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INTIMACY OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: January 29, 2014
NEW YORK THEATER
Synopsis: Come on a surprising journey with three families in a well-manicured, multi-racial American town. When secrets and sexual desires suddenly explode, pleasant neighborly relations take same shocking and transformative turns. Intimacy explicitly explores on stage what goes on behind closed doors, between the sheets, and sometimes even... in front of the camera.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"The land of id is flooded with sunshine in Thomas Bradshaw’s Intimacy, the sensationally square new play that is putting the X (make that triple X) back into sex on 42nd Street. Pornography is the subject of this sui generis comedy from the New Group, which opened on Wednesday night on Theater Row. You might even say that porn is its form. But don’t expect shadows of shame or self-consciousness to linger over the suburban neighbors who populate Intimacy, directed with nary a wink or a smirk by Scott Elliott at the Acorn Theater. Sex, in its many manifestations, is considered beyond joking, remorse or censure. Mr. Bradshaw is doing his best to pre-empt the awkward responses we might normally bring to the spectator sport of watching others copulate. "
"Another Thomas Bradshaw play at the New Group, another boinkathon with full-frontal nudity — plus added shockeroos of flying body fluids and a noisy bowel movement that makes you want to evacuate your seat. The show earns the title: Intimacy. Set in the suburbs, the story follows three neighboring families. James (Daniel Gerroll) is a widower dealing with grief, sexual desire and his teenaged son Matthew (Austin Cauldwell), a horny aspiring filmmaker."
"The playwright Thomas Bradshaw isn’t much interested in your pleasure, but he sure seems to enjoy your discomfort. Sex, violence, humiliation, and racism are not just themes for him; they’re stage directions. In works like Purity, Southern Promises, The Bereaved, and Burning, he took explicitness of all kinds to a level guaranteed to cause walkouts or worse. Scott Brown, writing for Vulture about The New Group’s production of Burning in 2011, used the words “turgid,” “psychopathic,” and “wartlike.” They fall short in describing Intimacy, Bradshaw’s followup provocation, also at the New Group. After all, Burning was merely (as the director of both, Scott Elliot, writes in a program note) “a seminal experience.” Intimacy, especially from the front row, is that and more."
"Intimacy, the latest provocation by Thomas Bradshaw, begins with promise and ends in pornography. A fresh-faced teenager, Matthew (Austin Caldwell), delivers a heartfelt monologue about his father , who has been grieving the death of his mother. Matthew played the piano because his mother wanted him to, but now that she’s died he feels his real passion is in filmmaking. For the next half hour or so, we meet the rest of the characters, seven in all, who are members of three families. They are neighbors in some unnamed suburb, and are seen side by side on the stage, sitting on couches, lounging on chairs, watching television. The early scenes seem nearly wholesome, and realistic, with just a hint of sexuality – two of the couples talk about a third who had an open relationship, for example."
"Even shock shtick only goes so far. I first encountered the machinations of Thomas Bradshaw in late 2011, when The New Group presented his Burning, a tragicomic cluster-collage about the confluence of art, gay sex, and neo-Nazism in... oh, forget it. Though its unchecked tonal confusion was not to my taste, it at least seemed as though Bradshaw was trying, however flailingly, to comment on the world or the human condition. Now his new work, Intimacy, being presented again by The New Group at the Acorn Theatre, has oozed open free of even that minuscule burden.
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