The Listeners OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Michael Gardner
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 4, 2015
    Closing:
    February 14, 2015

    Theater: The Brick / 579 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211

    Synopsis: 

    When two drifters arrive at Sistine's door, she offers them mismatched coffee cups and something called breakfast. Outside the dogs are barking. Probably dogs. The drifters are now lodgers. They meet the family. There's a house and people live in it. Vegetables on the garden. Board games. History. Stories. Rituals, Songs. Do we sing songs? We've lived this way for centuries. Or decades. Anyway, a long time. We know how to survive. Nothing is coming to get us. Nothing makes a sound. Because if there were a a sound, we would have heard it. The Listeners is a surreal drama about ritual as a ward against the unknown. The Listeners casts the audience in the role of The Listeners themselves, observing them through one-way mirrors and peep holes in the walls of the four-sided set.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Listeners

    Drifters Drop In and Stay for a While

    Alexis Soloski

    February 8, 2015: To break the fourth wall at The Listeners, Matthew Freeman’s new play at the Brick, you’ll need a battering ram. The set is an enclosed, roofless room in the middle of the Brick’s black-box space. Audience members can peer at the play through letterbox slits sliced into the walls. If you come early enough to grab a chair in front of one of the two panels of one-way glass, you’ll enjoy the rare luxury of seeing two or even three characters at once. Though inventive, the design would seem to owe something to Marsha Ginsberg’s work on David Levine’s Habit, a 2012 performance piece that built a small house in a room at the Essex Street Market. There you could walk all around the exterior, peering into windows. At The Listeners, you’re stuck in your seat, although the staging, under Michael Gardner’s direction, invites enough shifting and twisting for a better angle to qualify as a substantial core workout.

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