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ASUNCION OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: October 27, 2011
Synopsis: In Academy Award-nominated actor and up-and-coming playwright Jesse Eisenberg's play Asuncion, Edgar and Vinny are not racist. In fact, Edgar maintains a blog condemning American imperialism and Vinny is three-quarters into a PhD in Black Studies. When a young Filipina woman named Asuncion becomes their new roommate, the pair have a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how open minded they truly are.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"“I want to be fun,” says Edgar, the confused and aimless character played by Jesse Eisenberg in “Asuncion,” a new play also written by Mr. Eisenberg that opened at the Cherry Lane Theater on Thursday night in a Rattlestick Playwrights Theater production. The pleading tone in which Edgar makes this pitiable statement says all you need to know about his past, present and future as a party animal."
"Jesse Eisenberg has written himself a juicy acting role in "Asuncion" as an idealistic social reformer whose intellectual pretensions make him the exact opposite of Mark Zuckerberg, the scary-cool Facebook founder Eisenberg played in "The Social Network." Scribe throws this young jerk a neat theatrical curve when he introduces him and his smug roommate to a Filipina who challenges their patronizing assumptions about class and ethnic identity. But Eisenberg puts no further demands on his characters, leaving them frozen in a sitcom plot that goes nowhere."
"Actors-turned-playwrights are proliferating this theater season, and two prominent Off Broadway debuts -- Zach Braff’s All Good People and Zoe Kazan’s We Live Here -- have provided no compelling reason to celebrate the trend. But while those plays displayed too little skill, maturity or emotional authenticity to justify the production resources lavished upon them, Jesse Eisenberg’s Asuncion shows promise."
"They say that travel broadens the mind, but globe-trotting appears to have retarded Edgar (Eisenberg), a limply leftist Gen Y emo-twit who once spent two days on layover in Cambodia. From this Third World toe dip, Edgar has appointed himself an anti-imperialist crusader and speak-truth-to-power journalist (well, blogger). When Asuncion (Mana), the sweet, Filipina wife of Edgar’s stock-trader brother (Auberjonois), crashes with Edgar for a couple of days, our squirrelly hero concocts a mission: She’s Asian, his brother’s a macho jerk, so it must follow that Asuncion is a mail-order bride/sex slave. Edgar will liberate her through reportage."
"If you want to score easy laughs, put a wacky dance in your play. Having characters trip on acid is another time-tested recipe. “Better safe than sorry,” Jesse Eisenberg must have thought, so he included both in “Asuncion,” his off-Broadway playwriting debut."
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