'Dentity Crisis

comedy · alexa-sascha lewin and selah victor · Ages 17+ · United States

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Review by JOHN MOORE

June 19, 2014 certified reviewer

My overall impression

Christopher Durang is much awarded, and his 2013 Tony for Vanya and Sonja and Masha and Spike (starring his Yale colleague Sigourney Weaver, along with a sterling cast) represents a high point in what we might call his senior years. While the Tony-extolled play is certainly quirky, other of Durang’s work deviates even more starkly into the absurd. ‘dentity Crisis is one of those. Its production at the aptly named Theater Asylum in LA (part of the lively Hollywood Fringe Festival now in full swing) surely would please the playwright.
A talented cast drives the play with a vigorous pace, making use of sharp verbal jab and nimble physical movement, leaving the audience smiling yet drained, even if the play is but a half hour long.
We’re not sure if we are viewing a metaphor for dysfunctional modern life, a critique of psychotherapy, or a bad dream; the audience’s job may be simply to relax and enjoy the spectacle. Durang seems to be telling us that we’re all neurotic and we may as well laugh about it; although there is the hint of darkness at the end of the play, when daughter Jane succumbs to compliance with the madness after being the apparent sane member of the entourage in the early going.
Nick Podany, who is charged with playing—simultaneously—four separate characters, dexterously draws the audience into the lunacy, and captures the stage. Durang, who apparently now co-directs the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Program at Juilliard, should keep his eyes open. Podany is headed to Julliard this fall.

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