Theater, Drama
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Raven Snook

Like Aaron Mark’s previous two psychological horror plays, Another Medea and Empanada Loca, Squeamish features an accomplished performer—in this case, two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser—tasked with delivering a 100-minute tour de fear while seated in the near dark. It’s practically audio theater; the gruesome details hit us vocally, not visually, as unbalanced Upper West Side therapist Sharon (Fraser) recounts her trip home to Lubbock, Texas, for the funeral of her beloved nephew, where she succumbs to a bloody new obsession.

There’s something unsettling about watching a solo show that’s been expressly written for its star and yet thinking she may be miscast, or at least under-rehearsed. That’s the initial dread you feel here. Known for her work in musicals, Fraser has a distinctive smoky timbre and quirky cadence, but she doesn’t land most of the laughs as our neurotic narrator in the play’s first half, which is all setup. (At a recent performance, she struggled with many lines.) But once Sharon starts to lose herself—or find herself—in addiction, Fraser delivers real chills. As we watch this sophisticated and stylish New Yorker gleefully transform into a monster, her gory self-discovery is utterly horrifying. Perhaps we’re all just one bad habit away from becoming something awful.

Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (Off Broadway). By Aaron Mark. Directed by Mark. With Alison Fraser. Running time: 1hr 40mins. No intermission. Through Nov 11.

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Event website: http://www.afo.nyc
Event phone: 212-239-6200
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