Get us in your inbox

Jenna Scherer

Jenna Scherer

Articles (3)

Future legends of New York theater (slide show)

Future legends of New York theater (slide show)

Prognostication is a mug’s game. No New York theater critic or pundit knows which obscure play (like Young Jean Lee's Lear) will be remembered a century from now, or which box-office hit of today will be forgotten by the next generation (we're looking at you, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). And when it comes to people, predicting long-term success is no more of a science. Still, we can say with confidence that these 19 actors, writers, directors and designers have made enough of a cultural impact that they’re bound to be the ones we’ll be talking about in 2043 and beyond. This is more than your typical assortment of fresh talent or promising up-and-comers. We know that New York has already been altered by their work; we’re saying that these are some of the people who will shape the theater of the future. RECOMMENDED: 50 reasons to love theater in New York Annie Baker Annie Baker has pulled off a very neat conjuring trick: She’s rescued realism from the trash heap of the uncool. In seemingly naturalistic works like Circle Mirror Transformation and The Aliens, Baker has grafted her staggering talent for dialogue onto lovely classical bones. Her plays are humanistic and slightly optimistic, making her the perfect person to adapt Uncle Vanya, a major hit at Soho Rep last year. (If Chekhov has a kindred spirit, she is it.) Baker’s works seem not so much written as overheard—perhaps her current piece, Playwrights Horizons’ three-hour The Flick, wasn’t actually a massive effort, but

The best water sports in NYC

The best water sports in NYC

Though Manhattan is technically an island, you’re more likely to spend a hot summer afternoon drinking at a rooftop bar than lounging on a sandy beach. Still, there are plenty of water sports in NYC to try—and no, we don’t just mean the ubiquitous boat tours around the bay. Whether you prefer kayaking, sailing or kiteboarding, the city has plenty of outdoor adventures to offer. Next time the muggy summer heat descends over the city, go cool off with one of these extreme water sports. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC

İstanbul Komedi Festivali: Eddie Izzard röportajı

İstanbul Komedi Festivali: Eddie Izzard röportajı

Eddie Izzard dĂŒnyanın en hırslı adamlarından biri olabilir. Kariyerine kısa bir bakÄ±ĆŸ bu iddiayı hemen destekleyecektir. GerçekĂŒstĂŒ mizah anlayÄ±ĆŸÄ±yla yıllar içinde uluslararası bir stand-up devine dönĂŒĆŸtĂŒ. Bir yandan da televizyon, tiyatro ve sinemada sağlam bir oyunculuk kariyeri inƟa etti. 2009 yılında bir sosyal sorumluluk kampanyası için daha önce hiçbir koƟu deneyimi olmamasına rağmen 52 gĂŒnde 43 maraton tamamladı. Gösterilerini farklı dillerde sergileyip mizahın evrensel bir yanı olduğunu da ispatlayan Izzard’ın Ä°stanbul Komedi Festivali’ndeki ‘Force Majeure Reloaded’ gösterisini kaçırmayın. Gösterinin Ä°ngilizce sahnelendiğini de ekleyelim. Komik olmanın sırrı kendinizi gĂŒldĂŒrebilmekte.“Sahnedeyken sĂŒrekli kendimi de eğlendirmeye çalÄ±ĆŸÄ±yorum. Yaptığım Ɵakaya kendim gĂŒlebiliyorsam seyirci de gĂŒlecektir diye umuyorum. Yaptığım mizahın gerçekĂŒstĂŒ bir mizah olduğu konusunda baƟtan anlaƟalım, bu tĂŒrde bir komediyi sevmeyen salona bile girmesin zaten.” Mizah sınır tanımaz!“Mizahı bir dilden diğerine çevirmek o kadar da zor değil. Bu konuda tek bir teorim var:  Mizah insanla alakalıdır, milletlerle değil. Yalnızca referans noktaları milli olabilir. Ä°spat istiyorsanız ‘The Simpsons’a ya da ‘Monty Python’a bakın yeter. Bazı göndermelerin yabancı izleyici tarafından anlaĆŸÄ±lamayacağı doğru. Ama bu noktada onları eleyip sıradaki konuya geçersin olur biter.”  Stand-up hızlı ve esnek olmalı.“Kendi serĂŒvenimi elimden geldiğince esnek tutmaya çalÄ±ĆŸÄ±yorum. Yeni bir malzemeyi Ɵovunuza ye

Listings and reviews (14)

Daniel's Husband

Daniel's Husband

3 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna Scherer [Note: This is a review of Daniel's Husband's 2017 production at Primary Stages. The production has returned for an encore engagement at Westside Theatre, with its entire original cast.]There's a pervasive sense of soapboxing to Daniel's Husband, Michael McKeever's relationship dramedy receiving its New York premiere from Primary Stages. The play centers on Daniel (Ryan Spahn) and Mitchell (Matthew Montelongo), a longtime couple who seem to have the perfect life. Daniel's an architect and Mitchell's a successful author; they live in a beautifully appointed home (props to designer Brian Prather) where they throw breezy dinner parties for their circle of friends.Naturally, there's trouble in paradise. Daniel wants the two to tie the knot, and Mitchell doesn't believe in marriage—or rather, in the idea that gay men should aspire to heterosexual relationship norms. It's a debate certainly ripe for dramatization, and one whose primacy McKeever puts front and center from the get-go. "Oh God, please! No more politics," Mitchell's friend (Lou Liberatore) cries in the opening moments. But the playwright's point is clear: If you're a member of a minority that's subject to the machinations of the majority, the personal is always political—whether you want it to be or not.Daniel's Husband begins as a genuine conversation, taking up McKeever's chosen topic and letting characters pass it back and forth and chew on its macro and micro implications. McKeever h

The Suitcase Under the Bed

The Suitcase Under the Bed

3 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna Scherer The 20th-century Irish canon includes vanishingly few female playwrights. One notable exception is Teresa Deevy, who had a series of plays produced by Dublin’s legendary Abbey Theatre in the 1930s, then fell into obscurity—until Mint Theater Company took up her cause, dusting off scripts that had been stuffed into a pair of suitcases in her family home. Whether working-class drama or boarding-house comedy, the four short works in The Suitcase Under the Bed—a U.S. premiere and three world ones—share a common concern: the way women make the most, or don’t, of their limited roles in Irish society. Director Jonathan Bank and his company shine in the collection’s dramatic installments, particularly Sarah Nicole Deaver and Cynthia Mace in The King of Spain’s Daughter and In the Cellar of My Friend. But the pace falters in Strange Birth, a sweet but slight rom-com, and Holiday House, a NoĂ«l Coward–esque comedy that droops where it should skip. In the Mint’s production, Deevy’s work feels old-fashioned in a way that is both comforting and a little sleepy. But she wrote with gently cutting wit and had a keen ear for dialogue (which is doubly remarkable, since she was deaf for most of her life). The bon mots and quiet revelations in these previously unseen plays prove she’s worthy of rediscovery. Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (Off Broadway). By Teresa Deevy. Directed by Jonathan Bank. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 10mins. One intermission. Thro

Master

Master

4 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna SchererWho tells the story of a life when it has ended? And is there ever a coherent way to tell it? These are the central questions of Master, W. David Hancock’s fractured, fractious study of grief, race and history. Part art exhibit and part performance, this Foundry Theatre production is a commemoration and a damnation of a fictional outsider artist obsessed by Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Entering a sprawling art installation at the Irondale Center, theatergoers have a generous space of time to explore Uncle Jimmy’s artworks (vividly rendered by real-life artist Wardell Milan), labeled with yellowed notecards describing their relationship to a mysterious magnum opus called The Illuminated Twain. A variety of visual and sound installations offer a disjointed account of his racially charged, Afrofuturist riff on Huck Finn and his complicated relationship with his family. Later, Uncle Jimmy’s relatives speak at a memorial service that reframes what we thought the art was about. MikĂ©ah Ernest Jennings and Anne O’Sullivan give powerful performances in this section, working their way through daunting emotional monologues. Hancock’s play is about context and curation: Uncle Jimmy’s works may be called “illuminations,” but they conceal as much they as they reveal. If you prefer cohesive narratives, Master may frustrate you; it’s a postmodern approach to remembrance, with human life treated as both more and less than the disordered scurf it

Derren Brown: Secret

Derren Brown: Secret

4 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna Scherer [Note: This is a review of the 2017 Off Broadway production of Secret. Click here for a review of the 2019 Broadway production.] iThere are two kinds of people at a magic show: Those who like to be tricked, and those who fancy themselves untrickable. Wherever you land on this spectrum, it will be hard not to be at least a bit bowled over by Secret, the latest from "psychological magician" Derren Brown. Though he's a sizable celeb in his native Britain, thanks to his numerous TV specials on Channel 4, Brown is less well-known in the States. But it's easy to see why he's developed such a following in the U.K.: He oozes confidence and charisma, the kind you don't quite trust but can't turn away from nonetheless. In Secret, he uses a combination of psychological manipulation, hypnosis and old-fashioned misdirection to spin a web around his audience. It’s hard to describe the show in detail without giving away the game—and a grand game it is—but suffice to say, it's a combination of jaw-dropping "How did he do that?" moments and inspirational speeches that veer dangerously close to the litanies of motivational speakers (perhaps the most influential flimflam artists of our age). Brown is of two minds about all of this: He both wants to wow you with his sleight of mind and debunk the notion that mysticism and divination hold any water. But he takes such obvious pleasure in inspiring wonder at his tricks that it's hard to believe he isn't a believer hi

3/Fifths

3/Fifths

4 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna Scherer You're asked to choose your racial designation at the door to James Scruggs's incendiary interactive carnival-performance, and that's just the beginning of 3/Fifths’s funhouse-mirror reflection of American racism. Depending on whether you choose to be "black" or "white" (designated by a mark on your forehead), you'll have a radically different experience at SupremacyLand, a hellish midway that shines a garish light on the darkest corners of whiteness. And Scruggs pulls no punches. Carnival booths—staffed by cheery African-American actors with the n-word printed on their nametags—include a noose-making station, a push-button minstrel show and a "Selfies with the Homies" photo booth. Your guide? A smiling blond woman in a shiny Confederate-flag dress. The insidious brilliance of SupremacyLand lies in the way that Scruggs, along with directors Tamilla Woodard and Kareem Fahmy, co-opt the conventions of immersive theater to deliver a powerful message. In shows like Sleep No More and Then She Fell, you're encouraged to let yourself be led by actors handing you objects and ushering you into mysterious rooms; participation is encouraged, but you walk away blameless. In 3/Fifths, the performers are every bit as inviting—everything in SupremacyLand is gamified—but what they're asking you to participating in is horrifying. Yet you do it it anyway, because it would be impolite not to, right? A trip to SupremacyLand forces you to think about your relations

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

3 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna Scherer Of all theater's sacred playwrights, Anton Chekhov might be the hardest to pull off. On one hand, there's something strikingly modern about his characters: bored, self-obsessed aristos lost in the labyrinths of their own minds. But making four acts of existential meandering light up on stage—not to mention sustain an audience's attention—requires a great deal of skill and subtlety from actors and directors alike. When Chekhov works, it's magic; when it doesn't, it can feel interminable. The Brick Theater and Obvious Volcano's production of Three Sisters, his 1901 drama of yearning and discontent, falls somewhere in the middle. Using Paul Schmidt's clear-voiced English translation, director Maggie Cino tries for an intimate environmental staging, placing the audience on four sides of the sitting and dining rooms of the Prozorovs’ rural estate. The titular siblings are Olga (Ivanna Cullinan), Masha (Moira Stone) and Irina (Clara Francesca), who live in the countryside and resent it deeply. They're surrounded by a motley assemblage that includes, among others, lovesick soldiers, a frustrated brother and an elderly doctor with a drinking problem. All are stewing in their own lonely ennui, resentful of the slow dissolution of their lives while doing little to stave off the decay. The first half of Cino's production does an admirable job of bringing the audience into this world of the idle rich. The cast's performances mine the often-overlooked comed

Spill

Spill

4 out of 5 stars

Writer-director Leigh Fondakowski's ecological-minded new docudrama examines the catastrophic 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The text, developed from extensive interviews with those involved, is performed by an ensemble cast headed by gravel-voiced Michael Cullen.

The Strangest

The Strangest

2 out of 5 stars

Theater review by Jenna SchererEuropean fiction is full of stunning displays of white privilege, perhaps few more icy than in Albert Camus's The Stranger. The renowned existentialist novel centers on the cold-blooded murder committed by the French protagonist, Meursault, of a nameless man simply known as "The Arab." And while we delve deep into Meursault's psyche and his reasons (or lack thereof) for the random act of violence, we never find out anything about the unnamed Algerian.A noble, if misguided attempt to rectify that narrative injustice is the subject of The Strangest, Palestinian-American playwright Betty Shamieh's story of the man behind the epithet. Her play makes the murder the endpoint of an entirely different story, about an Algerian family suffering underneath the yolk of French colonialist oppression. The concept is a potent one. The execution? Not so much. Shamieh uses it as a jumping-off point of a tale-within-a-tale that has a lot of big ideas but a sloppy way of getting them across.Director May Adrales's semi-immersive production is set inside an Algerian coffee shop complete with pillows, cushy rugs and actual coffee for the audience to sip. A storytelling competition is underway, and Umm (Jacqueline Antaramian) is telling the tale of her three sons, her wayward niece and the Frenchman's bullet that will inevitably tear the family asunder.Unfortunately, Shamieh’s characters are presented as types, a quality badly accentuated by most of the performances.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

3 out of 5 stars

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Theater review by Jenna Scherer The spirit of the groundlings is alive and well in a parking lot on the Lower East Side, where, for zero cost and without having to wait in any lines whatsoever, you can take in the Bard under a summer sky. The Drilling Company’s 21st season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot begins with a perennial alfresco favorite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There’s nothing groundbreaking about Kathy Curtiss’s production, in which the lovers are hipsters from Chelsea who are lost on the LES, the mechanicals are tech nerds, and the fairies are
well, still fairies. But we come here to escape, and escapism is what we get: Curtiss’s actors throw themselves into the merry chaos, leaning into the play’s farcical slapstick.At times, the performances are overly broad. But the mechanicals’ Act V presentation of “Pyramus and Thisbe
in Space!” is a camp delight, complete with plenty of tin foil. This Midsummer is decidedly uncool—the play opens with an acoustic cover of Oasis, for God’s sake—but it’s so sincere and game for anything that you can’t help rooting for it all the same. Parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center (Off-Off Broadway). By William Shakespeare. Directed by Kathy Curtiss. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. No intermission.

Hadestown

Hadestown

4 out of 5 stars

Hadestown: Theater review by Jenna Scherer Note: This is a review of the 2016 production of Hadestown at New York Theatre Workshop. Click here for information about the 2019 Broadway production of Hadestown.]In the myth, Eurydice didn’t have much of a choice. She died, woke up in the underworld and waited around for Orpheus to save her. Not so in Hadestown, singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s folk-opera adaptation that blends ancient myth with modern sensibility—and a rich topper of New Orleans jazz.Orpheus (Damon Daunno) is a puppy-eyed dreamer and Eurydice (Nabiyah Be) the pragmatic girl who falls for him in spite of herself. When poverty comes knocking, Eurydice catches a train to Hadestown, an underground capitalist dystopia overseen by a robber-baron Hades (Patrick Page). It’s fascinating to watch Eurydice struggle with her decisions via the chorus of Fates (Lulu Fall, Jessie Shelton and Shaina Taub), who curl their tendrils around the story.Hadestown started off as a concept album featuring heavyweights like Ani DiFranco and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. For the stage adaptation, developed with Rachel Chavkin, Mitchell rounded out the tale with a passel of new songs. The stellar ensemble fills the theater with soaring harmonies, weaving in and out of the audience and the onstage band. Mitchell’s music, lush and strange and lyrically brilliant, has found its match in this cast. Be cuts to the quick as a torn Eurydice; Amber Gray plays Persephone with elegant world-weariness;

Songbird

Songbird

3 out of 5 stars

Songbird: Theater review by Jenna Scherer Anton Chekhov and the Grand Ole Opry sound like strange bedfellows, but in Songbird, they don't make quite as odd a couple as you'd expect. Still, they've got some work to do on the relationship. Michael Kimmel and Lauren Pritchard's new musical is a down-home adaptation of The Seagull, transposing Chekhov's Russian country estate to a Tennessee farm. Narcissistic actress Arkadina becomes narcissistic country-pop star Tammy Tripp (Kate Baldwin), who's paying a visit to her hometown with her songwriter boyfriend, Beck (Eric William Morris), in tow. Tammy's troubled son, Dean (Adam Cochran), is more emo than country; his mood fails to improve when his mom makes fun of his musical stylings and his girlfriend, Mia (Ephie Aardema), gets the hots for Beck. Rather than shooting a seagull like his Chekhovian counterpart, Dean hits a bluebird with his pickup truck. The Shania Twain lyrics practically write themselves. As the title would suggest, Songbird is full of tunes, mostly performed when one character pulls a guitar or a fiddle off the wall and admonishes another to sing one of their old favorites. In Kimmel's fantasy Nashville, everyone's got mean musical chops—not just the two supposed pop stars in the group. But it's worth suspending your disbelief for numbers by Pritchard (an original cast member of Spring Awakening): She pens warm, catchy tunes, performed with casual ease by the talented cast. The large ensemble genuinely seems to b

The Honeycomb Trilogy

The Honeycomb Trilogy

4 out of 5 stars

The Honeycomb Trilogy: Theater review by Jenna Scherer When it comes to TV viewing these days, everyone's a binge-watcher. We live in the era of the serialized story, the long game; why leave characters after 90 minutes when you could follow them over years and seasons? If you're the kind of person who will happily hole up in their apartment for an entire Saturday to toss back a whole season of Battlestar Galactica or The Walking Dead, might I suggest doing the same with the Honeycomb Trilogy? Mac Rogers's sci-fi epic first debuted in pieces in 2012, but it's getting the full Netflix-drop treatment in an ambitious undertaking from Gideon Productions. And like a good television drama, it's unputdownable. You will laugh. You will cry. And your butt will most definitely fall asleep. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead.) The trilogy's first installment, Advance Man, initially appears to be a domestic dramedy. In an aggressively beige living room in suburban Florida, a husband and wife try to suss out the best way to parent their rebellious daughter, Ronnie (Becky Byers), and their timid but brilliant son, Abbie (David Rosenblatt). And, oh yeah: Patriarch Bill Cooke (Sean Williams) happens to be a retired astronaut who led the first manned mission to Mars, and he and his former crew have something sinister up their sleeves. As the play progresses, elements of sci-fi begin to seep into the kitchen-sink proceedings like slime mold, until the implications of Bill's plans for Earth's future

News (4)

Theater review: Spill tries to clean up the mess of the 2010 BP oil disaster

Theater review: Spill tries to clean up the mess of the 2010 BP oil disaster

★★★★☆It's been nearly seven years since the BP offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 men and setting off an environmental disaster of Biblical proportions. And with unfettered corporate chiefs looking to rule Trump's White House, there's never been a more important time to revisit the incident. Presented through Ensemble Studio Theatre's partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Spill is a timely piece of documentary theater written and directed by Leigh Fondakowski. And though the Deepwater blowout has recently been in the popular consciousness thanks to Peter Berg's 2016 blockbuster of the same name, Fondakowski's deeply granular take on the event is vital in its own right. Fondakowski is best known as the head writer of Tectonic Theater Project's seminal The Laramie Project, which examined the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. Spill takes a similar interview-based approach, combining text culled from interviews and depositions with artful reenactments. An ensemble cast takes on multiple roles from the days leading up to the blowout to the aftermath, careful to weigh both the human and environmental cost. An interviewer (Kelli Simpkins) takes us into the lives of people related to Deepwater on every level, from the widow of a Texan tool pusher to the CEO of BP and an outspoken Louisiana cleanup worker. Along the way, Fondakowski paints a detailed, damning portrait of a catastrophe enabled by unchecked corporate greed. Considering how much information it m

Theater review: In Baby Mama, Mariah MacCarthy fights the maternal instinct

Theater review: In Baby Mama, Mariah MacCarthy fights the maternal instinct

      Your average solo show tends to have a whiff of the confessional: one actor before a roomful of people like a convert testifying, or a repentant AA speaker. But there's something particularly purgative about Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People, Mariah MacCarthy's show recounting her experience with pregnancy and adoption in New York City.The subtitle is a bit of a misnomer: Although Baby Mama does partially chronicle the playwright-performer's trials as a birth mother steering her newborn toward the couple of her choice, it's not the crux of the piece. It's more about MacCarthy's struggle with the complexity of her situation. Pregnant after a one-night stand and not interested in having an abortion, she opts for adoption but also struggles with a desire to keep the infant.MacCarthy doesn't pull any punches as she describes juggling her artistic and sexual life alongside, y'know, gestating a human being in her womb, describing both the joys and the isolation of her situation. She details her day-to-day, shuttling between ultrasounds and impromptu orgies, doulas and burlesque shows, in vivid (and sometimes graphic) detail. MacCarthy's narration of her life circa 2012 is funny, moving and unapologetically candid, as is her performance.At the same time, it's hard not to feel like we're missing something in the singularity of perspective in Baby Mama. I found myself wanting to know more about the people on the fringes of the story: the gay couple tha

Theater review: Slumber slashes its way through Bushwick’s sexy House of Yes

Theater review: Slumber slashes its way through Bushwick’s sexy House of Yes

      Bushwick party kids are on the menu in Slumber, Hideaway's dance-circus slaughterfest that's cutting a bloody swath through House of Yes. How bloody? Well, not quite ponchos-for-the-front-row levels, but there is a red stain splattered across my notepad.Featuring choreography from husband-and-wife team Keone and Mari Madrid (who choreographed and starred in Justin Bieber's funky "Love Yourself" music video) and some truly impressive circus moves, Slumber is a notch well above your average Halloween gore-athons. The plot (such as it is) follows a band of twentyish women—and one man—through a night on the town that rapidly devolves from selfie-taking to serial murder.Directors Josh Avenir and Lyndsay Magid make maximal use of House of Yes's bristling, busy environs, as performers climb across wall art, dangle from the high ceiling and twerk on high balconies. The effect is electrifying for its proximity: It's one thing to see acrobats performing aerial silks onstage. But it's even more thrilling when it's happening almost directly over your head.Though the performers have the kind of polish you'd find at Cirque du Soleil, there's a sharper edge to the proceedings. This is cirque nouveau that feels contemporary, sexy and a little bit dangerous. Maybe it's the way that the Madrids' choreography —a kinetic blend of hip-hop and modern dance—seamlessly blends into feats of contortion and trapeze, backed by thumping electro-pop from artists like Halsey, the Chainsmokers and Ter

Theater review: That Which Isn’t at the Brick

Theater review: That Which Isn’t at the Brick

      An alternate title for Matthew Freeman’s languorous couples drama That Which Isn’t could have been The Long Goodbye. It’s an extended eulogy for a marriage that, by every characters’ account, wasn’t all that great in the first place. With their imminent divorce looming, Helen (Moira Stone) and James (David DelGrosso) pass a long night sitting under a tree in a stranger’s field, wallowing in the past and sometimes wallowing in each other. In the second half of the play, we see a world-weary Helen’s dinner with James’s friend Marcus (Mick O’Brien) in the wake of an event that shook up both their lives.The back half is the reason to see this show. Freeman has an ear for tense naturalism, putting Helen and Marcus through all the paces of an awkward night out: cell phones vibrating on the table, an argument over the wine selection that’s really an argument about something much heavier. It makes it all the more frustrating that the first act is bogged down with heavy-handed philosophizing and meandering conversations that start to sound like white noise after a while.Throughout, Stone delivers a magnetic, brittle central performance—particularly when playing off O’Brien as a convincingly frazzled fellow caught in the crosshairs. DelGrosso, on the other hand, gives a declarative, stiff turn as James. Both as written and performed, James is a much more interesting guy when he isn’t in the room (or the field). In fact, That Which Isn’t would be a stronger piece if Freeman hacked