The Long Shrift

  • Our critic's rating:
    Date:
    July 1, 2014

    What the popular press said...

    "A realist drama, the play is at times untidy, at times annoying, at times ridiculous, yet it’s very rarely dull. And by the end, it’s managed to ask some resonant and troubling questions about whether or not we can ever put away past trauma, about whether or not we ever deserve to. Maybe there’s something to be said for doors that won’t shut."
    Alexis Soloski for New York Times

    "The melodramatic proceedings are occasionally leavened with doses of mordant humor, but the play is way too talky. While the provocative premise would seem to hold the promise for dramatic fireworks, it mostly comes across as contrived and artificial. The cast struggles admirably to make the declamatory dialogue sound convincing, but Franco’s sluggish direction only accentuates the play’s deficiencies."
    Frank Scheck for New York Post

    "The labored conclusions that come out of this awkward bout of public flagellation have no resonance because nothing gels, and little about these people or the traumatic situation that has destroyed two families rings true. Only Andromache Chalfant's drab set has the air of stifling authenticity."
    David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter

    "In tone and topic, the play is Sam Shepard Lite, the cri de coeur of an alienated son of the American West embittered by injuries inflicted at the whims of an unkind and unjust world. In a reversal of formula, father Henry (Brian Lally, another longtime Franco stalwart, but at a loss here) is no domestic tyrant but a spineless worm, and mother Sarah (Ally Sheedy, fighting a losing battle) turns out to be the monster. But the Texas locale reduces to a drab house in a featureless setting with no identity, and there’s nothing mythic — or even realistic — about the generic characters."
    Marilyn Stasio for Variety

    External links to full reviews from popular press...

    New York Times - New York Post - Hollywood Reporter - Variety