Gabriel OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • VARIETY

  • BACKSTAGE

  • TM

Opening Night:
May 13, 2010
Closing:
June 6, 2010

Theater: Atlantic Theater Co. Linda Gross Theater / 336 West 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011

Synopsis: 

Gabriel is set around a largely forgotten moment in British history - the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. A naked young man washes up on a Guernsey beach. Unnervingly handsome and fluent in both German and English, he has no recollection of who he is - patriot or Nazi…innocent or madman. Gabriel explores the heart of memory, identity and imagination, as well as the lies people tell themselves and each other to make the darkness light again.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Gabriel

    An Assault on Hearts and Minds

    Charles Isherwood

    May 14, 2010: Just about the last thing you would expect to see on a New York stage today — or maybe want to see on a New York stage today — is a juicy romantic melodrama set during World War II. The musty attractions of the genre are best savored in the wee hours of the night, surely, when sleeplessness torments and Turner Classic Movies beckons. Or maybe in a downtown drag bar, where the plucky heroine is portrayed by a biological male outfitted with Joan Crawford shoulder pads.

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  • NY POST REVIEW OF Gabriel

    Nazis Capture Tiny British Isle but Lose the Plot

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    May 14, 2010: Quite a few stock characters and situations are packed into "Gabriel," the 1997 British play that opened last night at the Atlantic. First and foremost is the jolly, poetry-quoting Nazi officer (Zach Grenier), lording it over an occupied village. Also familiar are the flirty-but-determined widow (Lisa Emery) who protects her family by maintaining "good relations" with the Germans; the woman's grave little girl (Libby Woodbridge), fighting the enemy in her own way; and the sexy daughter-in-law (Samantha Soule), falling for the mysterious hunk of the title (Lee Aaron Rosen), who can be anything to anyone because he has amnesia.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Gabriel

    Gabriel

    Marilyn Stasio

    May 14, 2010: A house of women in wartime makes a promising starting point for "Gabriel," which won Moira Buffini the 1997 LTW Award when it was produced by London's Soho Theater. Helmer David Esbjornson lays sensitive hands on the WWII story -- which takes place in the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands and asks how far a woman will go to protect her family -- and the Atlantic comes through with a superb cast and savvy tech support. But while the characters struggle to resist their impulses, romantic and otherwise, the conflicts produce more emotional anxiety than dramatic tension. This one gets respect, but no transfer.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Gabriel

    Gabriel

    Erik Haagensen

    May 14, 2010: The Playbill for "Gabriel" says only that it takes place on "an island on the edge of a foreign occupation." But the lobby historical displays, press palaver, and even the dialogue specifically place it on Guernsey Island, one of the Channel Islands belonging to Britain but overrun by the Nazis during World War II. Playwright Moira Buffini's self-conscious vagueness seems indicative of a desire for universality, but it's probably more about the well-worn story she's telling. Buffini tries to elevate her tale into something new by focusing on weighty issues of morality, throwing in touches of mysticism, and writing much of the script in blank verse. Ultimately, though, she doesn't find a fresh angle on the eternal tango of occupiers and the occupied.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Gabriel

    Gabriel

    Dan Bacalzo

    May 14, 2010: The title character of Moira Buffini's Gabriel, now playing at the Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater, could be an Englishman or a Nazi, an angel or a mere mortal. All he remembers is falling from the sky prior to landing in the German-occupied Channel Islands in 1943. The situation allows the playwright to have other characters project their own hopes and desires upon this tabula rasa, but while director David Esbjornson's production contains several compelling performances, it can't quite cover up some of the work's flaws.

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