Carnival Round the Central Figure OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TM

  • NY THEATRE

  • BACKSTAGE

  • EXAMINER

Opening Night:
January 17, 2011
Closing:
January 30, 2011

Theater: IRT Theater / 154 Christopher Street, third floor, New York, NY, 10014

Synopsis: 

Carnival Round the Central Figure concerns a young dying man who must cope with the last moments of life while a circus of chatter, denial, positive thinking, and religious fervor swirls crazily around him. One girl tries to walk to his bedside simply to tell him it's okay to go, but is stopped by the absurd razzle-da...zzle around him.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Death Be Not Predictable

    Ken Jaworowski

    January 20, 2011: “How do you think he looks? Better?” the dying man’s wife asks a visitor to his hospital room. The hopefulness in her voice is unmistakable. But the gaunt 38-year-old patient is clearly not long for this world. Still, his wife babbles on about his future, using words as a wall to hold back her despair and support her denial.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Chris Kompanek

    January 18, 2011: Diana Amsterdam's Carnival Round The Central Figure, now at IRT, is a vaudevillian meditation on mortality, weaving a deathbed scene in-between gospel numbers from a fictitious evangelical TV show. Despite the fine efforts of director Karen Kohlass, these transitions are often jarring and the dialogue is often maddeningly repetitive and frustrating in its circuitous nature.

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  • NY THEATRE REVIEW OF Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Rachel Merrill Moss

    January 14, 2011: Western medicine, religion and death—oh my! Death and the fun-house carnival of skewed expectations and manipulations that surround it are the focus of Diana Amsterdam’s play, Carnival Round the Central Figure, now playing at the IRT Theatre.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Carnival Round the Central Figure

    Mitch Montgomery

    January 17, 2011: Comedies don't come much darker than Diana Amsterdam's "Carnival Round the Central Figure," a hard-core but justified lampooning of the strange etiquette we adhere to when watching loved ones pass away. Amsterdam's relentless script, which premiered in a student production 16 years ago, makes a glib burlesque out of the oblique religious platitudes, idle chitchat, and straight-up dishonesty we typically inflict upon the dying. Director Karen Kohlhaas has jauntily pieced IRT's current production together, and though the play's intense ruminations on the end of life can get very bleak, it makes a touching case for, as Sigmund Freud said, making friends with the necessity of dying.

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  • EXAMINER REVIEW OF Carnival Round the Central Figure

    ‘Carnival Round the Central Figure’ – You Can’t Deny the Inevitable!

    Sandi Durell

    January 18, 2011: The topic of death and dying can be off-putting even if you are one of the cognoscenti, making it one of the ‘untouchable’ topics of conversation or even thought. Not so for Diana Amsterdam, Carnival’s playwright. In fact, it’s a playground to explore the ways in which humanity deals with the ultimate truth through religion, silly chatter and platitudes. A production of the IRT Theatre, it is directed by Karen Kohlhaas with all the intensity it deserves.

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