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The Flick

  • Theater, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The Flick: Theater review by David Cote

Annie Baker’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner runs more than three hours and is filled with prolonged, dialogue-free stretches in which Massachusetts movie-house workers sweep up popcorn and paper cups, shuffling between rows, mutely focused on their menial tasks. You could call them Zen if each weren't so manifestly unhappy with life. Despite its length and aura of depressive inertia, The Flick is a curiously light play about a shadowy topic: the difficulty of telling real life from projections—cinematic and the kind we put on each other.

The cast and design of Sam Gold’s vivid production are the same from Playwrights Horizons two years ago (see my original review), and The Flick remains an extraordinarily engrossing, funny, weird, sweet and just plain concrete experience (that’s what long pauses will do). Its new location at the scruffy, old-school Barrow Street Theatre jibes nicely with the seedy setting, a celluloid holdout in a digital world. Likewise, the acting has grown richer and keener, studies in longing and detachment that retain a teasing inscrutability. In this world, refusing to cut away can lead to yet more mystery.

[Note: As of Sept 1, 2015, the cast comprises Kyle Beltran, Matthew Maher, Brian Miskell, and Nicole Rodenburg.]

Barrow Street Theatre (Off Broadway). By Annie Baker. Directed by Sam Gold. With Matthew Maher, Aaron Clifton Moten, Louisa Krause, Alex Hanna. Running time: 3hrs 10mins. One intermission. Through Aug 30.

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote

Written by
David Cote


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