Out of the Mouths of Babes

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Theater review by Raven Snook

A lightweight comedy about seriously dark subjects, Out of the Mouths of Babes is Israel Horovitz’s latest piece (the septuagenarian has about as many plays as years). While age hasn’t exactly mellowed him, this time the often politically charged playwright trades blood and guts for barbs and guffaws. After an unnamed serial philanderer dies at age 100, three of his exes cross paths: Oscar winner Estelle Parsons and two-time Tony winner Judith Ivey—both excellent—and Cherry Lane Theatre’s artistic director Angelina Fiordellisi (over the top). These women run into each other at the deceased heel’s lavish Paris pad and immediately start parsing their prickly, intertwined pasts.

Tales of multiple suicides (and some hilarious attempts), deep depression and overlapping adultery abound…and then the late lover boy’s final wife (Francesca Choy-Kee) shows up, and things really get complicated. But that’s also, unfortunately, when the dramatic fizz goes flat.

Cherry Lane commissioned Horovitz to write a vehicle expressly for theater vets Parsons and Ivey, who have a century’s worth of stage experience between them. Their spiky, sharp-tongued characters are tremendous gifts. Too bad they’re stuck in a sloppy, sitcom-level story that most certainly doesn’t pass the Bechdel test.—Raven Snook

Cherry Lane Theatre (Off Broadway). By Israel Horovitz. Directed by Barnet Kellman. With Judith Ivey, Estelle Parsons, Angelina Fiordellisi, Francesca Choy-Kee. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.

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