Losing Louie

  • Written by: Simon Mendes Da Costa
    Directed by: Jerry Zaks
    Cast: Matthew Arkin (Reggie), Scott Cohen (Louie), Mark Linn-Baker (Tony), Patricia Kalember (Elizabeth), Michele Pawk (Sheila), RebeccaCreskoff (Bobbie), Jama Williamson (Bella).
    Synopsis: How do our childhood memories affect our lives? How do the mistakes of one generation impact the next? And most importantly, why does love make us do such crazy things? This new play explores these questions, as two generations of family members work things out in the same bedroom, fifty years apart.

    What the critics had to say.....

    CHARLES ISHERWOOD of the NEW YORK TIMES says �Dull-witted and vulgar comedy-drama."

    JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says "Simon Mendes da Costa's comedy about a family funeral, which opened last night on Broadway, is big on sex and sex talk but short on laughs."

    CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST says "The dramatic outcome - that skeleton shivering in the family closet - is obvious from the get-go, and the preposterous incidental jokes along the way are more feeble than funny. Yet the play's structure is adroit - even if some of the gear-shifts of time are too sudden for comfort - and da Costa's writing, given every chance to shine by Jerry Zaks' smooth staging and the cast, is often engaging. This is only da Costa's second staged play, and its promise is such that it makes you look forward to, say, his fifth."

    MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER says "Busy with figured wallpaper and upholstery, the bedroom designed by John Lee Beatty looks as lifeless as the script. Marching back and forth across it, the poor actors try to wring some good humor out of the miserable people they portray. They must have needed jobs pretty badly to sign up for this thing.....Staging new plays is a risky business. But whoever picked this little lulu needs a vacation. "

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY says "Tired old sniggering sitcom that opened last night at the company's Broadway venue, the Biltmore Theatre.....Snooze-button of a sentimental family comedy."

    ELYSA GARDNER of USA TODAY "Sibling rivalries, real and perceived, have made for hot dish. But the one at the heart of Losing Louie is a doozy...But as briskly directed by Jerry Zaks, this Manhattan Theatre Club production offers a thoroughly diverting couple of hours."

    ROBERT FELDBERG of the RECORD says "I don't know if "Losing Louie" lost anything in its trans-Atlantic journey -- I suspect a feeble comedy has been made worse -- but the British might be advised to do a better job of policing their exports."

    JACQUES LE SOURD of JOURNAL NEWS says "These cardboard characters are supremely uninteresting from start to finish. Da Costa does not come to the knee of Alan Ayckbourn, England's Neil Simon and the doyen of British suburban theater."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS says "Simon Mendes da Costa's crude comedy of sexual indiscretion gets an equally crude production from director Jerry Zaks and a valiant cast that struggles mightily against the coarseness of the material....vulgar and unfunny, a particularly deadly combination."

    FRANK SCHECK of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER says "Featuring humor of the broadest common denominator -- there's an interminable scene in which the brothers discuss the relative merits of having a foreskin -- and characterizations that barely rise above the level of caricature, the play has little in the way of genuine wit to compensate for its overly convoluted narrative."

    DAVID ROONEY of VARIETY says "The comedy is Thackneyed and toothless. A writer like, say, Donald Margulies might have breathed more heart and poignancy into similar material, but despite elements including infidelity, the loss of a child and a lifetime of fraternal envy and gnawing guilt, there's no pathos to give texture to the humor. Every time da Costa starts to flirt with emotional depth, he undercuts it with a cheap line like, "What's it like to have a foreskin?"

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Daily News
    New York Post
    USA Today
    The Record
    Journal News
    Associated Press
    Hollywood Reporter