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LOOT OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: January 16, 2014
NY THEATRE GUIDE
THE EPOCH TIMES
Synopsis: One of the 20th Century’s most subversive comic masterpieces, this “Comedy of Horrors” is a merciless satire of religious hypocrisy, middle-class British morality, and blind faith in authority.
The McLeavy’s are in mourning, but young Hal and his partner-in-crime need someplace to stash their loot. When Scotland Yard’s finest comes sniffing about, no one escapes suspicion, from the naughty nurse to dear old gardening dad. And where did Mrs. McLeavy’s body go? Orton’s wicked stew of Oscar Wilde and Kafka is sexy, sharp-witted, and shocking.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"The comic payoffs arrive only sporadically in the new production of Joe Orton’s Loot at the Lucille Lortel Theater. Those deliciously perverse epigrams whiz through the air, and the corpse of a beloved wife is frantically hauled about a parlor like a medicine ball being flung around at a gym. But the deadpan style that best serves these antics often slips into a kind of winking archness that announces an awareness of the inspired lunacy of it all. The production, directed by Jesse Berger for the Red Bull Theater, hits its marks with an air of studied effort that tends to put the brakes on the mayhem."
"Few things age as badly as provocation.
Joe Orton’s black comedy “Loot” raised hackles when it opened in England in 1965. The show has all the trappings of farce — slamming doors, surprise twists, someone hidden in a cupboard — but with a gleefully amoral tone. Stolen money is stashed in a coffin, bisexual thieves are in cahoots with a sexy murderous nurse, and the person in the closet is actually dead."
"Is it possible for a play to be so tautly written and marvelously constructed that it can overcome a thoroughly lackluster production? In the case of the Red Bull Theater's new Off Broadway revival of Joe Orton's Loot — quite possibly the most audacious black comic farce of the 20th century — that titanium-strength durability is certainly put to the test. Director Jesse Berger's misfire of a revival, playing through Feb. 9 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, is a keenly designed but woefully under-rehearsed production that ultimately does a disservice to one of the sharpest wits since Oscar Wilde."
"Joe Orton’s writing requires acrobatic skills. Think The Marx Brothers meet the Flying Karamazov Brothers. He uses language as if each word were a flaming torch to be tossed at the other actors or even past the lights and out into the audience. It requires a facile tongue and the understanding that when you speak at a brisk pace your pronunciation is all about the consonants. Vowels take care of themselves."
"No social institutions are safe from Joe Orton’s withering pen in his play Loot. Not for the prudish or faint of heart, the play is, however, very, very funny.
Less might have been more. I would have preferred a more realistic style all around.
In any case, Loot, being both silly as well as serious, does make for a fun evening in the theater."
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