Review

Recent Tragic Events (2003 - 2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Opening Date: Sep 09, 2003; Lead Performances: Dana Reeve and Victor Slezak; Director: Mark Pinter

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.

Originally posted Oct 10, 2003 Published in issue #732 Oct 10, 2003 Order article reprints
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