A Strange and Separate People OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • BACKSTAGE

  • TM

  • TALKIN' BWAY

Opening Night:
July 19, 2011
Closing:
July 30, 2011

Theater: Studio Theatre at Theatre Row / 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

A Strange and Separate People is an emotionally rich play. An Upper West Side young Orthodox couple, Jay and Phyllis, have managed to find a precarious equilibrium in their complicated personal and religious lives. However, that delicate balance is severely tested when Stuart, a doctor who is handsome, cocky, strangely charismatic gay man who is newly Orthodox, invades their lives. These are three intelligent, opinionated people who have a deep love of their religion AND an enormous love of learning and questioning even authority points of view. At times these separate loves ferociously clash in a contemporary story of betrayal and new beginnings.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF A Strange and Separate People

    A Gay Man Seeks a Place in an Orthodox World

    David Rooney

    July 19, 2011: In his evocative 2009 docudrama, “The Temperamentals,” the playwright Jon Marans examined the stigma of being gay in pre-Stonewall America, when the threat of exposure could leave friendships, careers and even lives dangling by a thread.

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  • NY POST REVIEW OF A Strange and Separate People

    No shades of gray in contrived gay play

    Frank Scheck

    July 19, 2011: Love triangles are always complicated. But the one in "A Strange and Separate People" is more convoluted than most. In this new play by Jon Marans ("The Temperamentals," "Old Wicked Songs"), the marriage of an Orthodox Jewish couple unravels when the husband becomes romantically involved with another man -- also Orthodox, but of the "ba'al tshuvah," or newly religious, kind.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF A Strange and Separate People

    A Strange and Separate People

    Erik Haagensen

    July 19, 2011: "A Strange and Separate People," playwright Jon Marans' follow-up to his superb Harry Hay bio-play "The Temperamentals," doesn't lack for dramatic subject matter: Infidelity, autism, male privilege, religiously observant gay Orthodox Jews, and reparative therapy intended to "cure" homosexuality are all part of it. Unfortunately, Marans hasn't yet managed to tie them securely to fully realized characters. With Jeff Calhoun's overwrought direction in the tiny Studio Theatre only emphasizing the script's penchant for melodrama, this rather odd three-hander, while exuding a tantalizing promise, bumps about awkwardly over the course of 90 intermissionless minutes.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF A Strange and Separate People

    A Strange and Separate People

    Dan Bacalzo

    July 20, 2011: "I'm planning on being the first of a new breed of orthodox men. Discreet, but open," says Stuart (Noah Weisberg) in Jon Marans;' A Strange and Separate People, now playing the Studio Theatre at Theatre Row. While the play is certainly provocative as it looks at the largely unexplored intersection of sexuality and Orthodox Judaism, it is also somewhat labored and none too subtle in making its personal and political points.

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  • TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW OF A Strange and Separate People

    A Strange and Separate People

    Matthew Murray

    July 20, 2011: In his excellent 2009 play The Temperamentals, Jon Marans told the story of how one disaffected group of gay activists effected major change by establishing a community to combat the discrimination around them. Marans’s newest play, A Strange and Separate People, which just opened at the Theatre Row Studio Theatre, concerns how gay men participate in perhaps an even more exclusionary community: that of Orthodox Jews on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It’s a premise loaded with promise, but the play, at least in this inaugural production directed by Jeff Calhoun, does not fulfill all of it.

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