Red Speedo OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 17, 2016
    Closing:
    March 27, 2016

    Theater: NY Theatre Workshop / 79 East 4th Street, New York, NY, 10003

    Synopsis: 

    Hailed as "one of the brightest new voices of his generation" by The New York Times, Lucas Hnath ("The Christians," "...Walt Disney") makes his NYTW debut with "Red Speedo," a muscular new play directed by NYTW Usual Suspect Lileana Blain-Cruz. Set on the eve of the Olympic swim trials, pressure builds as front-runner Ray confronts the lure of endorsements, the perils of mixing the personal and professional, and the unforgiving weight of success. Through Hnath's signature dark wit and exacting language, Red Speedo is a captivating exploration of America's obsession with winning at all costs.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Red Speedo

    In ‘Red Speedo,’ a Swimmer Faces a Moral Quandary

    Charles Isherwood

    March 3, 2016: A bright slip of a swimsuit seems a small garment on which to hang a knotty morality play, but the ingenious Lucas Hnath engineers this remarkable feat with “Red Speedo,” a taut, incisive drama at New York Theater Workshop about a swimmer with high Olympic hopes and a waterlogged ethical compass. Ray, played by the terrific Alex Breaux, has spent his life in the water, essentially, and is preparing for the upcoming Olympic trials as the play begins. (The sleek set, by Riccardo Hernandez, is a gym with an actual pool, a slice of which fronts the stage.) But a scandal at the swim club where he trains has the potential to derail his dream. A cooler stocked with performance-enhancing drugs was found in the club refrigerator. Ray has told his coach (Peter Jay Fernandez) that he heard the drugs belonged to a fellow swimmer, but in the tense opening scene, Ray’s brother Peter (Lucas Caleb Rooney), a lawyer who is also his de facto manager, vociferously argues that even a whiff of controversy about doping could damage his brother’s reputation — and potentially ruin the coach’s future, too. He makes the case that the coach serves everyone’s best interests by tossing the drugs in the toilet and hushing the whole episode up.

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