Author: Kathleen Campion


While Ink is truly a cautionary tale, James Graham gives us more —  a singular story of a specific time and place — the significant birthing of tabloid journalism, bare-breasted, and balls-out, as Fleet Street and, specifically, Murdock’s Sun, delivered it in 1969.  And yes, the rest, as they say, is history.  You can engage the “what ifs” and the “but fors” — but Ink is powered by the inevitability of the thing — if not Murdock, another.  If not Trump, another.

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This is an emotional minefield that forces an insightful confrontation with all the racial subtexts we pretend to have in hand. There’s laughter and passion and some pretty serious eye-opening.

Exceptional talent – Suzan-Lori Parks wrote it, and Oskar Eustis directs, and Daveed Diggs headlines — combine for a near perfect production at the Public.
If you can get a ticket get one…get ten…you’ll be a hero to your friends.

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You might say there is something for everyone here — love and loss, teenaged angst, loss of innocence, aliens (the space kind), comic books cum graphic art, the existential struggle of good vs evil, even earnest ecological concerns.  (Selma Ritter’s droll observation about Eve Harrington’s histrionic story comes to mind: “Everything but the bloodhounds snapping at her rear end.”)

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So let me just say it.  I found the first act annoying, the songs overlong to the point of tedium.  (That may say more about my attention span than anything else.)  That said, the second act delivers.  It benefits by reprising “It’s a Lovely Day Today,”  a charming duet with Jason Gotay and Lauren Worsham, which you loved in act one, and probably always have.

Act two also leans heavily on the durable chemistry between Carmen Cusack and Jason Gotay as they engage the harmonies of “You’re Just In Love.”  What’s more, we get one of Berlin’s affectionate tributes to vaudeville, with the roistering trio of Brad Oscar, Stanley Wayne Mathis, and Adam Heller, as they deliver  “They Like Ike,”  replete with straw hats and time-steps.  I’m saying the second act gets it done.

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It would be a cheap shot to say Noura, is just a contemporary version of  A Doll’s House, with an Iraqi-refugee wash.  But, it gets us in the ballpark.
There are many intriguing parallels, but Raffo’s Noura borrows judiciously and enriches profoundly.

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