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GRACELAND OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: May 17, 2010
Synopsis: Graceland is a comedic drama about two estranged siblings who are reunited when they try to make sense of their father's recent suicide.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Last time I checked, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief did not include a sixth consisting of getting wildly drunk, picking up an older man and then canoodling with his teenage son. But we all have our own ways of coping, right? "
"Elvis is nowhere in sight in "Graceland" -- and there's not much grace here, either. This comedy/drama by young Chicago playwright Ellen Fairey, now getting its New York premiere by Lincoln Center's LCT3 offshoot, concerns the aftermath of a suicide."
"The title of Ellen Fairey's new play "Graceland," presented by Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3 program for new playwrights, directors, and designers, does not refer to Elvis Presley's mansion in Nashville but to a cemetery in Chicago. Fairey displays an appealingly dark sense of humor by setting much of her story in a such a location, as well as a keen eye for character development and relationships, but she settles for sitcom laughs a tad too often. "
"Playwrights rarely focus on healthy, self-actualized people because, well, that would probably be boring. However, stories about dysfunctional underachievers screwing up their lives at every turn aren’t exactly fresh, especially in this age of quirky character-driven indie cinema. The lauded Chicago import Graceland—which feels more like a Sundance semi-finalist than something that needs to be on a stage—marks Ellen Fairey’s New York debut. The writer has a sharp ear for dialogue and a palpable empathy for lost souls, but heavy-handed symbolism, a weak pivotal performance and an unaffecting denouement hamper whatever grace this show has.
"Tragedy and comedy mix uneasily in Ellen Fairey's Graceland, now being presented by LCT3 at the Duke on 42nd Street. But while Henry Wishcamper's direction sometimes struggles with striking the right tone, he has guided a strong cast, led by the amazing Marin Hinkle, who makes every deeply felt moment seem natural. "
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