Ghost Stories OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 27, 2015
    Closing:
    June 28, 2015

    Theater: Atlantic Stage Two / 330 West 16th St., New York, New York, 10011

    Synopsis: 

    Atlantic’s final 2014/2015 season production is an intimate revival of two haunting short plays by our co-founder and one of America’s most influential dramatists, directed by Ensemble member Scott Zigler (Broadway’s "The Old Neighborhood"). The Shawl is the story of a bereaved woman who consults a small-time mystic for guidance. As the mystic collects clues to make contact with the dearly departed, will he help this woman through her grief, or merely help himself? In "Prairie du Chien," a railroad car speeding through the Wisconsin night is the setting for a story of obsessive jealousy, murder and suicide, punctuated by a friendly card game that explodes into a moment of menace.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Ghost Stories

    David Mamet’s ‘Ghost Stories,’ Bedtime Tales With a Gunshot

    Ben Brantley

    June 16, 2015: The lullaby of the locomotive has soothed the child to sleep. Or is it the soft, steady voice of the stranger in the train’s parlor car, telling a story to the boy’s father? Both noises are charged with a cadence that inspires even the wary to let go of worldly care and suspicions. Your eyelids grow heavy, heavier by the second. Such are the sounds of “Prairie du Chien,” the first of two short, early works by David Mamet that opened on Tuesday night at the Atlantic Theater’s Stage 2 under the title “Ghost Stories.” In truth, you could close your eyes and still feel the full hypnotic pull of this playful little drama from 1979, originally written for the radio. You might even be tempted to nod off. Be warned, though, that at some point, a gun will be fired, chasing away any thoughts of slumber. It’s never a good idea to be caught napping in the predatory world of Mr. Mamet. “Prairie du Chien” and its companion, “The Shawl” (1985), both directed by Scott Zigler, might be described as vocal exercises of a sort, introductions to how to talk crafty, Mamet-style. Their essence is captured in the speech that opens “The Shawl,” spoken by John (Arliss Howard), a quack clairvoyant, to a prospective patsy, Miss A (Mary McCann).

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