You never hear the exact anything in Tina Howe's Chasing Manet (Primary Stages); it's trapped in a maddening disjunction between its absurdist sensibility and its quasi-realistic narrative. A blind artist (Jane Alexander) plots her escape from the nursing home in which her ineffectual son (Jack Gilpin) has stuck her, enlisting her dotty new roommate (Lynn Cohen) as co-conspirator. Cohen is delightful and the supporting cast enchanting whenever Howe's lunatic verbal reveries take over; Alexander, a total class act, takes resplendent histrionic advantage of both reality and wordplay, but even she can't sustain two full acts of their unwieldy mixture.

New Jersey rendition: Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
Joan Marcus
New Jersey rendition: Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

Details

Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them
By Christopher Durang
Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street, 212-967-7555

Reasons to Be Pretty
By Neil LaBute
Lyceum Theatre
149 West 45th Street, 212-239-6200

Chasing Manet
By Tina Howe
Primary Stages
59 East 59th Street, 212-279-4200

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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