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LUTHER OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: June 8, 2012
THEATRE IS EASY
Synopsis: Walter and Marjorie are a pretty ordinary couple. They live in an “up-and-coming” neighborhood in a major city, and they’re financially stretched thin no matter how hard they work (Walter in a boring and underpaid office job and Marjorie as a freelancer). They have good hearts, but they don’t always remember to treat each other kindly with all the stress they’re under. They’re desperately looking forward to a long-overdue vacation (as Marjorie says, “If we lived in a civilized society where 80 percent of our income didn’t go to rent, we might even take one every decade”) and, somewhat over Marjorie’s objections, they have to go to Walter’s office party tonight. And then, there’s Luther.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Can a man who kills other men for money retain his humanity? What if his employer is the United States government? This question, as it pertains to the psychological and sociological fate of American veterans, is one that the country has never been quite comfortable answering, especially now that less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military. Suicides among active-duty soldiers are at a record high, and only about three-quarters of veterans who served after Sept. 11 have jobs. Disturbing stuff, certainly, but what can disconnected civilians do about it? Slap bumper stickers on our minivans? “Luther,” running at Here Arts Center as part of the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks 2012 festival, offers a more visceral alternative. "
"While dressing for a party, a pleasant pair of urbanites mulls over vacation plans and debates whether to bring somebody called Luther with them to the soiree. Would he enjoy himself? Will he behave? Judging by the concerned paternal tones, Luther might be their child or maybe even a beloved pet. "
"At the outset of Ethan Lipton’s Luther (the second entry in Clubbed Thumb’s annual Summerworks Festival), all we know about Luther is that he can’t be left alone when Walter and Marjorie go on that trip. He’s part of their family unit, but how: Is he a pet? A child? An invalid under their care? Whoever or whatever he is, he’s half-asleep under an afghan on their couch as they bicker while they get ready for the party. Then Marjorie has the idea to bring Luther—somewhat over Walter’s objections this time, as it’s possible Luther might get “psychotically oversensitive.” He has in the past, after all."
"More than halfway through the enigmatic "Luther," the second entry in Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks 2012 festival, I thought I finally discovered the solution to the puzzle that is Ethan Lipton's play: "Luther's a dog!" I said to myself. Well, maybe not."
"A new take on a timeless issue, Luther explores what happens to veterans who return to life post-war. Told as a darkly comedic character study, the play offers insight into the plight of the veteran. And because it is so theatrical (for example, a few of the characters are portrayed as hand puppets) the subject matter's melodramatic trap is avoided. Luther is effective as a metaphor rather than an after-school special."
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