Reviews

I Was Improvising, Which Everybody Just Loves

Over the course of three plays—Asuncion, The Revisionist, and The Spoils—Jesse Eisenberg has established himself as the premier satirist of guilt-ridden, ineffectual American liberalism.  His work is littered with a gaggle of narcissistic, white idiots, and Happy Talk, his latest, is no exception.  This is the first of his plays in which Eisenberg does not […]

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Reviews

How Do You Not Like Me?

Jesse Eisenberg has gotten angrier.  His first play, Asuncion, was a merciless takedown of white, liberal politics, but at its center was a genuinely warm if dysfunctional love story.  His follow-up, The Revisionist, was admittedly colder, pitting a self-absorbed, pretentious writer against a savvy, Polish Holocaust survivor.  But The Spoils, now being produced by The New Group at […]

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Reviews

An Intact Originality and Character

David (Jesse Eisenberg), the protagonist of Mr. Eisenberg’s new play, bears some resemblance to Edgar, the part he played in Asuncion, his first work for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater: he is an entitled, pot smoking vegetarian whose condescension does not prevent him from prefacing every sentence with, “Sorry.”  But unlike Edgar, David is not particularly […]

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Reviews

I’m Not Racist, But…

There is a moment in James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—possibly the pinnacle of white liberal guilt—in which Agee accidentally startles a young Black couple: “I was trying in some fool way to keep it somehow relatively light, because I could not bear that they should receive from me any added […]

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