The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)

AntV
Featured Actor
joined:12/23/12
The Killer at TFANA
Posted: 5/22/14 at 11:15pm
Thoughts?
Vespertine1228
Broadway Legend
joined:10/30/05
The Killer at TFANA
Posted: 5/23/14 at 12:37am
It's truly one of those can't miss situations. A remarkable production of an unjustly forgotten play. It's funny, it's terrifying, it's intellectual, it's depressing, it's life-affirming. Michael Shannon proves why he's one of our best actors.

It's the fastest 3 hours I've ever spent in a theater. I expect the reviews next week to be rapturous.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
The Killer at TFANA
Posted: 5/23/14 at 12:39am
Ionesco is one of my all time favorite playwrights. I'm sad I'm missing this. But I suspect it will be a hot ticket.
wexy
Broadway Legend
joined:9/19/05
The Killer at TFANA
Posted: 5/23/14 at 09:24am
will definetely see it..
'Take me out tonight where's there's music and there's people and they're young and alive.'
Tom-497
Stand-by
joined:12/18/05
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 5/25/14 at 08:08pm
I saw this afternoon's performance and I'm going to guess that the reviews will be all over the place for The Killer. My own view is that, despite some striking segments, the production as a whole tended to be overly broad and something of a slog.

In addition, the play itself (which I wasn't familiar with) struck me as extremely derivative at times. That was most pronounced during the "Ma Piper" political rally, which was little more than warmed-over Orwell. But more than once I was also strongly reminded of Dostoevsky, and especially of the Grand Inquisitor during Michael Shannon's long series of questions, suggestions, pleas, etc., in the final scene.

Also, although I loved Kristine Nielsen in Vanya and Sonya, her performance this afternoon (as Ma Piper and the Concierge) struck me as both slight and overstated. Similarly, Michael Shannon, who gave one of my favorite performances ever in Mistakes Were Made, was sometimes just tediously manic as the main character Berenger.

To me, the best performance of the afternoon came from Paul Sparks (another Boardwalk Empire cast member) as Berenger's sickly and shady friend Edward. In fact, the scene between Edward and Berenger in Berenger's dumpy flat was the only one that I thought worked all the way through.

As far as the other Ionesco productions I can recall, I'd say The Killer was better than Exit the King on Broadway, not as good as The Bald Soprano at the Pearl, and about on par with Rhinoceros at BAM.

Updated On: 5/25/14 at 08:08 PM
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:17pm

The play is a beautiful, ungainly monstrosity, entrenched in metaphor, psychology, and social justice. The production is frightening, funny, both mystifying and clear as a ringing bell, stark, gorgeous, violently chaotic, then suddenly unsettling in its stillness.

Paul Sparks does the kind of character work most actors can only dream of. Kristine Nielsen does her low-to-high-to-low-voice Kristine Nielsen Thing, but she’s very effective. And Michael Shannon – well, I’m biased, I suppose, as I can’t recall ever not loving him, ever since seeing BLACKBIRD in 2002 and thinking, “Who is this guy?!” but I found him extraordinary here. The deftness of his final, monolithic “monologue,” standing on a turntable in a pool of light, is nothing short of an achievement.

To say it’s one of the best productions I’ve ever seen may sound hyperbolic, but I mean it sincerely – and with such a text, no less. I can’t imagine the production team and actors picking it up and not feeling terrified.

(And if you don’t know the piece, I’d say it’s best to go in cold. But go.)
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PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/15/14 at 10:52pm
Saw this today, not sure what production the NYT saw because I loved this, absolutely hysterical and Shannon is giving an AMAZING performance as is Paul Sparks, in my opinion this was WAY better than their recent production of Midsummer Nights Dream
dshnookie
Broadway Star
joined:9/15/07
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/16/14 at 12:52am
I saw this on Friday night and despite sitting in wet shoes and socks due to the torrential downpour, I too thoroughly enjoyed it.

I am not familiar with absurdist writing so this question may be silly to ask and may not have a concrete answer/is open to interpretation but SPOILERS **** does anyone care to share any insight on Paul Sparks' character and the evidence concealed in his briefcase that Berenger seemed to overlook? Also, what purpose did the Ma Piper character serve in Act 3?
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/16/14 at 01:21am
I think Ma Piper was suppose to be a symbol for conformity, i mean her followers are LITERALLY goose stepping (i.e nazi's)

*SPOILERS*



As for Paul Sparks character Edward I believe he is the ACTUAL killer, however!


the figure Berenger ultimately faces in the end is just a mental amalgamation of "The Killer" as he has had a mental break and ultimately is actually the grim reaper.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/16/14 at 07:48am

I just saw the Times review. I didn't realize the show had opened.

We certainly didn't need more proof that Charles Isherwood is a terrible critic, but there he is, giving it to us anyway.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/16/14 at 07:58am
The Times review is one of the most off-the-mark I have ever read.

This is a fantastic production in all regards.
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
The Killer at TFANA (Spoilers)
Posted: 6/16/14 at 01:30pm
I saw this over the weekend and found it to be pretty good. This was my first exposure to Ionesco so I can't say yet if his writing is for me or not.

The main thing I liked about this production were the performances. Michael Shannon is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors (on stage and screen) because he just goes for it. I know he's bat-sh!t crazy in real life and you can definitely feel that in his performances. Kristine Nielsen was hilarious as the Concierge but I didn't like her quite as much as Ma Piper which is probably just how the two roles are written. Paul Sparks embodied so many aspects from comedic to sorrowful to creepy and did all of them brilliantly.

I think the direction of the play was pretty fantastic too. After seeing GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE I wasn't super impressed by Darko Tresnjak but my mind is totally changed after this outing. The sparse set in the beginning was still able to capture the effect of the Radiant City and the set changes in the other acts worked well too. The lighting for each scene with the use of red evoked the proper emotions for the scenes as well.

The play itself left me a little confused. I got the parallels of the Nazis and Hitler (hopefully that's right) but was just kind of ho-hum on what was being said about them. Each act seemed kind of stand alone with minor elements being weaved throughout but it never felt like one cohesive piece. Some other posters have mentioned that it was a quick 3 hours but I definitely felt the length and by the final scene of Act 3 I was starting to doze off.

One note about TFANA because this was my first time in the space. I think it's a pretty poorly set up space. If you're sitting on the sides of the balcony it's very hard to take everything in. There were times when I specifically noticed the actors looking up a lot which is good but I still felt like those seats shouldn't be used unless the performance is completely sold. Once I moved down to the orchestra things got much better.
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