Medieval Play OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • WSJ

  • DAILY NEWS

  • NY POST

  • NJ NEWSROOM

  • TM

Opening Night:
June 7, 2012
Closing:
June 24, 2012

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

Synopsis: 

Two French mercenary knights set out on a quest for relative moral redemption against the classic comic background of late 14th century ecclesiastical politics. A story of friendship, love, noble feats of arms, indiscriminate brutality, the progressive refinement of medieval table manners and the general decline of the chivalric ideal at the onset of the Great Papal Schism of 1378. A new and meandering comedy with no contemporary parallels worth noting by Kenneth Lonergan.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    The Hundred Years’ War Certainly Did Drag On

    Ben Brantley

    June 7, 2012: Bloated, gaseous, archly self-conscious and on occasion truly funny, Kenneth Lonergan’s “Medieval Play” is like a vintage “Saturday Night Live” sketch that won’t die. Imagine a skit from, say, the mid-1970s, in which John Belushi and Chevy Chase portray violent, inept knights clunking around in cumbersome armor and talking about looting and plundering in goofy pseudo-chivalric speech. Now imagine that for some reason this is a night when the show’s guest host and its musical stars have disappeared, and the word comes that Chevy, John, Gilda, et alia must keep on with this particular sketch until otherwise notified. And because of technical problems, it’s impossible to cut to a commercial, so the cameras keep rolling. And rolling. And rolling.

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  • WALL STREET JOURNAL REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    A Side-Splitting Schism

    Terry Teachout

    June 7, 2012: Kenneth Lonergan is a master of subtle, intimate theatrical naturalism who decisively established himself in "This Is Our Youth," "You Can Count on Me" and "The Starry Messenger" as one of America's foremost playwrights and screenwriters. But he is also, lest we forget, a co-author of the screenplay for "Analyze This," and his broadly comic side comes to the fore in "Medieval Play," a mile-wide farce about the Great Schism of 1378 that has about as much in common with "The Starry Messenger" as "Airplane!" has with "The Seventh Seal." "Medieval Play" is billed as "a new and meandering comedy with no contemporary parallels worth noting." I suspect that this blurb was penned by Mr. Lonergan himself, because it nicely conveys the feel of "Medieval Play," which is by turns silly and sophomoric, surprisingly smart, very funny and—sure enough—meandering.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    ‘Medieval Play’ by Kenneth Lonergan

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    June 7, 2012: In his very fine plays “Lobby Hero” and “Waverly Gallery” and the film “You Can Count on Me,” Kenneth Lonergan proved himself a thoughtful and detailed observer of modern-day relationships. In his latest work, “Medieval Play,” which he also directs, he takes a giant step backward — in every sense. Set in late-14th-century Europe, the action follows a knight on a quest for moral redemption. If it sounds like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch waiting to happen, that’s not too far off the mark.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    Give ‘Medieval’ the rack

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    June 7, 2012: The witless “Medieval Play” might have been written by a cocky 16-year-old boy. And not just any boy, but one eager to show off his arcane erudition (the story revolves around 14th-century papal wars) and irreverent sense of humor (cue anachronistic jokes and pointless profanity).

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  • NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    ‘Medieval Play’ makes little sense of darker ages

    Michael Sommers

    June 7, 2012: In short, which this latest work by Kenneth Lonergan certainly is not, “Medieval Play” is a potentially smart 90-minute comedy desperately trapped within a two hour and 45 minute-long fat suit of self-indulgent playwriting. Opening on Thursday at the Pershing Square Signature Center, “Medieval Play” sporadically hammers out some hearty laughs but disappointingly proves to be a slack, overstuffed effort by the talented author of “Lobby Hero” and “This is Our Youth.” It is hard not to think Monty Python as Lonergan dispatches two bumbling, tattered mercenary knights through the 1376-78 throes of medieval France and Italy. Sir Ralph (an endearing Josh Hamilton) and his chum Sir Alfred (an affable Tate Donovan) participate in various bloody horrors of the era while chatting about them in modern-day words and mindsets.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Medieval Play

    Food and Fadwa

    David Finkle

    June 8, 2012: Food and Fadwa, now at New York Theatre Workshop under Shana Gold's direction, proves to be a mildly effective, if well-acted, look at a Palestinian family dealing with, among its many issues, a harsh Israeli-imposed curfew in their Bethlehem home (nicely designed by Andromache Chalfant). One suspects, however, that the comedy-drama itself might have been harsher than it is in its treatment of Israeli rule -- there's a brief reference to the loss of an olive-tree orchard, presumably to make room for new Jewish settlements -- but co-authors Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader clearly opted (perhaps unwisely) for a lower-key approach.

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