New York | 1h 25m | Already closed

Pressing Matters

From 5 critic and 64 member reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting

About the show

MBL Productions presents an evening of six short plays from playwright Jennifer Jasper.  More…

A boxed-set of six quirky stories nestled into one evening. Seven words map the course of a young couple’s life. A young woman is on a perpetual quest to move forward with the help of her butler. A mother discovers parenting is an obstacle course in the modern age. Three generations of women find a common voice. Chloe and Essie remember. Passengers await their final destination. 'Pressing Matters' wastes no words as Jasper weaves tales in her own humorous and heartfelt storytelling style.

Used York City

"The stories cover a range of heavy subject matter, from mental illness to incest to other—baggage. Contrary to what you might expect, however, Jasper covers each of these topics in a manner that is witty and—well, funny—more than anything else. Not in a way that makes light of anything though—just in a way that is incredibly smart...But I should step back from the brilliant writing for a second and also acknowledge the acting, because it too was amazing." Full Review

The Knockturnal

"The actors portray such real emotion while on stage; it will leave the audience entranced in joy, in sadness, and in awe...Nothing has ever been more in tune with real life and its many struggles. Yet nothing has portrayed the joy and laughter that is so indicative of living and its unceasing displays of irony. 'Pressing Matters' is a play that will leave its audience feeling as though they are watching the many colorful and wondrous moments of their own lives." Full Review

Manhattan With a Twist

"This kind of production has a way of having a ratio of hit and misses that ends up hurting the overall product, but the work here is more hit than miss...Jasper’s writing is fun without losing its poignancy and Campbell-Holt knows exactly what to do with it...A dream team of thespians on stage, this is all wrapped together with a nice bow by the excellent designers. An evening curated for our delight, it gives us more than we bargained for, and we should be all the more happy for it." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Every one of these plays is good or interesting in its own right, even if Jasper never quite brings them together to form any sort of grand thesis. The stories are all fairly distinct, and while they are mostly in the same thematic ballpark, they lack a certain specificity and focus that would make 'Pressing Matters' really cohesive...Everyone has at least one standout performance...On the whole, 'Pressing Matters' is an interesting evening, with six stories that are each uniquely compelling." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Like almost all the other short play programs I've seen over the past five years, Jasper's has moments of interest but, on the whole, is seriously flawed…Whatever hidden virtues might be dormant in Jasper's plays, director Adrienne Campbell-Holt hasn't revealed them in her plodding, low-energy, borderline amateurish staging. The performances only rarely rise above the mundane, and, with not much to praise about the production values, it's best not to say anything about them at all.” Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you like to see plays that make you think. They have stayed in my mind & I keep thinking about them.Very touching & funny.Acting is 1st rate

Don't see it if you need shows that spell out every little detail.These shift in time & place.I had no trouble following it,but you do have to pay attention

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you like clever, thought provoking writing. If you like short plays. If you like something a little different.

Don't see it if don't enjoy short plays or short stories or if you prefer to have one plot line

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

See it if You like new works by emerging playwrights. Fine acting by an ensemble cast. Off-beat, thought-provoking approach to serious life issues.

Don't see it if You need your stories told in a straight line and can't deal with time jumps and symbolism.

Also I really liked these plays -- funny and serious and affecting, full of... Read more Read less

Funny, Quirky, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You like characters you can identify with. It touches on challenging issues in an accessible way. Real life but not in your face.

Don't see it if You're hung up on socio-normative relationships. These aren't, always. Also, if you're looking for slick and polished.

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Indulgent

See it if You want to see some short plays that sort of sneak up on you with their relevance. They seem rather light and trite at first glance.Not so.

Don't see it if You're unwilling to give these little thinkers a chance.

Entertaining, Great writing, Quirky

See it if You are open to many forms of love and relationship. Enjoy the variety of 6 plays.

Don't see it if You expect to love all 6 plays. You expect the same style.

Funny, Edgy, Great acting

See it if You'd like 6 edgy/funny vignettes - loved the one about the airline and several others

Don't see it if The vignette right after intermission really dragged & was quite boring, but all the others were fun!

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Refreshing

See it if You like shows about relationshipd

Don't see it if You are looking for intense drama

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if my 75 partners 85 6 shorts skits. some very clever. one or two obtuse.. some good acting. thought provoking

Don't see it if no need for the intermission Use of vaudeville signage not needeed as unable to view from many seats

Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want to hear some excellent dialogue and are interested in exploring short form theater.

Don't see it if You want one longer story. You want a big production.

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Confusing, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy short plays focused around women, that make you think a lot about the deeper meanings behind them, and some great performances

Don't see it if You don't like short plays with no connecting storyline, don't like simplistic sets, and don't like stories with deeper meanings

Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You like short plays that make you think. The acting was well done and the plays were quirky and entertaining.

Don't see it if You like a grand production or you can’t sit still when there are moderately long pauses between plays.

Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like short plays on different topics from different, less-heard-from points of view. You can tolerate some unevenness in pacing.

Don't see it if You are looking for one, long, cohesive piece with a beginning, middle and end.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Clever, Confusing

See it if Moving from one thing to another.

Don't see it if You prefer elaborate scenery.

Great writing, Intimate, Slow, Great acting, Lovely

See it if you're interested in short plays featuring really smart writing examining some very small, intimate moments with style and honesty.

Don't see it if you're only wowed by high production value. This is a scrappy production but the writing and acting and direction are pretty great.

Quirky, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You like the idea of 6 unique, short plays, focusing on women, & don't need intricate sets or epic stories to enjoy a trip to the theater.

Don't see it if you judge shows on their sets, costumes, etc. This isn't for people that seek a flashy musical, or memorable drama. It's good, but neither.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing, Slow

See it if You like short plays. You want to see some interesting performances that might be a bit slow at times but well performed.

Don't see it if You need elaborate productions. You don't like short plays.

Two of the six plays are quite good

See it if you are interested in women's issues

Don't see it if you are not prepared for uneven quality

Needs debra messing

See it if You enjoy a grab bag, pot luck evening of theater.

Don't see it if You need sustained quality. Some ideas are simply failures, and that's okay.

Also First and last are best. Board of play listings a totally indulgent an... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Intelligent, Quirky, Interesting

See it if Six quick plays loosely related to each other that have some interesting moments are enough to keep you entertained.

Don't see it if You don't like short plays that don't have fancy sets.

Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing, Quirky, Great lighting/sound design

See it if You enjoy catching talented actors honing their craft.

Don't see it if You seek a well-paced, cohesive production.

Slow, Ambitious, Fluffy, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if Variety is what you want in a show.

Don't see it if You can't handle 6 plays within one show

Slow, Great acting

See it if you like great acting and one act plays.

Don't see it if you want to see a big scale show or something to really remember

Disappointing, Slow, Just ok

See it if You don't have anything better to do. You like watching short plays.

Don't see it if You have something better to do. You like to watch well written plays which draws emotions. I really just came away feeling nothing much.

Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Disappointing, Amateurish

See it if you can appreciate good acting and some interesting vignettes despite a less than professional presentation.

Don't see it if you didn't like talent night at camp.

Also During the performance, props were pushed on and off stage. While we s... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (11)