The Realistic Joneses BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • Realistic
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • HR

  • VARIETY

  • NBC

Opening Night:
April 6, 2014
Closing:
July 6, 2014

Theater: Lyceum Theatre / 149 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Meet Bob and Jennifer, and their new neighbors John and Pony, two suburban couples who have more in common than their identical homes and the same last name on their mailboxes.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    Plugging Away at Living, Come What May

    Charles Isherwood

    April 6, 2014: Plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as The Realistic Joneses, by Will Eno, do not appear often on Broadway. Or ever, really. You’re as likely to see a tumbleweed lolloping across 42nd Street as you are to see something as daring as Mr. Eno’s meditation on the confounding business of being alive (or not) sprouting where only repurposed movies, plays by dead people and blaring musicals tend to thrive. Broadway has long been a place inhospitable to the truly active currents of contemporary theater, so the opening of Mr. Eno’s play at the Lyceum Theater on Sunday night, in a production insured against instantaneous death (one hopes) by the presence of a few name stars — Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall and Marisa Tomei, alongside the less famous but no less gifted Tracy Letts — is an occasion worth celebrating.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    The Realistic Joneses: Theater review by David Cote

    David Cote

    April 6, 2014: Will Eno’s Broadway debut is a unique opportunity for the idiosyncratic writer to alienate and irritate whole new demographics. Cranky defenders of well-made plays will fume over its laconic non sequiturs and semantic literalism. Those who rarely go to dramas but are attracted by the celebrity cast will be mystified and assume it went “over their heads.” Then there’s that small sliver of open-minded folk ignorant of Eno’s work who may walk away converted. At least that’s the hope. Broadway is averse to new plays—especially Eno’s weird, postabsurdist kind. Still, The Realistic Joneses might signal a softer, more approachable phase for the playwright. Its title mocks realism and monoculture (both its suburban couples are named Jones), but there’s a core of sympathy and, well, normalcy that seems new from the author of the icily hostile Thom Pain (based on nothing.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    The Realistic Joneses: Theater Review

    David Rooney

    April 6, 2014: In a typically double-edged moment in The Realistic Joneses, Marisa Tomei's frightened character takes a clumsy stab at praying. "You're probably, like, my God, what is this even about?" she muses to the Almighty. Audiences drawn solely by the impressive cast might share that confusion, given what a bold departure this represents for commercially risk-averse Broadway. The absurdist intellectual humor of playwright Will Eno is very much an acquired taste, provoking as much discomfort as laughs, and placing him somewhere between Samuel Beckett and Edward Albee. But theatergoers willing to dive into the sea of ellipses in this mordant, melancholy existential sitcom will find the waters bracing.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    Broadway Review: ‘The Realistic Joneses’

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 6, 2014: It’s the words, stupid. That’s what Will Eno keeps telling us in his hypnotically quirky plays. What separates the men from the beasts? The words. What saves humanity from extinction? The words. What keeps us from killing ourselves? The words. So what happens when language starts slipping away? That’s the existential nightmare that this madly interesting scribe depicts in The Realistic Joneses. Operating under the gold standard set by helmer Sam Gold, the marvelous cast — Tracy Letts, Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, and Marisa Tomei — savors every syllable as if it were their last.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    Review: Keeping Up with These "Joneses" Isn't Easy

    Robert Kahn

    April 6, 2014: The Realistic Joneses, a new comedy by playwright Will Eno, is one of those unbearable-lightness-of-being plays that ask: “What does it all mean, anyway?” In this case, the weighty questions of the universe are pondered by a top-notch cast: Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei. Now open at The Lyceum Theatre, the 90-minute, one-act piece is directed by Sam Gold, who has wowed us in the last year with Fun Home at The Public and with Cradle Will Rock, part of the City Center Encores! series.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF The Realistic Joneses

    Stage Review The Realistic Joneses

    Melissa Rose Bernardo

    April 6, 2014: 'When the dead squirrel gets thrown away, that's usually our cue to head on home,'' declares John Jones (Dexter's Michael C. Hall) in the first scene of The Realistic Joneses, the chatty yet curiously empty Broadway debut from minimalist wordsmith Will Eno. And how do you top an expired rodent, a backyard barbecue tool burial, and a trashcan-side eulogy for that squirrel (''And off you go, into the great oak tree in the sky…'')? Eno's latest work is actually full of eccentric comedy — none of which springs from the obvious convention of assigning all four characters the same boring last name: neighbors/married couples Pony (Oscar winner Marisa Tomei) and John (Hall), and Jennifer (Toni Collette) and Bob (the ferocious Tracy Letts, the Tony-winning writer of August: Osage County and star of last year's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

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