Split Vote

Perhaps they've all read different reviews

It's always intriguing when a play receives a markedly divided response from critics. That's certainly the case with Josh Tobiessen's farce Election Day. I had some inkling when I attended the play last weekend and found myself exiting with a reviewer acquaintance of mine. As we walked down the stairs, I said, "I expected that to be really painful and it wasn't." "I beg to differ," he said. "Come on," I said, "there's painful and there's painful." "I thought it was the latter," he said, "or the former. Whichever's worse." Actually, many of the critics thought the play deserved praise stronger than my faint ones. The New York Times adored this comedy about a genial slacker barred from casting his vote in a mayoral election. Neil Genzliger wrote that the current presidential election will "have to go some to be more entertaining than [the] outrageous comedy by Josh Tobiessen." But in the Star Ledger, the reviewer described the show as "going on a blind date with a cute frat boy who gets drunker as the evening wears on." Your thoughts? I found it formulaic and strained, sure, but occasionally inventive and liked quite a few cast members, especially Halley Feiffer and Michael Ray Escamilla.

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