The Book of Grace OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • TM

  • VARIETY

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
March 2, 2010
Closing:
April 4, 2010

Theater: Public Theater / Delacorte Theater in Central Park, New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

Treasured for her groundbreaking poetic and inventive language, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) has drawn a family portrait shattered by issues of rage, revenge, power and betrayal. When a young man returns home to South Texas to confront his father, everyday life erupts into a battle for personal survival. At once fiercely intimate and explosive, THE BOOK OF GRACE weaves the story of three people bound together by love and longing, passion and ambition.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Book of Grace

    A Family Triangle of Archetypes Amid the Sandbags of America

    Ben Brantley

    March 18, 2010: There is, for the record, a real kitchen sink in Suzan-Lori Parks’s “Book of Grace,” an ambitious, intriguing and annoying play that both embraces and explodes an assortment of theatrical clichés. That sink comes with the other furniture you expect in vintage dramas about American families with Problems that warrant capital P’s: stove, refrigerator, television, sofa, browbeaten wife in bathrobe.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Book of Grace

    Suzan-Lori Parks mixes family drama with mythical influences.

    David Cote

    March 18, 2010: If the title of Suzan-Lori Parks’s new play strikes a biblical chord, just wait. There’s also an interloper named Snake (Cheatom), who gets between a man and his wife. However, Vet (Doman) is no Adam and Grace (Marvel) has already eaten of the Tree of Knowledge; she’s compiling the titular volume in secret. They don’t live in Eden, though nearby there is a heavily patrolled border fence separating South Texas from Mexico. Scriptural comparisons pretty much end there because, as usual, Parks doesn’t limit herself to one allusive stratum. Her semilyrical family drama also has undertones of Greek tragedy and overtones of terrorism topicality.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF The Book of Grace

    The Book of Grace

    Dan Bacalzo

    March 18, 2010: A father raises both of his arms, making it look as if he's about to hug the son he hasn't seen in 15 years -- and ends up searching the young man for concealed weapons. The moment nicely encapsulates the highly dysfunctional family dynamic within Suzan-Lori Parks' The Book of Grace, now receiving its world premiere at the Public Theater. But while the production, directed by James MacDonald, contains plenty of interesting images such as this one, it is not as compelling a work as one might hope.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Book of Grace

    The Book of Grace

    Marilyn Stasio

    March 17, 2010: Regional presenters won't be fighting over the latest opus from Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe Suzan-Lori Parks. "The Book of Grace" jams combustible elements for drama into a cramped little house on the south Texas border: a sado-masochistic border guard who really loves his job; the body of a first wife buried in the yard; a battered second wife who scuttles around the house jabbering about "the good in the world;" and a prodigal son who returns packing live grenades in his foot locker. But iconic characters never become human, promised violence doesn't materialize, and the play fizzles out without catching fire.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF The Book of Grace

    NY Review: 'The Book of Grace'

    Erik Haagensen

    March 17, 2010: Suzan-Lori Parks' new play, "The Book of Grace," seems to be aiming for a heightened naturalism. This three-character study of a deeply troubled family deals with familiar topics that Parks not only works hard to make fresh but also tries to elevate into American myth. But despite some compelling writing, three excellent performances, and director James Macdonald's tense, imaginative production, the whole thing never quite jells. The effort is just too palpable.

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