That their revenge schemes are sketchy to the point of absurdity at least seems intentional, since Goldfarb appears far more interested in the romantic jealousies being quadrangularly battled out among them. The effect is embarrassingly inappropriate, like singles-bar flirtations and squabbles carried on in a Holocaust museum. Under Leigh Silverman's direction, the four young leads push the material as hard as they can toward believability; sometimes, only the pushing is evident. The most painful part, for me, is that Goldfarb had such gigantically powerful material within sight, and so completely failed to grasp it.

Ibsen meets Irish comedy: Bairbre Dowling and Paul O'Brien in Is Life Worth Living?
Richard Termine
Ibsen meets Irish comedy: Bairbre Dowling and Paul O'Brien in Is Life Worth Living?

Details

Is Life Worth Living?
By Lennox Robinson
Mint Theater
311 West 43rd Street, 212-315-0231

The Retributionists
By Daniel Goldfarb
Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd Street, 212-279-4200

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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