Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of EUREKA DAY?
Colt Coeur presents the east coast premiere of Jonathan Spector's lauded play, EUREKA DAY. Tackling hyper-liberalism, the politics of parenting, and the heated nationwide debate on vaccines in one fell swoop, Spector's ripped-from-the-headlines play is directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Primary Stages' Downstairs, Colt Coeur's Joan). Performances begin at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, between Broadway and Church Street) on Saturday, August 24th toward opening night on Thursday, August 29th. General admission tickets are priced at $25 and are available atcoltcoeur.org.
Echoing the recent outbreaks across the country of the all-but-eradicated measles-and the passionate arguments from both sides of the vaccine debate-EUREKA DAY takes on hot button issues with a healthy dose of comedy in tow. Carina has just enrolled her son at the uber-progressive EUREKA DAY School in Berkeley and is immediately thrown into the deep end as the newest member of the private school's board of directors. With school facing shutdown over an outbreak of the mumps, Carina has to navigate not only her own deeply held personal beliefs, but the subtle yet firm influence of founding board member Suzanne, online trolls, and the myriad school policies in place designed to make everyone "feel seen." Can the parents of EUREKA DAY reach a consensus on what's best for the children when they can't even agree on the facts?
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: In the squabbling and eventual all-out feuding that ensues, characters who had seemed so easy to ridicule as stereotypes acquire a substance and specificity that inhibit both derision and facile categorization. It becomes possible to identify with each of these people, embodied by an impeccably codependent ensemble, no matter what your own feelings about vaccination are.
This means that "Eureka Day," which made its debut last year at the Aurora Theater Company in Berkeley, is not only one of the funniest plays to open this year, it is one of the saddest.
Michael Sommers, New York Stage Review: Warning: Prepare to be triggered into fits of laughter by Eureka Day, an extremely funny and ultimately thoughtful new comedy...Opening on Thursday in its East Coast premiere, this smart comedy by Jonathan Spector-a writer new to me-is likely to appear on many critical top-ten lists come next spring.
Photo Credit: Robert Altman