Night Is a Room
Time Out says
Night is a Room: Theater review by David Cote
In her two previous outings at Signature Theatre Company, the tough, uncompromising Naomi Wallace explored social and psychic landscapes inhabited by the disenfranchised: early-20th-century female convicts (And I and Silence) and slaves in pre–Civil War America (The Liquid Plain). Both pieces contained moments of striking poetic beauty and radical empathy.
Now the writer addresses a subject that seems positively bourgeois: the marriage woes of white, middle-class professionals in England. Infidelity dooms couple Liana (Dagmara Dominczyk) and Marcus (Bill Heck), but in a primal and tragic form, stemming from the adopted Marcus’s re-introduction to his birth mother, Doré (Ann Dowd). Spoiler etiquette prevents more detail, but suffice to say that the Greeks got there first.
Night is a Room faintly recalls Albee and Pinter’s cryptic, psychosexual puzzles, but Wallace carves out her own territory with rich, daring (if too often bathetic) language. Desire, genetic destiny and the destructive force of love are the topics here, ones that transcend class.—David Cote
Pershing Square Signature Theatre (Off Broadway). By Naomi Wallace. Directed by Bill Rauch. With Dagmara Dominczyk, Bill Heck, Ann Dowd. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.
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