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Two Class Acts

From 43 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky

About the show

The Flea presents a pair of world-premiere one-acts by celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney. The two run separately but simultaneously in the upstairs and downstairs theaters. More…

In 'Squash,' Gurney explores the fluidity of sexuality on a college campus in the '70s before gender was upended. In 'Ajax,' an actress-turned-teacher allows a rousing performance of an ancient text to reveal her true self. Audiences are strongly encouraged to see both shows on the same evening. To make this possible, 'Squash' plays once each night, and 'Ajax' runs twice to allow patrons to attend both.

Member Reviews (43)


Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky
Avg Score

Entertaining, Great writing, Clever, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a Gurney fan and like one act plays. Ajax is the weaker of the two, but Squash holds your attention as a relevant story.

Don't see it if Brief nudity and sexuality in both plays would disturb you.

Also Ajax is set up in a classroom with a teacher student scenario. The act... Read more Read less

Clever, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if have liked Gurney's work in the past, if you like one-act plays and enjoy innovative staging.

Don't see it if you don't care for Gurney, don't like short plays or are offended by male nudity.

Also Even though it's not Gurney at his best, it's still worth seeing.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You have ever been a college student or adjunct professor and thought about the balance of academia vs the "real" world.

Don't see it if You like plays with lots of action.

Ambitious, Great staging, Funny, Dated, Cliched

See it if you enjoy the actors and/or this playwright. The performances range from capable to quite good, working with flawed but enjoyable plays.

Don't see it if you want something irreverent or tremendously original. The staging is unique, but the works themselves don't break new ground.

Edgy, Quirky, Raunchy, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you love Gurney & intimate, clever staging (esp. Squash) for few, gung ho actors & are intrigued by edgy, unexpected interpersonal dynamics.

Don't see it if looking for elaborate staging, larger cast & middle-of-the-road, traditional two-part play & are queasy about risque dynamics in raw spaces.

Funny, Quirky, Contemporary

See it if Enjoy fast-moving stories of contemporary issues

Don't see it if Fast moving plots and scene changes will confuse you.

Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great staging

See it if You like college settings, related one acts, classical references, contrast of 70's &current classroom with inappropriate student : teacher

Don't see it if you don't like one sided pro Palestinian character unchallenged in Ajax, contrasted with characters with fluid points of view in squash

Delightful, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if Stafford Arima directs this two one acts with bridging themes to great effect. Dan Amboyer was a stand out. Ajax was also very good.

Don't see it if you don't like one acts

Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you like one-act plays and AR Gurney. Crossing borders in relationships. Set in the 60s-70s seems dated. Not his best work. Great acting.

Don't see it if you don't like one-act plays or Gurney.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if Very original one acts acted well and written by one of the most prolific American playwrights alive today.

Don't see it if you don't want to move from one theater to another to watch the two shows on the same night.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you know/like classic theater and want to see contemporary riffs on literary classics.

Don't see it if You want gripping, moving drama. These plays are intimate, thoughtful character studies.

Clever, Great acting, Funny

See it if Strong acting in clever plays.

Don't see it if Not Gurney's finest writing (the women, for example, seem a bit underwritten), though entertaining.

Clever, Edgy, Great staging

See it if Squash only (didn't see Ajax) - excellent light-hearted, well acted and energetic (somewhat) comedy that keeps you glued to your seat

Don't see it if you're looking for something deep in a very heavy-handed way - there aren't many negatives; I guess if the mere mention of gays scares you.

Also The stage design was fantastic. The audience sits alongside a long nar... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You enjoy cleverly staged, small cast, intense, immersive theater pieces. And be sure to see both plays.

Don't see it if You have a problem with brief nudity.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Must see, Intense

See it if See both shows, but in particular Ajax if you love great acting!

Don't see it if You have issues with nudity on stage.

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy charming characters and gentle humor

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with a slightly homoerotic theme

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Strange endings, Well acted, Disappointing

See it if Ajax puts us right in a classroom (fun!) The play takes a bad turn, and deals with Israeli-Palestinian relations/antisemitism irresponsibly.

Don't see it if Squash has its gay male go straight after he takes up the game with an appealing girl. Really? I was engaged, but disappointed in the plot.

During previews
Ajax-great, Squash-awful, Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you want to see 1 great play. Ajax was sharp, smart & topical. Squash was ridiculous! Unbelievable and full of cliches that went nowhere.

Don't see it if you have to see both plays. Squash is not worth your time. I would have rated Ajax much higher and Squash lower had they not been together.

During previews
Great staging, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Clever, Intelligent

See it if You want to see 2 interconnected plays by a major playwright. You enjoy small, character sketches. You're familiar w/Greek drama.

Don't see it if You don't like character studies. You want more fully realized plays & characters. You prefer more traditional staging.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You enjoy modern day comedies that have influences of Greek mythology to them. Intimate theater, great acting, absorbing, fast-paced.

Don't see it if You're offended by male nudity which occurs in Squash.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy a well acted play about relationships and sexuality; another about the power of a play gone wrong. Both have interesting staging.

Don't see it if You prefer musicals to drama; you are not a fan of either A.R.Gurney or the Flea theater productions in general.

During previews
Great staging, Gurney-esque, Intelligent, Classical allusions galore, Great to see up & coming actors

See it if you like Gurney, semi-immersive staging, male nudity, return to classroom, contrasting theatre experiences, capable casts & direction

Don't see it if you don't like Gurney, or shows about academia, Palestinian/Israeli relations, bi-sexuals, smoking, male nudity, or discussions of eros

During previews
Squash-slow, cliched: ajax-interesting, flawed.

See it if You are a Gurney fan, tho these are not typical of most of his work. Ajax, the more interesting and better acted of the two.

Don't see it if you want a fast paced evening. Squash somewhat wordy and cliched.

Also My rating is an average of the 2 plays. Individually, Squash-69; Ajax-... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you'd like the premiere of two 1 act plays by AR Gurnie--one very well acted and the other adequately acted, with some youthful impropriety.

Don't see it if you'll be upset by male nudity; object to a pro-Palestinian Jewish character , are homophobic, think a bisexual can't choose monogamy.

Also There are 2 shows, Squash & Ajax. Reviewing them together doesn't work... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Great acting

See it if You enjoy intelligent shows with talented up-and-coming actors, or if you enjoy intimate off-off Broadway productions.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with same-sex relationships (in Squash), or PTSD and Israeli-Palestinian relations (mentioned in Ajax).

October 28th, 2016
"Imbued with a giddy openness to change that seems to be as much a part of Mr. Gurney’s DNA as his anthropological dedication to a vanishing class of patricians...'Ajax' is best perceived as a happy fantasy, one that bubbles with the belief that borders of all sorts were meant to be leapt over. '...
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November 2nd, 2016
"Perhaps because of their brief running times, they are less substantial than usual; for once, this most inventive of playwrights touches on his favorite themes without having much new to say about them...'Ajax': His editorializing doesn't always mesh well with the Meg-Adam romance, which has a b...
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November 5th, 2016
“Whether you see one or both of ‘Two Class Acts’, these are provocative plays of ideas on topics of the day. The playwright continues to demonstrate that he has a wise and discerning view of the human condition. Director Stafford Arima has done a beautiful job of obtaining all of the nuance...
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October 31st, 2016
"Sometimes, all the right elements come together to make a production that’s just delightful...The artistic elements that come together here: visceral acting, transporting, detail-oriented design, Stafford Arima’s masterful staging, and A.R. Gurney’s buoyant yet dynamic new plays...Aside from a f...
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