Spacebar OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Hunter Canning
  • NY TIMES

  • NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW

  • THEATRE IS EASY

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ

  • CURTAIN UP

Opening Night:
October 24, 2014
Closing:
November 8, 2014

Theater: The Wild Project / 195 East 3rd Street, New York, New York, 10009

Synopsis: 

Kyle Sugarman is a 16-year-old with a singular mission: to bring his play, Spacebar, to Broadway. Along the way, he wrestles with a number of formidable characters, including a volatile producer, an absent father, and the Captain of the Girls Swim Team. Ever closer to seeing his name in lights, Kyle searches for understanding in this comedic drama about young ambition and the need to settle scores.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Spacebar

    Wants His Name in Lights. Could Use an Editor.

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    November 4, 2014: Hey, Broadway! Kyle Sugarman has a play called Spacebar that he’d like you to read. If you’ve been checking your mail, you may have noticed that he’s sent it three times — all several hundred pages of it. Oh, all right. If we’re being technical, young Mr. Sugarman does not exist. But if he did, we would urge you to take him under your great white wing immediately. At 16, he is a lanky, rumpled elf of a boy, with an earnest intensity to charm the most jaded of hearts. He is, in a word, adorable. Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman is, in reality, a sweet, silly, semi-unwieldy Off Off Broadway play, written by Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of Our Parents) and directed by Maggie Burrows. Starring the excellent Will Connolly (Once) as Kyle, it’s a coming-of-age comedy about a Colorado drama geek yearning for his father (Christopher Michael McFarland), who’s left the family and moved to New York. Kyle doesn’t just want his play produced on Broadway: At least as badly, he wants his dad to look out his Midtown window and see Kyle’s name, unignorably huge, on a billboard. Of course, Kyle has written a terrible play. It’s set 7,000 years in the future and, as he explains: “ Spacebar is not about the space key on the computer keyboard. Spacebar is about a bar in outer space.”

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  • NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW REVIEW OF Spacebar

    Spacebar: A Broadway Play By Kyle Sugarman as presented by ARS Productions at The Wild Project

    Gina Femia

    October 30, 2014: Our dreams are what keep us alive. They’re what keep pushing us forward even when they threaten to burn out. Goals get lost, visions become muddied but as long as we work hard for our dreams, even the impossible can become possible. That idea is the ultimate power of Michael Mitnick’s play, as he reminds us of that innocent, but incredibly important, truth. Kyle Sugarman is 16 and has written a play he believes is destined for Broadway. It takes place 7,000 years in the future, at a bar in outer space. At present, Kyle Sugarman is 16, from a small town in Colorado and Broadway seems as far away as a bar in outer space. Though he is determined to get his play to Broadway, he cannot help but be distracted by the beautiful Jessica. But when she gives him some crazy advice that he doesn’t hesitate to take, Kyle finds himself on a journey to get his play produced – and to come to terms with the aftermath of a family tragedy.

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  • THEATRE IS EASY REVIEW OF Spacebar

    Will Connolly is convincing, funny, and moving as a 16-year-old trying to get his play produced on Broadway

    Linda Buchwald

    October 30, 2014: Would you see a show on Broadway called Spacebar that takes place in the year 9003 at a bar in outer space? Kyle Sugarman thinks you should. He is positive that it will be the best play you've ever seen. He should know. He wrote it. In Michael Mitnick's Spacebar: A Broadway Play By Kyle Sugarman, which opened Monday night at The Wild Project, Kyle (Will Connolly) is a 16-year-old high school student in Fort Collins, Colorado. He is so convinced of his play's brilliance that he writes to Broadway (his letter is actually addressed "dear Broadway") to tell it (him?) so. After three tries, Broadway actually responds, wanting to give Kyle a professional reading, which he considers an outrage. At the suggestion of his crush Jessica (Willa Fitzgerald), Kyle decides to go to New York himself to get a full production.

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  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF Spacebar

    A daffy, warm-hearted fantasy/comedy – the emotional awakening of a very bright teenaged playwright

    Joel Benjamin

    November 2, 2014: A sweet daffiness runs through Michael Mitnick’s Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman, the fantasy/comedy at the Wild Project in the East Village. Mitnick not only finds a way to tap into theater’s magical power to transform but also manages to make fun of its foibles and clichés. The title character, Kyle Sugarman, is a naïve Coloradan, a high schooler who writes a magnum opus, Spacebar—“not about the space key on the computer keyboard. Spacebar is about a bar in outer space”—and sends it off to “Broadway, NYC.” (Yes, “Broadway, NYC”…and Kyle actually gets a response—only in the slyly fertile imagination of Michael Mitnick!) Kyle’s life is not so hot: he was somehow involved in the death of his sister; his alienated dad lives in New York; his mom seems to be absent; he plays video games incessantly; and despite being cute as a button, has no luck with the girls in his high school. As an escape, he has written a chaotic 500 page, unstageable sci-fi drama (which, nevertheless, appears before our very eyes on the tiny stage of the Wild Project, just as Kyle envisions it). His play is full of clichés, purple prose and cartoony caricatures. Miraculously, Kyle meets pretty and feisty Jessica and sets off to New York City at the vague suggestion of a slimy producer who surprisingly promises to stage Kyle’s play.

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  • CURTAIN UP REVIEW OF Spacebar

    Michael Mitnick's Spacebar at The Wild Project

    Deirdre Donovan

    October 24, 2014: Michael Mitnick's Spacebar at The Wild Project is about a 16 year-old Kyle Sugarman making a name for himself as a Broadway playwright. And though Mitnick sounds a few false notes here and there, it has a winning cast and an intriguing sci-fi spin. The young playwright's dreams for his 456-page play about humanity are soon dashed by Broadway pundits. However, determined to see his name on a neon marquee, Kyle leaves his Colorado home town and heads to New York. There he meets a dizzy producer, Fancy Magee, who decides to mount his play at an Off Broadway theater. All seems well until some theatrical snags creep in during stage rehearsals. And then let's just say that more mayhem than theater is created. Although this play-within-a-play can be charming as it unfolds, the real reason to see Spacebar is its fine six-member cast. Will Connolly ( Tony-nominated role for his Andrej in Once) is a convincing Kyle, projecting the right mixture of naivete and earnestness for his wet-behind-the-ears protagonist. Connolly is likely a decade or so older than his character, but has boyish good looks and Kyle's earnestness down pat.

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