unfocused, Unengaging, Rare misstep for rattlestick

See it if you can tolerate a bad script to see some solid acting. Garage door is well used. Some impressive special effects.

Don't see it if you have no patience for an unintelligible mess. What was this play about? Hot topics w/o insight. Vietnam portions were especially cryptic

Just didn't click, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if I love most shows at the RS. This was a rare miss. When I read what it was about I was very excited. This is my kind of show but it just

Don't see it if never moved me. The acting however was great. Everyone was perfectly cast.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
January 22nd, 2017

"Directed with ambition and uncertainty by Dustin Wills, it’s a muddled play that tries to tell too much...Nut is — like the playwright, and like the terrific Mr. Barbagallo — transgender. That is not the play’s central topic, but it is inextricable nonetheless as the action shifts between past and present...'Orange Julius' is interesting principally for its perspective, though Mr. Barbagallo and Mr. Payne are lovely together, and Mary Testa gives an appealingly down-to-earth performance."
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Time Out New York
January 27th, 2017

"Kreimendahl's excellent new play...An out-of-order scattering of memories from one trans boy's life…Kreimendahl is the god in these details, creating a portrait of real family dynamics far more ‘realistic’ than those in a dozen well-made plays…Wills directs with an uncommonly intimate grip; the cast is superb, and the execution is confident and effortless. If these are Kreimendahl's own memories, it’s a blessing that such fragile things are being treated so tenderly."
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January 22nd, 2017

"Barbagallo is an affable and engaging narrator, which is a good thing because much of the story is delivered through direct address to the audience. Unfortunately, some passages get the balance between show and tell wrong...Luckily, this flaw in the script is mostly assuaged by Wills' illuminating and efficient staging...Despite the playwright's inability to fully embrace the form of playwriting, Kreimendahl delivers a sensitive and moving portrait of Julius and his family."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 3rd, 2017

"'Orange Julius' is supposed to be a play, and what Kreimendahl has supplied is a lengthy narrative occasionally punctuated by little illustrative episodes. Between moments of real insight, the script wanders -- badly...Wills' direction keeps the play moving fluidly, striking a tone in which love, loss, amusement, and exasperation combine to plausible and sometimes moving effect. Even if 'Orange Julius' never finds its dramatic source, it never feels less than truthful."
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January 23rd, 2017

"On the one hand, it is a punch in the gut dramatizing the cold hard facts of disintegrating with this disease; on the other, the non-linear time scheme is difficult to follow, offering more questions than it answers. What 'Orange Julius' really is could be described more accurately as a screenplay or a teleplay with cuts and fades. There is a powerful work hiding in this material but it still remains unshaped."
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Theater Pizzazz
January 27th, 2017

"’Orange Julius’ offers a keen insight into the complications a veteran’s psyche and illnesses throw into an already complicated household…The play enjoys extra dimension courtesy of Barbagallo, who demonstrates palpable angst as Nut, a likable, bewildered kid who tries to make the best of a bad situation...What we see here is a family ruined by a war that should never have taken place."
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January 22nd, 2017

"The production is impeccably cast...Under Dustin Wills' direction, the cast keeps the action moving at high velocity...An amalgam of accomplished writing, effective design, and sensitive performances...At least to a degree, the play fails to stir an emotional response to match its considerable psychological insight or to achieve a sense of catharsis...If this fine cast can't break hearts with Kreimendahl's material, no one can."
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Exeunt Magazine
January 26th, 2017

"It’s as a memory play that 'Orange Julius' falters...Barbagallo beautifully captures the mixture of guardedness and openness that Nut strikes with everything he says. Still, the memory monologues sometimes have an air of packaged anecdote rather than emotional journey, feeling repetitive rather than revelatory. Director Dustin Wills seems to be pushing toward a clear stylistic distinction between the three realms that may not be serving the unity of the play."
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February 4th, 2017

"The play defies space and time to tell the complex story of the narrator’s relationship with their estranged father...Jess Barbagallo delivers a deeply moving performance...Barbagallo moves between ages, spaces, and the realms of fantasy with the skills of a shape-shifting doppelgänger. Payne is equally adept at shifting from the young soldier to the aging father...'Orange Julius' is a rich cathartic look at the journey of one searching not only for identity, but authentic acceptance and love."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
January 23rd, 2017

"Earnest, well-meaning, and politically correct but none of these ingredients is sufficient—at least in Dustin Wills's decently acted and well-staged but often lethargic, hour-and-a-half production...—to strongly recommend it...The play's loose, sometimes dreamlike structure only serves to intensify its dramatic monotony. There are numerous incidents but...there's little enough tension or conflict to hold one's attention or to make one wonder about what's coming next."
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Times Square Chronicles
January 22nd, 2017

"A quietly powerful piece that gets under your skin...The entire cast gives solid support to Mr. Barbagallo, who takes over the stage and makes us pay attention to detail. It is a powerful performance. Director Dustin Wills keeps our attention and Kreimendahl’s writing is strong with a much needed hint of wit. I do wish we knew more about Nut's substance-abuse issue...I also wanted to know more about a brother, who is spoken of in passing as if he is a footnote."
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The Huffington Post
January 27th, 2017

“Through the fine acting and energy of the cast (particularly Barbagallo) and the intensely personal dialogue, ‘Orange Julius’ really makes an impact with is evocation of nostalgia, fear, longing, and other youth-specific emotions. It seems so personal, in fact, that we wonder just how much of the play is auto-biographical…The heart of ‘Orange Julius’ is the universal human desire to connect. It’s that same heart that will have its strings tugged at the play’s emotional conclusion."
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Village Voice
January 25th, 2017

"Kreimendahl's drama is a sympathetic, eloquent (and, at times, repetitive) effort…There's a lot to like about ‘Orange Julius:’ its articulate, forthright personal narrative; its attention to veterans' experience…Still, Kreimendahl's play would benefit from a ruthless edit: As Nut's story continues, scenes and themes begin to echo, then repeat—making the viewer long, by the end, for some shift in the drama's structure—and fewer flashback scenes would make each journey to Vietnam more striking."
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New York Theatre Review
January 24th, 2017

“Moving and often heartbreaking…As Nut, Jess Barbagallo is extremely winning…It’s the Vietnam scenes where the show and the script get a bit unfocused...These scenes, while artfully executed, eventually felt a bit repetitive and lacked the emotional weight of the family drama…While elements of this production don’t always fully cohere, Kreimendahl has created a vital, important work that finds quietly revolutionary ways to smash expectations to explore gender in the theatre."
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