Author: Kathleen Campion


A play needs more than a clown car of notions and a three ring circus of ambiguity, even if all that tickles your imagination and spurs your conversation.  In A Parallelogram  are we seeing a visionary young woman who’s perception allows us to entertain remarkable possibilities?  Or, are we visiting the distorted world-view generated by her brain tumor?  Intriguing to consider, but can you give the audience a hint?

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The powerhouse — just right — play is this three-pack is Jack.  Playwright Melissa Ross is fearless.  Her two characters, George (Aaron Roman Weiner) and Maggie (Claire Karpen), inhabit the stage, each defending a section of their battle-scarred and now-ended, marital struggle.  Their exchanges, ostensibly about the sudden loss of their beloved dog, Jack, are the stuff of all exchanges that men and women engage in when they have loved and lost.  The fight is just below the surface; it is raw and easily summoned.

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Oscar Isaac is riveting in the title role — and not just because he spends an inordinate amount of time in his underwear displaying distracting flanks (attention: Calvin Klein marketing).  He inhabits  and invigorates the troubled young prince; he talks and talks and talks and often makes new, lines that can carry a shopworn familiarity

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The cataclysm that shocks the audience into intermission is stunning.  I won’t spoil if for you but will say as the audience recovered there was a rush to Google the horrific event that shook the room and changes everything.  It leaves you longing for act 2.

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