Ode to Joy

Theater, Drama
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that events are still happening.

Ode to Joy. Cherry Lane Theatre (see Off Broadway). Written and directed by Craig Lucas. With Kathryn Erbe, Arliss Howard, Roxanna Hope. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.

Ode to Joy: In brief

Writer-director Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) shakes up the Rattlestick with a portrait of a bisexual painter (Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Kathryn Erbe) and her two lovers (Arliss Howard and Roxanna Hope).

Ode to Joy: Theater review by David Cote

The first vocal act in Ode to Joy, a fevered chronicle of addiction and recovery, is a yowl of pain. Painter Adele (Erbe) raises her arm to daub a canvas and screams in agony from some affliction. “This is the story of how the pain goes away,” she solemnly informs us. Settle in, folks; there will be plenty more howling before the night is over.

Writer-director Craig Lucas tracks Adele over 14 years and two rocky affairs—one with a hard-partying surgeon (Howard), the other with an executive with a bad ticker (Hope). Each of her lovers has flaws, but Adele is the most damaged, with a drug and alcohol dependency we slowly discover during the course of the play.

There’s impassioned acting all around (despite a too-prim Erbe) and Lucas stages his script with fluid, fourth-wall-tweaking élan. But his second act is crammed with late-arriving personal tragedy and rehashed New Age nostrums, and any catharsis seems aimed at the auteur rather than most casual tipplers.—Theater review by David Cote

THE BOTTOM LINE: This boozer melodrama should stay in rehab.

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

Click here for discount Broadway and Off Broadway tickets.



Event website: http://rattlestick.org
Event phone: 866-811-4111
You may also like
    Latest news