Appropriate OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • VULTURE

  • TM

  • DAILY NEWS

  • NY POST

Opening Night:
February 25, 2014
Closing:
April 13, 2014

Theater: Signature Theatre / 555 West 42nd. St., New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

The estranged members of the Lafayette clan have returned to Arkansas and their crumbling old plantation home to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. As they sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, the discovery of a gruesome relic and a surprise visitor send the family into a spiral of crackling confrontations, repressed histories, and regret.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Appropriate

    A Squabbling Family Kept in the Dark. In ‘Appropriate,’ Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Subverts Tradition

    Ben Brantley

    March 16, 2014: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins admits he is a thief. This is a refreshing and useful confession. For as you watch Appropriate — his very fine, subversively original new play at the Pershing Square Signature Center — you’re sure to find yourself thinking of a host of literary antecedents for this seemingly traditional family melodrama. From the first scene, in which a road-weary young couple’s spooky entrance into a derelict house summons the opening of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins’s story of one unhappy clan’s reunion in the shadow of death suggests a century-spanning anthology of similarly themed classics. Once again, we are faced with a flock of dissatisfied relatives, flown back to the old homestead for one last angry feast of guilt and recrimination.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF Appropriate

    Theater Review: Appropriate Explains Too Much and Says Too Little

    Jesse Green

    March 16, 2014: Tolstoy never really proved his thesis that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. But the three messed-up ménages in residence at the Signature Theatre these days — one martialist, one minimalist, and one maximalist — certainly do. In David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu, on the Diamond Stage, Bruce Lee is constantly humiliated by his father, even from beyond the grave. The unnamed inhabitants of Will Eno’s The Open House, at The Linney, are so emotionally defective they must each be replaced, like Brand X toasters past their warranty. And then there are the Lafayettes, screaming, drinking, and hair-pulling their way through Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Appropriate, at the Griffin. They make the other clans look like Cleavers, and make you want to wield one.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Appropriate

    Appropriate

    David Gordon

    March 16, 2014: A great concept gone wrong is one of the bigger heartbreakers in drama. Such is the case with Appropriate, a new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Signature Theatre. In a nod to nearly every family drama ever written, Appropriate is set in the rambling, ramshackle Southern home of a deceased patriarch, whose children have returned to posthumously divvy the estate. That group includes disgraced school principal Toni (Johanna Day), wealthy New York businessman Bo (Michael Laurence), and Franz (Patch Darragh), the black sheep formerly known as Frank who just showed up, climbing through a window, after a 10-year absence. They're joined by respective family members, Toni's teenage son Rhys (Mike Faist), Bo's Jewish wife, Rachael (Maddie Corman), and their children, Cassidy (Izzy Hanson-Johnston) and Ainsley (Alex Dreier), along with Franz's new fiancée, River (Sonya Harum).

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Appropriate

    ‘Appropriate,’ theater review

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    March 16, 2014: There’s probably a worthwhile, if well-worn, story of unwanted and inescapable family legacies lurking in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play Appropriate. Too bad the virtues of this comedy-drama are hidden in director Liesl Tommy’s miscalibrated production. After their father’s death, the three Lafayette siblings, plus their spouses, significant others and kids, reunite at the Arkansas plantation where the sibs spent youthful summers. The home, once grand, is now in ruin. Creepy, too, with a family cemetery and slave graveyard nearby. The burial grounds deftly set the scene for grim history, while hinting at feuds to be unearthed. As cicadas buzz raucously, it gets even noisier inside the house.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Appropriate

    Old family feuds float up to the surface in ‘Appropriate’

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    March 17, 2014: Just because a story is familiar doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. So while there’s very little that’s fresh in Appropriate, the show’s still a fun ride. Hailed as a vibrant new voice after shows such as An Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins turns to a genre classic — the explosive family reunion. Even better: the explosive Southern family reunion. Because few things are more dramatic than genteel people feuding about their complicated past while cicadas buzz in the background. Exhibit A: August: Osage County.

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