Simpatico OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    Closing:
    October 15, 2017

    Theater: McCarter Theater Center / 91 University Place, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540

    Synopsis: 

    Buried secrets, blackmail, and false identities race onto the stage in Simpatico, a tragicomedy about the slippery netherworld of thoroughbred racing from Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Sam Shepard. When a simple phone call causes Carter and Vinnie’s shady past to resurface, fierce loyalties that were once hot-blooded begin to run astray. McCarter is proud to collaborate with the acclaimed Chicago ensemble A Red Orchid Theatreto bring this riveting American drama to Princeton, starring Tony and Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Nocturnal Animals, Long Day’s Journey Into Night) and members of A Red Orchid Theatre.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Simpatico

    Sam Shepard’s ‘Simpatico,’ Cut Loose and Roaming Wild

    Ben Brantley

    September 26, 2017:

    PRINCETON, N.J. — It’s hard to imagine a more exuberant wake for Sam Shepard than the party being thrown — and I mean thrown, like a beer bottle in a bar fight — at the McCarter Theater Center here. That’s where A Red Orchid Theater’s revival of his strange “Simpatico” is running — and jumping, stumbling, falling down drunk, writhing on the floor and gleefully reminding us of the fierce and anarchic humor of Shepard, who died in July.

    Though Shepard is, in my books, a great American playwright, “Simpatico,” first staged at the Public Theater in New York in 1995, is not a great play. On the page, at least, it finds its author awkwardly trying to shoehorn his fabled sense of a melting American identity into the intricate plots and counterplots of the genre known as noir.

    But as lyrical as Shepard could be as a prose writer, he is best experienced not on the page but the stage, where the raw physicality of his brand of theater can be given space to roam wild. That’s the space so jubilantly occupied by this production out of Chicago, directed by Dado and starring the off-center film star Michael Shannon in expertly demented form.

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