Culture Magazine

Off-Broadway, Offices Provide the Setting For Master Classes in Acting

By Pataphysicalsci
Allen Moyer's set for Rasheeda Speaking is so realistic that I had doctor's office anxiety just waiting for the show to begin. I didn't get anymore comfortable as it went on, but a play about office politics and racial tensions should not be pleasant.

Off-Broadway, Offices Provide the Setting For Master Classes in Acting

Photo credit: Monique Carboni

Jaclyn (Tonya Pinkins) and Ileen (Dianne Wiest) work in a surgeon's office. Jaclyn has been sick and away for a week. On the day she returns, Dr. Williams (Darren Goldstein) meets with Ileen, who he recently promoted to office manager, to tell her to keep an eye on Jaclyn. He's looking for an excuse to fire her. At first, Jaclyn and Ileen engage in polite office banter and passive aggression, which will be familiar to anyone who has ever worked in an office environment, but their behavior soon veers from the passive to the aggressive.
There are no easy answers in Joel Drake Johson's play, directed by Cynthia Nixon, making an impressive directorial debut. It's to his credit that there are no heroes and villains. Jaclyn is organized and efficient and Ileen is messy and scatterbrained, but Jaclyn can be rude and abrupt with patients, which we see firsthand when Rose (Patricia Connolly) comes into the office for her appointment. Characters make racist comments to Jaclyn, but she also comments that her neighbors speak "Mexican."
Towards the end, the play seems to lose its grasp on reality, but then it picks it up again, and Pinkins and Wiest manage to make every moment work.

Off-Broadway, Offices Provide the Setting For Master Classes in Acting

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

A few blocks over at the Westside Theatre, is a different, but also convincing office--the set of Application Pending (designed by Colin McGurk). YouTube celebrity Christina Bianco plays Christine, the new head of preprimary admissions at Edgely Prep (she's inexplicably been promoted from kindergarten assistant), and about 40 other characters who call her on the phone. Written by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg, who also directs, the play is meant to shed a light on the cutthroat world of prep school admissions, but the jokes aren't new and the format repetitive. But let's call this show what it is, a showcase for Bianco's talents of imitation. Add her to the list of thrilling performances Off-Broadway right now, which also includes Pinkins and Wiest.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener