Underneath OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Caitlin Ochs
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 18, 2015
    Closing:
    November 1, 2015

    Theater: Irish Arts Center / 553 W 51st St, New York, New York, 10019

    Synopsis: 

    A woman lies dead in her freshly dug grave in the Tumbledown cemetery, Cobh, County Cork. Here she tells the story of her life: her happy childhood and the mother who loved Cleopatra; being struck by lightning and then missing school for a year; her night shifts in hotels washing and mending laundry; up to her ultimate and untimely demise in a north Dublin flat; all via a series of unlikely encounters and heartbreaking betrayals.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Underneath

    ‘Underneath,’ an Embrace of Irish Ghosts

    Ben Brantley

    October 18, 2015: Corpses freshly risen from their graves aren’t usually as cozy as Her, the narrator in “Underneath,” a solo performance piece by Pat Kinevane that wears death as if it were a quilted dressing gown. True, she — I mean, Her — looks every inch a fright when she first clambers out of her crypt. She is, after all, in an advanced state of putrefaction, and her rotting skin and clothes are the color of carbon. But unlike the brain-eating undead who lumber through film and television these days, Her just wants to chat. She has a story to tell about a life shaped and destroyed by deformity, beauty and cruelty. Of course there will be many detours — into jokes, satirical re-enactments of reality television shows, and chin wags with audience members — before she calls it a night. Her may be deceased, but she’s also Irish, and it takes more than not being alive to stop a garrulous Gaelic tongue. “Underneath,” which opened on Sunday night at the Irish Arts Center (and in Hell’s Kitchen, wouldn’t you know?), is an amiably meandering diversion for those who regard Halloween as a time for embracing the ghosts we run from the rest of the year. Mr. Kinevane, whose equally sepulchral “Silent” was seen in New York in 2012, is a monologuist of untrammeled imagination, who loves to ferret out the poetic glitter in dark, dank corners.

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