_______ A OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • Opening Night:
    September 11, 2017
    Closing:
    October 8, 2017

    Theater: Signature Theatre / 555 West 42nd. St., New York, NY,

    Synopsis: 

    In _______ A, Hester Smith, the revered and reviled local abortionist, hatches a plan to buy her jailed son’s freedom—and nothing will deter Hester from her quest. In this wild-eyed blend of story and song, directed by Obie Award-winner Jo Bonney (Father Comes Home From the Wars), Hester’s branded letter A becomes a provocative emblem of vengeance, violence, and sacrifice.

    This play is being produced in tandem with Suzan-Lori Parks' In the Blood, directed by Sarah Benson, as part of the event we are calling The Red Letter Plays, a unique opportunity to see two plays by one writer in dialogue with each other.

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  • NY TIMES REVIEW OF _______ A

    A Play With a Crude Name and a Powerfully Dark View

    Ben Brantley

    September 12, 2017:

    The two women sharing a late-night tipple call things as they see them, and that includes each other.

    “Whore!” says the gaunt figure with the branded chest and the bloody apron, played by a raw-faced Christine Lahti. Her companion, who wears a curve-hugging yellow dress (and is embodied by Joaquina Kalukango), replies in kind: “Baby butcher!”

    And with that exchange of salutations, they clink their glasses and sing a cheerful song of grim endurance. “It’s not that we love what we do, but we do it,” they trill darkly, informed by the dubious confidence that while the society they inhabit may revile them, it can’t do without them either.

    This stark musical moment occurs in the first scene of the Signature Theater’s compelling revival of a Suzan-Lori Parks play first staged in New York 14 years ago. It’s a forthright, comfortably uncomfortable vignette that offers an early and reassuring sign that those involved with this vibrantly reincarnated work know what they’re doing, as surely as the whore and the baby butcher (or abortionist) do.

    READ THE REVIEW

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