Review Roundup: Eric Bogosian's DRINKING IN AMERICA

Drinking in America runs through Saturday, April 8 at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

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Audible Theater is presenting Drinking in America, written by three-time Obie Award winner Eric Bogosian, starring Andre Royo ("The Wire"), and directed by Mark Armstrong.

Drinking in America runs through Saturday, April 8 at the Minetta Lane Theatre (18 Minetta Lane, between MacDougal & 6th Avenue - one block south of W. 3rd Street), Audible's creative home for live performances in New York.

Drinking in America is a gritty, muscular restaging with star Andre Royo (The Wire) bringing to vivid life over a dozen colorful characters, each in the throes of intoxication. Written and originated by three-time Obie Award winner Eric Bogosian, this critically acclaimed work takes on a new persona in our present day, with terms like toxic masculinity and male fragility at the forefront of the zeitgeist. In this new interpretation, Drinking in America continues to challenge society's ideal of what exactly makes a man, and just how easy it can be to break that same man down.

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Elysa Gardner, New York Sun: Back in the halcyon days of 1986, before "toxic masculinity" had been formally identified as a virulent social disease and a talking point for cable news pundits, the then-rising playwright and performer Eric Bogosian unleashed "Drinking in America," a one-act piece in which he played more than a dozen men - each captured under the influence of an intoxicant or two.

Amelia Merrill, New York Theatre Guide: The missive of Drinking in America is unclear beyond "Don't do drugs" or, rather, "Do drugs if you want, I guess." It need not be a diatribe or a scared-straight lecture, but the revival reinforces its lack of a larger thesis. Minetta Lane is the theatrical home for Amazon's Audible, and Drinking in America is suitable as an audio drama to listen to on your phone. Its current form showcases Royo's talent and lets actors jot down monologues to add to their repertoire, but it doesn't aspire to something more impactful. Due in large part to Royo's star power, however, Drinking in America will achieve its goal to sell tickets regardless of the impression it leaves.

James Wilson, Talkin Broadway: Comprising a series of monologues, Drinking in America offers a gallery of rogues, scoundrels, and desolate men. Most of the vignettes include references to drugs and/or alcohol. And just as it did originally, the evening commences with the actor as himself welcoming the audience and sharing an excerpt from a journal entry he had written as a much younger man. Royo reads a passage he wrote as a college student and which describes an experience he had with a young woman after dropping acid. Royo then transforms into about a dozen different characters, representing a range of socio-economic classes.

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