Off Broadway Theater Review: NEUTRAL HERO (The Kitchen)

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by Harvey Perr on October 30, 2012

in Theater-New York

MAXWELL COUNTRY: WHERE HEROES ROAM

There is only one Richard Maxwell and, in his extraordinarily textured Neutral Hero, he has gone back to his roots.  For those of us who have longed for the early days of his short but tantalizing pieces – with their seemingly non-professional actors, whose affectless recitations, never driven by emotions, were both raucously funny and deadly serious and rich in their combination of banality, poetry, and outbursts of song, and which showed us ourselves without our being able to easily identify his world as our own – the good news is that he has returned to form without losing a beat.  Off Broadway Theater Review, Richard Maxwell, Neutral Hero, The Kitchen in New YorkMaxwell, perhaps the only possible director of his own work, has staged to a fare-thee-well a breathtaking portrait of a small town so vividly described that you can see it, feel it, and breathe it.  And covering the spectrum from life to death, he also follows the saga of a man who returns to that town in search of the father who seemed to have abandoned him and has not since returned, but who has been on a mean journey of his own.  The result is universal in the best sense and, at heart, pure Americana.  Off Broadway Theater Review, Richard Maxwell, Neutral Hero, The Kitchen in New YorkThe slice of apple pie you get at The Kitchen these days has the tang of the sharp cheddar that has been slathered over it.  And you may be surprised to discover that Richard Maxwell, for all the emotional detachment that defines his work, not only has a heart but a humanitarian sense of our country’s inequities.  Uniquely and hauntingly told, Neutral Hero, like its creator, is one of a kind.

photos by Paula Court

Neutral Hero
at The Kitchen in New York
scheduled to end on November 3, 2012
for tickets, visit www.thekitchen.org or call 212.255.5793 x11

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