Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Amoralists present a dark comedy about a group of teenagers whose summer vacation is interrupted by an extraterrestrial encounter. More…
It's the summer of 1992 in Medford, New Jersey. Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school. Matt and Hayley are sweethearts who harbor secrets. Tara is hoping she can ditch state school for an Ivy education, and Pete needs to face his not-so-secret desires. But when the five encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, their lives are forever changed. A comedy about that time when everything and nothing seem possible.
“It's a great story…Every scene has a relentless rhythm that is brought to life with rigor and focus by director Kamine…The whole cast gives incredible performances...They remain larger-than-life and somehow completely human at the same time…There is a lot of great design in this show, and many memorable images…The whole thing is a little campy and nostalgic, but the ideas are timeless...It's funny, it's sweet, and it's constantly surprising. I left the theater totally astonished." Full Review
“Directed with efficiency and grace by Kamine, 'Nibbler' opens a creaky window onto the year 1992 and the just-blooming lives of high school graduates…Has a strong aroma of magic realism that heightens its comedy and drama…Inspired work from an excellent cast gives Urban’s loving/cruel youths a pulpy multidimensionality…A grimly funny portrait of that scary moment of first flight, assessed and conveyed with the wisdom of hindsight and painted with the brush of an artist.” Full Review
“Intricately drawn by the playwright and insightfully interpreted by the ensemble, the characters are focused on questions of still-emerging identity…The company, under the adroit direction of Benjamin Kamine, handles the supernatural side of 'Nibbler' with a light enough touch to ensure that what's at the heart of the play isn't obscured by what's weird, creepy, and gimmicky at its surface. And what's at the heart is Adam's story and Kautz's straightforward, sympathetic performance.” Full Review
"A unique, deeply personal story of five friends and a universal tale of growing up at the same time...Under the direction of Benjamin Kamine, this Amoralists production is anything but cliché...This wildly inventive metaphor for growing up makes 'Nibbler' one of a kind...Ken Urban's script is witty and original, an undeniably new take on growing up and moving on. 'Nibbler' is far more than your typical coming-of-age tale, and it's a performance you won't soon forget." Full Review
"The engaging cast of emerging actors fully inhabits the roles, successfully capturing the characters’ youthful spirit...While several of the more salacious scenes elicited a loud collective 'ewwww' from the audience (and me!), if you are not averse to raunchy humor, explicit obscenities, full nudity, and juvenile sexual situations, 'Nibbler' will keep you wildly entertained by its exaggerated shock value and then touched by the underlying theme of facing the road ahead." Full Review
"What really works in this play is the at times rapid-fire delivery Urban gives these supremely competent players and how even the otherworldly unusual element, something that at times does evoke titters from the audience, gives one as much a sense of creepiness as well as sexuality...What makes this work mainly for me are the performances and how director Benjamin Kamine manages his players low, high and in-between moments." Full Review
“When it goofs off, it’s pretty negligible. But when it takes itself seriously, it matures into a melancholy comedy about growing up and apart...That Urban mixes memories with the cultural enthusiasms of his youth is understandable…But this ultimately distracts from the heart of the show, which is a lot less supernatural and a lot more affecting. Beneath the space invaders and the sex acts, Mr. Urban offers a poignant thesis: When we find ourselves, we lose something, too.” Full Review
"The performers go above and beyond...If you are the type for whom the human form brings blushes and giggles, this is not the play for you. For everyone else, it will likely touch some feelings and memories close to home...The whole thing is amusing, even if a little heavy-handed with the stereotypes...The one part that didn’t work, on multiple levels, was the musical number at the end...It’s the kind of scene that may look good on paper but just doesn’t work in a live performance." Full Review
“The cast rises nimbly to the challenge of the script, making the characters’ identity transitions both comical and convincing. Director Benjamin Kamine weaves the mundane and surreal elements of the story into a motley tribute to the quirky culture of 90’s. The script, like its protagonist, is both endearing and a bit unfocused…If Adam could be less of a 'lens character' and more of a three-dimensional person with real problems and dreams, 'Nibbler' would have more of the bite it needs.” Full Review
"Urban is an incredible author. His characters are raw, some dilapidated. His ability to comment on the present through the lens of the past is remarkable. There’s a sense of urgency in this world of nothingness. But it all gets lost when the end feels like an unfunny punch line...At times, 'Nibbler' played like bad sketch comedy. Other times it lived in campy horror...If you’re OK with theater that’s a little bit weird and out of the box, you might want to give 'Nibbler' a try." Full Review
“Urban injects a supernatural element...It just feels like an 'SNL' sketch that goes on for way too long…We giggle at the absurdity of it all, but it shows us little we don't already know about the process of growing up…None of this is to say we don't appreciate Urban for taking formal risks with a fairly typical story. It's just that these risks don't amount to much when it comes to illuminating and reframing that story in a way that leads to deeper understanding of its themes.” Full Review
“.At the conclusion of the piece, one is uncertain as to exactly what story they’ve just witnessed. It’s not that the facts of the play are unclear, but that the 'why' of the piece proves elusive. The production is charming and well put together, with strong performances from a capable young cast…‘Nibbler’ in its current state feels like a solid effort by a young company, but does not quite reach the level of storytelling prowess needed to evoke an invested reaction.” Full Review
“As long as the play follows this particular pathway, it paints a more-or-less realistic portrait of Adam's struggles…But the playwright sidetracks us with two other plot lines, either of which might be better suited to a play of its own…The performances are well-delineated, but the play itself is too much of a jumbled skein of conflicting plots. Keep hold of the central strand, and you've got an interesting take on a coming-of-age story…‘Nibbler’ fails to coalesce into a unified whole." Full Review
“The six characters differ in the measure of believability and their conflicts are not equally engaging. This results in plot lines that are sometimes muddled and an overall play that seems to lose its footing all too often. The sci-fi component adds little to the dramatic arc and feels unnecessary…The cast works hard…Benjamin Kamine keeps the action moving at a quick pace. The result just seems to belie all the efforts of the cast and creative team.” Full Review
"Ken Urban's new play 'Nibbler' opens on Christmas Eve, 2004, in Medford, New Jersey, when the overlapping dialogue and interruptions quickly evoke the early works of David Mamet. However, any comparisons with a great playwright stop there, unfortunately, at the beginning of the play." Full Review
See it if You'd enjoy a fun coming-of-age tale about a group of teenagers growing up in a small town in NJ. The "alien" scenes are quite fun!!
Don't see it if You'd be offended by brief on-stage nudity (2 men and 1 woman).
See it if you want to see a realistic comedy/drama about coming of age in the '90's which features a supernatural twist.
Don't see it if The sexually explicit scenes may be a bit too disconcerting for more sensitive audience members.
See it if You want to see a portrait of teenagers growing up and discovering themselves in an inventive way.
Don't see it if You have a problem with nudity because there is plenty of it (both male and female). Or if supernatural elements are a turn off.
See it if you want to see a play with a really fun and clever concept that sheds light on the ways life changes after high school.
Don't see it if low production values get in the way of your enjoyment of a play.
See it if You like your coming of age plays to be laced with monsters and random nudity. Premise isn't uninteresting but execution is inconsistent
Don't see it if you want more complex characters and a more original story, or if you have little tolerance for silly supernatural shenanigans
See it if you like your teen angst dramedy spiced up with a space invader for no reason. Raunchy sex comedy introduced a kinda pathetic gay angle
Don't see it if good acting and direction still left me scratching my head. Most people in the audience liked it, though.
See it if You want a play with " aliens ", nudity and teenagers dreaming about their future after graduating high school and discovering themselves
Don't see it if You don't have a very open mind. This play is kind of absurd and the story revolves around an alien landing on the jersey shore
See it if Tepid material from usually bold Amoralists Confused mash-up of coming of age teen drama & sci-fi terror movie Acting saves it (sort of)
Don't see it if Urban's poignant scenes of teens growing up undercut by ludicrous alien consumption subplot At times, plot veers toward the cliched
See it if You are endlessly intrigued by aimless youths being so clueless that even a monster from outer space can't really shake up their world.
Don't see it if Your tolerance for sad sack youths being clueless and aimless is as limited as mine. I hated this show. (But I'm old)
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies