Prayer For My Enemy

  • "Provocative, confused and confusing new play." & "It often suffers from the same muddle-headedness that plagues its uneasy and uncertain characters." & "Has more food for thought than a dozen average new American plays. The problem is that this production never assembles that food into anything approaching a digestible meal."
    Ben Brantley
    New York Times

    "Characters spend half the time passionately speaking their minds and spilling their guts to the audience, while keeping the chat polite and meaningless for friends and family. It's an interesting enough conceit, though at times you want to passionately yell at the stage - "Pick an idea and develop it!" Bartlett Sher,... has shown he's a director with vision, but here his staging isn't compelling or clear."
    Joe Dziemianowicz
    New York Daily News

    "To say a play is too ambitious seems churlish, but "Prayer for My Enemy" fairly begs the criticism." & "Deals with so many themes (principally the need for forgiveness) that it feels more overstuffed than revelatory. Add to that more interior monologues than have been seen onstage since Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude," and you have one daunting evening." & "As messy as the lives of the characters it depicts."
    Frank Scheck
    New York Post

    "Multilayered, deeply unsettling and beautifully conceived new work." & "Although the descriptions suggest stock characters, the people churn with off-center individuality and - despite a yearning for civility - some marvelous fits of rudeness. Lucas does this by weaving internal monologues into the conversations... Sher and Lucas sustain the contradictory styles within a remarkable semblance of casual naturalism.... when a character warns, "Stay out of your head, it's a bad neighborhood," Lucas gets us to rush right in."
    Linda Winner

    "I didn't quite buy the whole premise; the setup and playing out seemed too forced and theatrical. But director Bartlett Sher and his exemplary ensemble maintain a remarkably specific degree of verisimilitude. "
    David Sheward
    Back Stage

    "If "Prayer for My Enemy," which opened Tuesday night at Playwrights Horizons, were an element, it would be listed under "inert." & "you wait, and wait, and wait, for something interesting to happen." & "Performed in English, but the sensation is of watching a play in a foreign language that you only somewhat understand. You get a general sense of what�s going on, but the essential details are missing.
    Robert Feldberg
    The Record

    "A fractured play about a fractured family, a jagged piece of uneasy domestic drama that benefits from a game cast and the sharp direction of Bartlett Sher." & "Ultimately proves too unwieldy for its own good, there are still the pleasures of watching these actors work their way through Lucas' thicket of words - as well as the evening's poignant silences. Their performances are what you'll remember from this odd, overstuffed play. "
    Michael Kuchwara
    Associated Press

    "This attention-deficit therapy session is all jangled, raw nerves, never pausing long enough on any subject to settle on a lucid theme or establish a discernible point of view. Despite Bartlett Sher's customarily classy staging and a topnotch cast, most audiences will find themselves as unmoored as the characters." & "The most problematic aspect is the intrusive inner-voice elements, which either create confusion (is he/she saying that to the other characters or to us?) or spell out far too much."
    David Rooney