Suicide, Incorporated Does Not Off Itself

Andrew Hinderaker's play lives OK at Roundabout Underground

Feeling blue? Aggrieved? Put upon? Thinking of ending it all? Well, you’re in good company, at least during the run of Andrew Hinderaker’s mordant comedy-drama Suicide, Incorporated at Roundabout Underground. Of its six characters, at least four have either offed themselves or plan to. Maybe the other two are merely keeping quiet about their incipient self-slaughter.

Suicidelaunches with a nifty Kafka-lite premise. Jason (Gabriel Ebert) applies for a job at a firm that helps the despairing craft their final missive. Its slogan: "Legacy Letters: Words to be remembered by.” As Jason’s brother, Tommy (Jake O’Connor), dryly observes, “It’s kind of a morbid profession you’ve chosen.” Of course Jason has ulterior motives. Rather than giving his clients an eloquent shove into the sweet hereafter, he wants to yank them back from the brink.

Hinderaker’s script is an odd, though not unlikable, mix of the original and the clichéd. Some of its strategies genuinely surprise. Others are as predictable as taxes, death, and wet days in April. The all-male cast is fine, with Toby Leonard Moore delighting in his role as a smarmy boss and James McMenamin, as Jason’s client, lending his lines a depressive’s slur. Ebert, his hair shorter and his smile more pinched than in this season’s 4000 Miles, again reveals a multi-layered character, though director Jonathan Berry indulges his tendency toward pauses and significant stares and seems to have imported it to the rest of the cast.

Death takes a holiday? Jake O'Connor and Gabriel Ebert
Joan Marcus
Death takes a holiday? Jake O'Connor and Gabriel Ebert

Details

Suicide, Incorporated
By Andrew Hinderaker
Roundabout Undergound
111 West 46th Street
212-719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org

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Still, the direction and the writing typically walk a neat line between the deeply felt and the patently absurd, arguing, tenderly, for the saving possibility of human connection. Should that closing move sound a touch too earnest, note that there’s dark humor here, too—even in the sound design. Before the play starts, the speakers blare an assortment of execrable ’80s hits by the likes of Phil Collins and ELO. Just a little something to get you in the mood for suicide.

 
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1 comments
ELENA MARIA
ELENA MARIA

nyc most crooked atty sidney davidoff will be blamed for a cheated client suicide.Based on her information, he extorted a settlement on her behalf without her authorization.He raided the payment, divided the capital with his ex-partner thief Richard Stein and sent the unreported millions to offsahore accts, cheating the US gov as well.The client was left penniless, unable to even paid for her pets medical bills.She is desponent and desesperateratly depressed.Make sure davidoff and stein are sent to prison

 

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