See it if you want to see some really fascinating puzzle pieces come together in a really satisfying and powerful way.
Don't see it if you can't handle a bit of ambiguity/confusion as the puzzle pieces shift into place.
See it if you’re comfortable with double meanings and oblique narratives. It helps if you’re familiar with the psychology of gaslighting.
Don't see it if you don’t like reading into the details, don’t see why some topics are coded inside others, don’t take Puerto Rican independence seriously. Read more
See it if you're a sci-fi fan and want to support new work by one of the city's most creative theaters (Play Co.)
Don't see it if You have a short attention span, or like things to move at a fast clip. This is definitely a slow burn. Read more
"It’s a funny monologue, ingeniously layered and shadowed with pain. In Cortiñas’s 'Recent Alien Abductions' — it is a kind of show within the show, touching on cultural dominion and the caprices of memory, but also on trauma and erasure, both personal and sociopolitical....The production hasn’t found a performance style that lets Act II breathe...The characters in this act...seem only superficially realized....In its brief final act, though, 'Recent Alien Abductions' finds its potency again."
"Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas has woven a delicate spider’s web in 'Recent Alien Abductions.' His heartbroken thriller feels both gossamer frail and weirdly strong; even in a sometimes saggy production, it manages to snare your imagination....The energy drain of the first thirty minutes is a problem, and rhythmically, the production still seems to be finding its footing....Conditions weren’t quite right when I saw it, but I would recommend it nonetheless."
"The opening speech counts for roughly twelve percent of this brief work -- it is listed as Act I of an intermissionless three-act play -- and it goes on and on, to diminishing effect. But hang on, for playwright Cortiñas is setting us up; without it, 'Recent Alien Abductions' might not be the affecting -- even haunting -- work that it is...Complaints aside, this is a striking work by a new talent who finds ways of avoiding the sentimental pitfalls often associated with this type of family drama."
"Devilishly enigmatic and culminating in an eerie denouement...'Recent Alien Abductions' confidentially veers tonally, seemingly goes off on tangents and holds interest for much of its off-kilter 90 minutes...In directing his own work, Cortiñas makes full use of the wonders of technical elements in this moody and cryptic production, combining realism with nightmarish fantasy...An emotionally resonant treatment of harrowing subject matter."
"The tonal balance of the opening monologue is extraordinary. Álvaro should be easy to laugh at: obviously his conspiracy is imagined...Yet while the monologue is funny, something about Sardina’s delivery keeps us from laughing at Álvaro...Cortiñas has also directed with great precision...Some of these scenes with Álvaro’s family are, admittedly, tough to sit through. But it always feels like Cortiñas is weaving a tapestry, that each moment is there for a reason."
“Despite his play's realism…, Cortiñas offers stylized devices, like having the actors, coolly robot-like, take their places at scene beginnings with one of them nodding when it's time to start…The lifeless pace is a downer… The play is both accessible and obscure; its framing scenes are intriguing yet distracting; its depiction of family strife concerning a prodigal son is affecting but unenlightening; and its story of someone seeking permission to publish a book acceptable but not compelling.”
"Despite the play’s tonal unevenness, I find Cortiñas to be a compelling new voice. Cortiñas has directed...He casts a carefully wrought spell from the get-go, creating a menacing mood that’s mostly sustained throughout. Even though the play’s second 'act' doesn’t quite jive with the production’s distancing, almost creepy atmosphere, the piece’s final set of images really got under my skin. The cast does an admirable job of giving inscrutable, deadpan performances."