Stage Review

COMEDIANS (2003 - 2003)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Opening Date: Jan 15, 2003; Lead Performances: Jim Dale and Raul Esparza; Writer: Trevor Griffiths; Director: Scott Elliott

Setting a play in a night school for comics is a terrific theatrical concept, an easily imagined field day for actors. So it's no surprise that -- in this revival of British playwright Trevor Griffiths' acclaimed 1975 work -- the ensemble cast triumphs, particularly Jim Dale as the earnest teacher, and Raul Esparza as a bitter performance artist whose style is 10 steps ahead of the curve. But Griffiths has a lot more in mind than meaty roles. He's written a highly serious play about comedy, driven by fierce working-class anger and passionately argued issues of integrity. It goes straight to the heart of what's funny and what's not -- leaving us rousingly unsettled.

Originally posted Feb 14, 2003 Published in issue #695 Feb 14, 2003 Order article reprints
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