Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: GREAT KILLS (Theater for the New City)

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by Dmitry Zvonkov on March 31, 2015

in Theater-New York


In Tom Diriwachter’s Great Kills, Tim, an overeducated 40-year-old loser who still lives in his father’s house on State Island, invites his successful childhood friend Robert over to try and convince him to invest in a get-rich-quick scheme. The stage comes alive whenever the always excellent Joe Pantoliano, who plays Tim’s hard-drinking father, Mr. G, is called upon to do or say anything. But much of the play, which deals with past sins, regrets, broken lives and broken dreams, is taken up by interchanges between Tim (Robert Homeyer) and Robert (Peter Welch); and while I’m sure Misters Homeyer and Welch are both fine actors; in this instance their surface portrayals and halting rhythm leave one unsatisfied.

Peter Welch and Robert Homeyer in GREAT KILLS. Photo by Rosalie Baijer.

The impression this critic comes away with is that director Jonathan Webber fails to sufficiently explore and diagram their two characters. Perhaps the issue is simply insufficient rehearsal time, in which case there is hope the show will improve in the future. As is, Mr. Pantoliano’s performance makes this production worth watching. But Mr. Diriwachter’s play, although solid, is also conventional, even predictable, which makes it that much more important for all performances to be layered and tell their own stories.

Joe Pantoliano in GREAT KILLS. Photo by Jonathan by Rosalie Baijer
and Jonathan Slaff

Great Kills
Theater for the New City
155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Wed-Sat at 8; Sun at 3
ends on April 12, 2015
for tickets, call (212) 254-1109
or visit

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