|Vanessa Redgrave and Jesse Eisenberg © Sandra Coudert|
By Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Kip Fagan
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dan Drieskes, Vanessa Redgrave
Presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
at the Cherry Lane Theatre
What's it all About?
David (Eisenberg), struggling with writer's block and feeling newer, fresher authors nipping at his heels, shows up at his distant cousin's apartment in Poland where he hopes to find a quiet place to make edits on the overdue manuscript of his latest novel. Maria (Redgrave) doesn't understand that he just wants to be left alone. She is thrilled to have a visitor -- especially one from the American family she knows only through the many photos displayed throughout her home (John McDermott designs the multi-roomed, cluttered home). She wants to cook for him and spend time talking. The only other person she sees regularly is cab driver Zenon (Drieskes, speaking only in Polish), who takes her on errands once a week, shaves her legs for her and drinks all of her vodka. When David and Maria finally start to bond, secrets are revealed that might revise their family's history as well as their relationship.
What are the highlights?
Eisenberg, deftly directed by Fagan, skillfully brings his own overwhelmed, hyperactive, pot-smoking character to life. Redgrave counters him with humorous depths in her character. She gives her best performance on a New York stage since her Tony Award-winning turn in Long Day's Journey into Night.
There is much, rich humor in the script.
What are the Lowlights?
The play loses focus at times.
This is the world premiere. 100 minutes, no intermission.
The Revisionist has been extended through April 21 at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., NYC. Tickets: www.TheRevisionistPlay.com; 866-811-4111.
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-- God's name taken in vain