Friday, September 20, 2013

Women or Nothing **

(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
Whether or not you will enjoy Ethan Coen's new comedy for the Atlantic Theater Company depends largely on how much disbelief you are willing to suspend for some snappy dialogue and a few laughs. For me, accepting the premise of a pair of affluent sophisticated lesbians hatching a lame plot to trick a man into supplying the sperm for the child they want was too much of a stretch. Their plan makes little sense and is divorced from anything remotely resembling reality. On the plus side, the four actors (Halley Feiffer, Susan Pourfar, Robert Beitzel and Deborah Rush) play well together and two of the four scenes work quite well. Unfortunately, the final scene is a letdown. David Cromer's direction gets the most out of the script. Michele Spadaro's lavish set design of a Manhattan apartment incorporates a strange mixture of styles. Sarah Laux's costumes are apt. The play shows progress over Coen's recent one-act efforts, but still lacks the off-kilter inventiveness of a Coen screenplay. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes including intermission. NOTE: Avoid Row B at Atlantic's Linda Gross Theater -- there is no rake between Rows A and B and the seats are not staggered.

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