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Members say: Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing
4 reviews
15 reviews

Athena Theatre presents the world premiere of a dark comedy exploring the importance of art, the challenges of homelessness, and finding your own path.

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'Sub-Basement' follows Adrienne, a former poet now Royal Canadian Mounted Police trainee, on an absurdist odyssey to find her true purpose amidst the dark corners of New York City, the depths of the Drama Book Shop, and her muddled past. Her voyage is guided by Gustav (a one-time climatologist) and Arnaud (an erstwhile poet), all while being pursued by Simon, who (unbeknownst to her) is set on becoming her fiancé. Are we ever free of the disappointments of the past, and can we escape the expectations of our parents? Embark on a voyage deep into Adrienne’s psyche and try to find out.


Cast & Creatives (11)

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Reviews (19)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

DC Metro Theater Arts

“It’s not just the confused protagonist Adrienne who can’t make up her mind. The play itself, after nearly three years of development, extensive reworking, and rewrites, suffers from the same plight of indecision…The show works best in its fast-paced funny opening scenes…Block’s theme becomes redundant and the style of the piece increasingly inconsistent. At present, ‘Sub-Basement’ is still in need of some revision and a clear decision as to what it wants to be.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Great for anyone looking for something a little less linear and a lot more offbeat than the more common fare. Tom Block engages with some lofty themes and mind-bending questions in this comedic epic...The play pulls no punches in its overt theatricality...The cast is immensely talented...All of the aspects of director Bird’s production come together nicely...'Sub-Basement' is a play that will not only make you think, but give you something beautiful to see as you do." Full Review

Andy B Sports

“In a great, cozy, even intimate setting at IRT Theater, the cast of Tom Block’s ‘Sub-Basement’ dazzled the audience with his superb writing and Hunter Bird’s direction. The story of ‘Adrienne,’ her career, romances and psyche as she interacted with three male characters, is performed in beautiful fashion by Veronique Ory…The men also deliver excellent performances. ‘Sub-Basement’ is another great production of Athena Theatre.” Full Review

The Artswire Weekly

"Although the play is set in the present day, it had a very post-modern, Brechtian tone...I understood Adrienne's motivation for her journey, but the play lacked the explanation as to why the two homeless characters, Gustav and Arnaud, were helping her...All four actors brought impressive commitment through some rocky plot points. Luckily, I left the theatre pondering the overarching themes rather than finding fault in plot holes." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Pretentious, Slow

See it if you're in the Village and have 80 minutes to waste

Don't see it if you are put off by non-realistic, absurdist- type plays

Also The playwright is trying to make relevant points about contemporary so... Read more Read less

Funny, Ambitious, Intelligent, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if If you enjoy pathos, absurdity and humor all at the same time, enjoy seeing ambitious works

Don't see it if If you enjoy big stage productions or prefer your entertainment to be more realistic

Absorbing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if You like a play where the lead character displays her life-choices inner struggles.

Don't see it if You prefer "reality" over absurdity.

Quirky, Cliched, Slow, Uneven

See it if you find Canadians are a monochromatic, one joke country.

Don't see it if if you're a proud Canadian, or want a deeper evening of theater.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Quirky, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You want to watch it 5 times before it makes sense. If you like dramas that try so hard to be esoteric, they lose their point in the process

Don't see it if Wasting your time will infuriate you and your friends so much you can't piece together what happened in the play.

Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Confusing, Slow, Great staging

See it if You enjoy non-real, non-linear theater

Don't see it if you're looking for something straight-forward

Clever, Quirky, Confusing, Allegorical, Poetic

See it if you're interested in experimental theatre and want to contemplate.the sacrifices we make when we choose between individuality or fitting in.

Don't see it if you prefer a more traditional approach to theatre and are not interested in the avant-garfe or Samuel Beckett style productions

Funny, Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if The first half was filled with off beat comedy and interesting character interactions that left me smiling.

Don't see it if The second part was confused and unclear and left me wondering how Much longer it could go on for.

Also Like I said I really enjoyed the first half, but the second half defau... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched, Dated

See it if you're still under the impression that absurdism is/can be contemporary.

Don't see it if you're frustrated by contemporary adaptations of outdated forms (absurdism) that add nothing new to the conversation.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You enjoy great dialogue and a touch of magic in a quirky production.

Don't see it if You prefer straightforward storytelling and dislike dreamlike settings.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Riveting

See it if You like to think about the meaning of life.....

Don't see it if You like plays with linear plots

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You appreciate a philosophical play.

Don't see it if You're a fan of fast-paced, action-heavy theatre.

Funny, Enchanting, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy poetry and esoteric concepts!

Don't see it if You need fast paced suspenseful action.

Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You are in the mood for grownup theatre

Don't see it if You are kid looking for a laugh-filled evening; you'll not be able to grasp it's message.

During previews
Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Slow

See it if you like very experimental, disjointed plays. It's a very non-linear play and it needs a lot of work.

Don't see it if you like good theatre. The direction is awful and I found the acting to be forced. Several times the actors seemed not to know their lines.