Suddenly, A Knock at the Door NYC Reviews and Tickets
Funny, Edgy, Overrated, Intense, Cliched
About the Show
Theater for the New City presents a new play about facing life's difficulties—from the absurd to the unbearable—without resorting to violence or abusing your power. Based on stories by Polish-Israeli author Etgar Keret.
'I can’t do it like this!' protests the writer Eitan Katzen to the bearded man, the survey taker, and the pizza delivery woman who have all come knocking at his door. Brandishing weapons, they make the stakes clear: a story or your life! So the writer held hostage by these three strange muses begins to weave his tales, played out onstage by the same characters that are his captors. 'Suddenly, A Knock at the Door' is a celebration of storytelling and the magic of art.
"The play emphasizes the difficulty of translating prose works for the stage. In many scenes, the words simply don’t leap far enough off the page...Rather than transmuting the stories into dialogue and action, the script has an over-reliance on direct address and observation...As if to compensate, Carson has encouraged his actors to emote as though their lives depended on it, and not all are up to the task...The show does manage to convey Keret’s casually mordant worldview, "
"'Suddenly' can be startlingly funny. As the energy builds in action, the ensemble creates memorable tableaus to capture the moment...If there is a flaw, it is in the repetition without variation. The play sometimes feels lengthy without merit...Staging by Carson glosses over these imperfections. He cleverly makes stage space for the absurd. Broad, mask work, challenging movement theater, and appealing new characters build a complete drama, with enough surprise to keep the audience engaged."
"The brilliant, electric stories of Israeli writer Etgar Keret fill the black box…The poignant narratives are told in such a way that each story is seamlessly woven into the next one...While each individual story may have lost some of its specificity through being translated for the stage, the heart of these painfully human stories that Keret is known for still triumphs. The comic-drama teaches us through absurdities that we are all here to tell our stories."
"What works on the page does not always work in the stage. In this case, and the six actors playing a variety of characters are required to pantomime their surroundings, and one must even play the part of a goldfish…There are some stories that linger in mind...Others I recall for the awkward presentation…Despite the awkward way in which the stories are presented, the work as a whole moves surprisingly quickly and with good humor."