Closed 1h 20m
Ugly Lies The Bone
Midtown W
83

Ugly Lies The Bone NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(34 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
9%
Negative
3%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Roundabout Underground, dedicated to producing new works by emerging playwrights, presents a drama about a traumatized US veteran home from Afghanistan who uses video game therapy to heal.

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Member Reviews (34)

65
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intense, Absorbing, Uneven

See it if you want to see a strong performance by Mamie Gummer. The script is lacking, but the premise (helping vets reacclimate) is compelling.

Don't see it if you want a fully polished, convincing play. ULTB needs work, but it has potential...especially if it retains its leading woman.

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Must see

See it if you like nuanced characters

Don't see it if you only like musicals

Critic Reviews (17)

October 13th, 2015

"The play confirms that Lindsey Ferrentino is a writer of dauntless conviction. This bracing drama, starring a superb Mamie Gummer, confronts an achingly topical issue with hardheaded honesty and admirable compassion...Despite the forthright depictions of Jess’s suffering and frustration, 'Ugly Lies the Bone,' directed by Patricia McGregor with careful attention to subtle changes in texture, retains a certain buoyancy."
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October 14th, 2015

"'Ugly Lies the Bone' is worthy but schematic...Patricia McGregor directs the strong ensemble with honesty and attention to detail...While 'Ugly Lies the Bone' addresses genuine contemporary issues, its reality is too streamlined and foursquare, too virtual."
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October 13th, 2015

"Everything that happens in the social scenes is banal compared to the therapy...The play drops so many levels it can hardly recover. That it keeps recovering anyway is mostly the result of the extraordinary performance of Mamie Gummer as Jess."
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October 13th, 2015

"Ferrentino's writing is deeply felt and often touching. But the play, running a brief 75 minutes, feels underdeveloped and strangely thin...The drama also suffers from the skimpy production values of the developmental theater...But the work does have truly affecting moments."
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October 15th, 2015

"Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino has given us a unique heroine, a female war veteran, and a fascinating real-life-based premise. Virtual reality? Show us more! Yet just as we start to fully visualize Jess’ simulated world, Ferrentino pulls back the curtain. And that’s it. "
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October 13th, 2015

"'Ugly Lies The Bone' is clearly the work of a young talent with plenty ahead of her. It’s timely, compelling and as current as you could want. It’s also self-consciously bleak and overwrought. Jess’ return from the war doesn’t need the underlining it sometimes gets in Patricia McGregor’s alternately brisk and heavy-handed production."
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October 13th, 2015

"Ferrentino is economical with her dialogue, packing both humor and sincere emotion — but Gummer offers an energetically charged and emotionally raw performance that brings the text to even greater heights...Ferrentino is at her best when writing through the tip of a laser: the insular world of pain, the claustrophobic routine of Middle America — this is the durable skeleton of 'Ugly Lies the Bone.'"
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October 19th, 2015

"If 'Ugly Lies the Bone' sounds like the most depressing drama of 2015, I hasten to add that it isn't, partly because of Gummer's almost brutally unsentimental performance and because of the glints of spiky humor buried in Lindsey Ferrentino's script...The author is much better at suggesting the agony of Jess' life than in providing any hope...In the brief running time of 'Ugly Lies the Bone,' a bright young talent becomes a major force to be reckoned with."
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October 15th, 2015

"Beautiful, richly textured new play...The final product is an uncommonly compelling depiction of not merely recovery, but also repentance and renewal, with an emphasis on how difficult it is — all without either cloying or exaggerating."
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October 13th, 2015

"A familiar but important story...As fascinating as the virtual reality treatment is, what’s at the heart of Ferrentino’s play – and what works best — is Jess’s interaction with the other characters, and the way both she and they are adjusting to the inexorable passage of time and the changes it brings...The uniformly spot-on cast makes the characters credible and moving."
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September 27th, 2015

"The cast is mostly strong, especially Gummer...Patricia McGregor’s direction has a few bumpy spots. I would call the play a diamond in the rough."
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November 7th, 2015

"Working with what seems to have been an extremely limited budget, Patricia McGregor's directorial options are limited but Ferrentino has created nuanced characters and McGregor has gotten fine work out of her five-member cast...simultaneously overstuffed and slightly undercooked, but it's clear that the author has a curiosity about lives outside the theatrical mainstream and talent that should be nurtured."
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October 13th, 2015

"Promising playwright Ferrentino, director Patricia McGregor and Gummer present yet another portrait of a veteran returning from war. What's different about 'Ugly Lies the Bone' is that this is one of the few veteran-comes-home stories I've seen that focuses on a female veteran...Kudos to Ferrentino for shining a spotlight on a different side of a familiar story."
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November 9th, 2015

"It’s general seating so I’d recommend getting there early to snag a chair near the front — I sat first row center, which is my favorite place to experience theater, mostly free from the distraction of audience members...The supporting characters are well-drawn and engaging as played by a trio of great actors...I loved this play and can’t recommend it enough."
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October 5th, 2015

"'Ugly Lies the Bone' is a wonder of simple craft and a bare bones production in a special basement performance space...This play provides wonder in language, in pacing, revelations."
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October 14th, 2015

"An interesting look at how much trauma can change family and friends, and how deeply it can affect one’s life. A wonderful take on all that one must do in order to overcome the obstacles in their path. It also provides a fascinating look at the use of virtual reality technology...The story is realistic, and touches upon many different emotions...The entire cast plays off of one another so well, and their connections and relationships on the stage are moving, and quite solid."
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October 14th, 2015

"The entire cast plays off of one another so well, and their connections and relationships on the stage are moving, and quite solid. They have created a strong bond, and it’s incredible to see how well they interact and respond to each other. They really react and listen to what’s going on. The sets, props, and costumes compliment the characters in relation to their needs, and in furthering the story. There is an intent behind each change, and in how the lighting and sound effects are used."
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