Sandra Coudert
Aubry D'Arminio
October 28, 2011 AT 02:30 PM EDT

First time’s a charm, apparently: Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg’s stage-writing debut, Asuncion, earned a healthy B+ this week from writer Keith Staskiewicz. Our critics also saw two other productions — a premiere on the Main Stem and an I Love Lucy tribute in L.A — highlights below.

Asuncion: According to Staskiewicz, Eisenberg’s off-Broadway comedy about a liberal who discovers his hidden prejudices “is a solid playwriting debut.” “Even if the plot can be as shaggy and messy as the low-rent apartment in which it’s set,” he says, “Eisenberg has created something more ambitious than the sort of safe, colorless dramedy that a lot of first-time playwrights go for.”

Chinglish: “Playwright David Henry Hwang has built a consistently funny, surprisingly deep two-hour comedy,” writes critic Melissa Rose Bernardo about the tale of an American businessman who attempts to take his family’s sign-making business to China. She gives the Broadway comedy — which is performed in both English and Mandarin — an A-.

I Love Lucy: Live on Stage: “This fizzy production almost entirely turns on the cast,” says staff writer Tanner Stransky, about the Los Angeles show, which recreates a live taping of the classic sitcom. “Any true Lucy fan will understand that [star Sirena Irwin] has studied the late comedienne intensely,” he adds, rating the show a B+. “Bill Mendieta nails the more even-keeled rhythm of Ricky Ricardo. And don’t worry about the Mertzes. Bill Chott and Lisa Joffrey are both able to bring cantankerous neighbors Fred and Ethel to life.”

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST