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Review Roundup: EPIPHANY at Lincoln Center Theater; What Did the Critics Think?

Read all of the critics' reviews for Epiphany!

By: Jun. 24, 2022
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EPIPHANY, a new play by Brian Watkins, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, opened last night, Thursday, June 23 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.

EPIPHANY features Francois Battiste, Marylouise Burke, Heather Burns, Jonathan Hadary, Omar Metwally, Colby Minifie, David Ryan Smith, C.J. Wilson, and Carmen Zilles. The play has sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting by Isabella Byrd, original music and sound by Daniel Kluger. Roxana Khan is the Stage Manager.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Maya Phillips, The New York Times: In one hour and 50 minutes, "Epiphany" astutely captures a wide swath of ideas without losing its grasp on the hilarious and heartbreaking experience of being a person in the world.

Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Theatre Guide: Lincoln Center Theater's Epiphany begins with an ominous rumbling that's so mighty it might measure on the Richter scale. Dishes and glasses on the set clink and chatter. The effect seems to set the stage for something of enormous magnitude. Don't hold your breath. Brian Watkins's intriguing, but ultimately blurry and low-impact, group portrait inspired by James Joyce's The Dead emerges more like an artistic exercise or theme and variation on that famous 1914 short story than a fully satisfying drama on its own.

Helen Shaw, Vulture: The cast is full of superb performers, starting with Hadary and Burke and including an underused Francois Battiste as Kelly's husband, but the conversations Watkins writes for them point at profundity while rarely attaining it.

Elysa Gardner, NY Sun: Uptown at Lincoln Center Theater, the Colorado-bred, Brooklyn-based playwright Brian Watkins gives us "Epiphany," a play unabashedly inspired by "The Dead," the short story that concludes "Dubliners." You needn't be familiar with this source material to enjoy Mr. Watkins's puckish, thoughtful new work, which reminds us that Joyce was himself indebted to an even more canonical influence.

David Cote, The Observer: This is such a dream cast of stage pros-a joy to watch separately and as a seamless ensemble in a comedy of manners-I forgot to be irritated that the play doesn't hinge on any of them. Each rattles off reams of banter and cross-talk, enacting complicated blocking expertly orchestrated by director Tyne Rafaeli, but in the end, I'm not sure their presence affects the outcome that Watkins pre-ordained. They show up, interact awkwardly, get drunk, become confused and sad, and eventually leave. Late in the night, Morkan drops a bomb on the group, a revelation about her missing sister. The reveal only underscores the randomness of the gathering.


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