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Three Days to See

  • Theater, Drama
  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Three Days to See: Theater review by Adam Feldman

Transport Group’s Three Days to See kicks off with a spate of Helen Keller jokes, delivered by seven antic actors into microphones at the front of the stage. It is smart to put those jokes at the start, since the deaf-blind Keller, who died in 1968, may be best known today as a punch-line punching bag. Having gotten bad taste out of the way, however, Three Days to See has no other taste with which to replace it.

Keller has a place in theater history as the child in William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, but Jack Cummings III’s piece is drawn from her writing as an adult, including a 1933 essay in The Atlantic. Her words are divvied up among the performers, who act them out in movement-heavy sequences that suggest rehearsal exercises for a humorless production of Godspell, and who spend a great deal of time moving chairs and tables and flower pots around. (How do the actors in Three Days to See punish the audience? They rearrange the furniture!)

Cummings clearly means well, and at times the play provides insight into Keller’s state of mind. But Three Days to See is far too long—an hour and 50 minutes, with no intermission—and is set to numbingly trite music. The irony of this boring production is that, even as it shares Helen’s entreatments that able people should appreciate the gifts of sight and sound, it offers little worthy of seeing or hearing. Reading Keller’s words is a good deal more pleasant; this is the rare theater piece that might best be experienced in Braille.—Adam Feldman

East 79th Street Theatre (Off Broadway). From text by Helen Keller. Conceived and directed by Jack Cummings III. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 50mins. No intermission.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam


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