You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • TIME OUT

  • VARIETY

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
April 12, 2012
Closing:
May 6, 2012

Theater: The Flea Theater / 41 White Street, New York, NY, 10013

Synopsis: 

Four members of The Civilians sat their parents down and asked them for the real story behind their divorces. Each actor assumes the role of their own mother or father (or in one case, both) in a show crafted entirely from those verbatim interviews. You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce is shockingly candid, unexpectedly hilarious, and proves that what we want to know about our parents' lives and what we actually should know are two totally different things.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce

    Laying Bare the Broken Shards of Their Families

    Charles Isherwood

    April 12, 2012: The Civilians, the enterprising troupe specializing in documentary theater drawn from interviews, takes its tape recorders back to the family living room in “You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce,” which opened Thursday night at the Flea Theater. The four performers in this modest but engaging collage of reminiscences portray their own parents — mostly their mothers — in conversations about their marriages, all past history, as the title makes clear.

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  • NY POST REVIEW OF You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce

    Poignant memories make worthy ‘Divorce’

    Frank Scheck

    April 15, 2012: The Civilians, the downtown documentary theater troupe, have tackled such socially and politically charged topics as the evangelical movement and Brooklyn’s controversial Atlantic Yards project.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce

    You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce

    Helen Shaw

    April 13, 2012: The surprising, plaintive thing about the title of the new Civilians show, You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce, is that you never actually hear it. It is, of course, straightforwardly descriptive: Four of the company’s documentarian-performers (Matthew Maher, Caitlin Miller, Jennifer R. Morris and Robbie Collier Sublett) have interrogated their parents about their marriages, and the radically simple production consists entirely of the actors sitting in armchairs, reciting verbatim from those interviews. Sit Down is not the painful project it sounds like: Time and distance—often nearly 20 years’ worth—make the tone rueful rather than tortured, and the Civilians (abetted immensely by Anne Kauffman’s deft direction) keep things at a gentle, nearly philosophical remove.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce

    You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents' Divorce

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 15, 2012: The Civilians are a mighty smart company, and "You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce" is indicative of the clever things they do. This unconventional show only runs an hour and is performed on a bare stage by four members of the collective who sit in chairs and talk directly to the audience. Speaking in character as their own parents, the thesps deliver verbatim testimony excavated from personal interviews -- highly sensitive stuff that should explain a lot about the boomer generation to their children. Despite the minimal stagecraft, this is riveting confessional theater.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents’ Divorce

    NY Review: 'You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce'

    David Sheward

    April 12, 2012: “The older I get, the more I realize it’s all about me, and you’re just in the picture. I have to tell the truth,” says a mother to her daughter. She is speaking about the breakup of her marriage and how her life has progressed since. You’d think such a harsh and brutally honest assessment would come across as cruel, but in “You Better Sit Down: Tales From My Parents’ Divorce,” the uncompromising and funny documentary theater piece from the Civilians, it’s delivered with a laugh and a sigh of resignation. The mother has reached a place where she can chuckle at her own narcissism and hopes her offspring can too. All the stories related here have the same bittersweet tinge of achingly real experience. To paraphrase Sondheim, these people have had good times and bum times, but they’re still here. They’re a little older, maybe not wiser, but they can look back on their volatile pasts without anger.

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