Illyria OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 30, 2017
    Closing:
    November 26, 2017

    Theater: Public Theater/ LuEsther Hall, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

    Synopsis: 

    It is 1958, and New York City is in the midst of a major building boom; a four-lane highway is planned for the heart of Washington Square; Carnegie Hall is designated for demolition; entire neighborhoods on the West Side are leveled to make room for a new "palace of art." And a young Joe Papp and his colleagues face betrayals, self-inflicted wounds, and anger from the city’s powerful elite as they continue their free Shakespeare productions in Central Park.

    From the creator of the most celebrated family plays of the last decade comes a drama about a different kind of family – one held together by the simple and incredibly complicated belief that the theater, and the city, belong to all of us.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Illyria

    ‘Illyria’ Eavesdrops on a Young Joe Papp and Friends

    Ben Brantley

    October 30, 2017:

    You have been invited to eavesdrop on a great man’s birthday party. He is not, at this point, widely regarded as any kind of titan. The mantle that will later be conferred by headlines, testimonials and biographies has yet to fall upon his shoulders.

    But if you keep quiet and behave well, even when others at this improvised shindig do not, you’ll hear the murmur of cultural history in the making. Strange, isn’t it, how very ordinary it sounds? And how annoyingly aggrieved and, well, small the birthday boy appears in his sulky silence.

    Richard Nelson’s “Illyria,” a grave and gossipy whisper of a play set in the Bohemian grooves of Manhattan in 1958, portrays a time when our 37-year-old birthday boy was down on his luck and feeling defeated. His name, by the way, is Joe Papp. That’s the guy who founded the Public Theater, which is the place where Mr. Nelson’s latest drama opened on Monday night.

    READ THE REVIEW

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