Something Clean
Midtown W
84

Something Clean NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(72 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the Show

Playwright Selina Fillinger’s new drama for Roundabout slips into the jagged cracks of a sex crime’s aftermath—the guilt, the grief, and the ways we grapple with the unthinkable.

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Member Reviews (72)

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80
Strong script, Well acted, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you'd like an intelligent, engaging work about aftermath of sexual assault. Strong characterizns/mostly credible plot. Good acting/staging.

Don't see it if you need bells-and-whistles prodn (SC in sm black box/barebones) Or the subj is triggering. Or you want more attn paid to the victim.

82
Moving, Relevant, Timely, Thought-provoking

See it if Insightful, intelligent and moving writing. Very relevant. Great acting.

Don't see it if issues of sex crimes, its consequences and aftermath are too disturbing to you.

Critic Reviews (11)

May 30th, 2019

"The star is the wonderful, nuanced and fascinating Kathryn Erbe, and the author, Selina Fillinger, is such a good writer...Fillinger manages to keep you riveted by writing about alarming contemporary issues with a style rarely encountered on today’s stages—real people saying real things to each other. The style some people might label old-fashioned is fresh as a spring blossom after a hard winter when it’s applied to a lethal subject."
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June 2nd, 2019

"The play, which rapidly alternates scenes between Charlotte and either Doug or Joey, leads to an inevitable climax when the three meet and Charlotte’s subterfuge is exposed. The acting is consistently strong, with Kathryn Erbe’s performance being especially powerful...Margot Bordelon’s direction is fluid and unfussy. While the plot has a few weak spots, the play is consistently absorbing and my overall reaction is quite positive."
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I
June 4th, 2019

“An astonishingly confident play...Watching the play gave me the disorienting sensation of constantly being on shifting ground. It’s a feeling that’s not dissimilar to real life, which gives the play an ambiguous, contemporary authenticity that many similar new plays don’t quite fully achieve. That Fillinger achieves this with grace and considerable emotional potency is a testament to her talent...The production also features the exemplary work of a trio of excellent actors.”
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May 29th, 2019

"A beautifully observed, richly compassionate new drama...’Something Clean’ covers a remarkable amount of ground. Some of its plot contrivances creak a bit...But in focusing on the ripple effects of a sex crime on one unextraordinary life, ‘Something Clean’ keeps readjusting our point of view, along with Charlotte’s, on the widespread implications of such acts and the nature of the culture in which they occur...All three performers are pitch perfect."
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May 29th, 2019

"Bordelon elicits spot-on performances from all three members of the cast. The writing sometimes slides into didacticism...But for the most part, Fillinger’s meticulously constructed drama smartly focuses on the personal, not the political...Watching Charlotte parse her past while trying to plan a productive future can be discomfiting; there are moments when it feels hard to muster empathy for a woman who raised a rapist. But that's what makes 'Something Clean' so heartrending."
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May 29th, 2019

“It’s solid and fluid, predictable but not monotonous. Its perhaps inevitable moments of contrivance feel mostly forgivable, and in Margot Bordelon’s swift, no-frills production, the show’s three actors all eventually ease into themselves, delivering sensitive, well-observed performances. And the results are — fine...Ultimately, the play’s most daring suggestion in our current climate is that none of us are free of the human responsibility of empathy.”
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May 29th, 2019

“The playwright displays a keen ability for well-drawn characterizations and astute, frequently darkly comic dialogue in her concise drama...Fillinger admirably refrains from spelling out everything too clearly, resulting in an intriguing ambiguity, even while making clear that pain is best healed through strong emotional connections...The actors deliver nuanced performances...The play's staging proves slightly awkward...But the emotions on display always ring true.”
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May 29th, 2019

"The production features some well-performed scenes...Bordelon keeps the pace of this play brisk, but ultimately the play lacks the ring of authenticity, giving us instead sentimental and psychologically heavy-handed scenes that clutter an otherwise resonant story...There's much to admire in this small production...The play begins to wobble, though, in the dumpster scenes...Sensationalist missteps undermine the play's insights."
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May 29th, 2019

“’Crisply crafted as an 80-minute series of brief scenes...The play does not provide any dirty details about the assault or personal information regarding the two people it directly involves. However, it finds time to mention statistics regarding sexual assault and also...drops a point regarding race and the justice system...Although this earnest drama presents a worthwhile alternative to the typical he-said-she-said dynamics of sex crime scenarios, its story is a not entirely satisfying look.”
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May 29th, 2019

"Fillinger’s writing is more supple and nuanced than that of many of her peers...She reveals a precocious grasp of conflicts and bonds within mature, longterm relationships...The play ends with a surge of light which builds until it becomes blinding, then lapses suddenly into darkness...Fillinger’s protagonist earns not only our sympathy but admiration—and, in Erbe’s probing, glowing performance, our rapt attention throughout."
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T
May 29th, 2019

"Choosing not to focus on the survivor but rather on the family of the criminal...Fillinger walks a fine line between redemption and reclamation...Erbe and Livingston bring authenticity and grit to their performances...Their craft manages to transcend the holes in the script...The script is problematic on many counts...Unfortunately, 'Something Clean' does not deal with these important issues choosing instead to whitewash trauma."
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