Joshua Rich
October 10, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Portraits

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Emmylou Harris
Producers
Reprise Records
genre
Country

We gave it a B+

Though similarly worthwhile, the latest 9/11-based productions couldn’t be more different. Comprising six separate views of the tragedy, ”Portraits” amounts to a moving (if occasionally clumsy) event. With Dana Reeve’s passionate rendering of a widow furious that her late husband chose heroism over her, and the marvelous Victor Slezak as a guilt-ridden World Trade Center businessman who survived because he was off having an affair (similar stuff occurred in Neil LaBute’s ”The Mercy Seat”), Jonathan Bell’s monologue collection is as provocative as it is cathartic. Meanwhile, Heather Graham makes a credible NYC theater debut in Events, joking ”There’s this great new show called ”Attack on America” — it’s really long.” Yes, it’s a Sept. 11 ”comedy.” And, yes, some of the most compelling lines go to a sock puppet. But anchored by a firm sense of fate and irony, Craig Wright’s inventive snapshot of a group of Minnesotans who become slowly un-numbed playing drinking games on Sept. 12 moderates the awkwardness just fine.

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