0
Add review

Natural Affection

Buy tickets
1/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
2/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
3/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
4/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
5/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
6/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
7/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection
8/8
Photograph: Marielle Solan
Natural Affection

Natural Affection. Beckett Theatre (see Off Broadway). By William Inge. Directed by Jenn Thompson. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 10mins. One intermission.

Natural Affection: in brief

An unstable young man returns from boarding school to find that his mother has taken up with a car salesman in a 1963 dark domestic drama by William Inge (Picnic, Bus Stop). Kathryn Erbe and John Pankow head the cast of this rare revival, directed by Jenn Thompson for TACT/The Actors Company Theatre.

Natural Affection: theater review by Helen Shaw

Natural Affection (1962) isn’t the first Inge drama that anyone would think of reviving, so bless the Actors Company Theatre for finding this surprisingly contemporary work buried in the backlist. Unfortunately, our interest in the torn-from-the-headlines thriller remains largely academic. Director Jenn Thompson has badly miscast two roles, ignoring the author’s torrid requirements—there’s nothing so gelatinous as melodrama served cold.

On the page, Sue (Kathryn Erbe) is competent, desperate, fierce—torn between two violent men: her younger, live-in lover Bernie (Alec Beard) and her adolescent son Donnie (Chris Bert), whom she once surrendered to an orphanage. But Erbe’s wooden delivery (and awful wig) make her seem practically animatronic; Bert does a teen mumble that’s wrong for both part and period. Luckily, Vince (a wonderful John Pankow) lives across the hall from this tortured trio.

Wait till after intermission for his vodka-soaked attempt to reach out to the lunkheadish Bernie. The actor overshoots, and even in the back row, we feel ourselves touched for the first time.—Theater review by Helen Shaw

THE BOTTOM LINE: This lesser-known Inge play barely smolders.

Ticket Offers from Time Out New York

Looking for tickets to a Broadway or Off Broadway show? Time Out Offers brings you terrific discounts on tickets to the latest New York theater. Want even more ideas? Check out Time Out New York's complete listings of Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows, and browse all available tickets.

Event phone: 212-239-6200
Event website: http://tactnyc.org
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening