Okay, my return to theater after more than a week away was a powerful one, thank goodness. I was losing my faith from a string of losers (to browse the list of what I’ve seen check out the Theater Log).
Bad Jews at Roundabout’s Black Box will probably take on more resonance with the passage of time. While watching, I was riveted and also aware that my own point of view was clear. Even at the end, when the playwright challenges the audience with some revelations that might shake that certainty, I was still comfortable inside myself. I know which argument I favor, even if I might change a core plot action as a result of the revelations. So I was not changed by seeing the play.
However, this is good theater. Strong content, doing what a good play is supposed to do–make you think, make you reflect on the characters and how they develop, challenge you.
These are flawed characters, all. Each is deluded and endures some painful truth-telling. The one character who tries “to stay out of it” ends up at the center, being forced to have an opinion. I would say that the end of the play means change for the 3 principals, and maybe even the 4th character. The moments of awareness at the very end are subtle (which the rest of the play is not) and clearly left for post-play discussion.
This is one to see with a friend and plan to discuss. Will it transcend its heavily Jewish content? Will it transcend its mini-lecturette formatting, albeit delivered at hyper speed? I’m interested in your thoughts. For sure, you will see 4 young actors working their hearts out. You’ll see a play that will push you, make you work along with the characters, and maybe make you laugh, often in a kind of cringing way.
Click on this link to learn more about the production and watch a video that, warning, gives a bit away. As you know, I like to go in knowing nothing. So if that’s you, viewer beware.