The Realistic Joneses opened yesterday, April 6, on Broadway at the Lycuem Theatre (149 W 45th Street). This new American play by Will Eno comes to Broadway after a critically-acclaimed run at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2012. Here are the reviews, as compiled by Broadway World, alongside some new production stills.
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: “But there is more to the goofy John, played with robust wryness by Hall, and Tomei’s sweetly dizzy Pony than meets the eye. Using the intriguingly offbeat dialogue that is his hallmark – full of non sequiturs and blunt but often contradictory remarks that both evoke natural speech and lend a slightly surreal quality – Eno draws his four characters to each other in ways that, however predictable, movingly emphasize the ultimate commonality of the human condition…Joneses isn’t a downer, though, and director Sam Gold and his excellent cast ensure that its humor and poignance are equally served. Predictably, there’s no neat resolution; the play ends with all four of its characters in a relatively upbeat mood, yet not any surer how things will turn out. But that’s life for you, isn’t it?”
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: “It’s funny how trying to connect with neighbors, spouses, God, whomever, can lead you nowhere. Will Eno takes that idea and runs with it in “The Realistic Joneses,” an anxious comedy that packs rueful zingers, four first-rate starry performances and – buzzkill time, kids – diminishing returns for the entire second half…Under Sam Gold’s tight direction, the cast is natural and convincing. But three-quarters of an hour into the 95-minute show, the script simply circles without deepening, darkening or clarifying…But in “Realistic Joneses,” his Broadway debut, the engine remains stuck in second. Keeping up with these Joneses quickly loses its appeal.”
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune: “To some extent, Eno seems to be asking which of the Joneses is, in fact, realistic? Any of ‘em? This is a play about confronting mortality for sure, which is what underscores the gobs of intellectual and linguistic stimulation that flows from the stage: Letts’ Bob, for example, no longer sees the point of painting the house, given that it only has to be redone. That being what you do is no longer sufficient for him. Bob, for the record, has many more caustic zingers, even though the character barely has the energy to spit them out. Hall’s John, meanwhile, keeps trying to talk risks of new enterprises and new ways to communicate (why not?), but he mostly flails. Of course. Death is a brick wall. But the play’s emotional appeal – and this one, weird as it most surely is, has more of that than any Eno work to date – comes from its equal recognition of the stress of taking care of the ill, the dying, the declining, the angst-ridden…Gold clearly understands that Eno is a writer with heart and compassion (and a useful touch of insecurity).” Read full story »