Theresa Rebeck's new play, View Of The Dome, opened Monday, Sept. 30, at Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop on East 4th Street in Manhattan.
Rebeck's comedy/drama focuses on a young attorney who fabricates a sex scandal to help her friend's campaign for the Senate, sparking a Congressional hearing. Michael Mayer directs the piece, which stars Julia Gibson, Jim Abele, Patrick Breen, Candy Buckley, Tom Riis Farrell, Dion Graham and Richard Poe.
In his laudatory New York magazine review (Oct.14), John Simon wrote, "Normally, 100 minutes is a long time without an intermission. Not so here, as laughter snowballs into hysteria, and good intentions lead straight to hell... The play deserves a snazzily polished production, which is what it gets in spades. Michael Mayer directs with a cleverness that verges on the vertiginous, and Neil Patel has designed an airily hypermodern set with saucily tongue-in-cheek details."
In his review of View for "Our Town" (Oct. 3), Jack Temchin called the piece "half-baked," despite noting that Rebeck is "a talented writer, and her play has received a witty production from director Michael Mayer."
"The plotting is hardly inevitable," Temchin continued, "so the farce is heavy-handed...Emma's decision that the insult wasn't worth the bother is a conclusion we have arrived at much earlier, and Rebeck's play effectively self-destructs." Most of Rebeck's plays have been staged at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre, among them Spike Heels, Loose Knit and the television satire, The Family Of Mann. Her adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros will launch the Valiant Theatre Company (at NYC's Theatre Four) on Oct. 2.
Michael Mayer won a Jefferson and Carbonell Award for directing the national tour of Angels In America and has staged plays at Off Broadway's Vineyard, WPA and Atlantic Theatres.
New York Theatre Workshop was founded in 1979 and receivd an Obie Award for sustained excellence in 1991. Among NYTW's recent shows were Tony Kushner's Slavs and Jonathan Larson's Rent.
-- By David Lefkowitz