Review Roundup: What Did The Critics Think of COLIN QUINN: RED STATE BLUE STATE at The Minetta Lane Theatre?
Colin Quinn is back and not a moment too soon. The satirical sage from Brooklyn returns with Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State, where he lays bare the absurdities, hypocrisies and calamities on both sides of the political divide. This is no witch hunt: Colin is here to own the libs, the conservs and all of you in between.
The show officially opened last night, January 22. Let's see what the critics are saying...
Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: Quinn's conclusion that all Americans really want the same thing and that what causes conflict are the different ways in which we try to achieve them may not be a popular one, but when he sends us all off after his bow with War's hit single "Why Can't We Be Friends?" piped through the theatre, it's hard not to feel a little more optimistic about the states becoming a bit more united.
Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times: Mr. Quinn throws out a couple of ideas for what to do about our fractured union, but "Red State Blue State" isn't a prescription. It's a provocation. Do we want to rip apart this nation we've constructed? Or should we try to rebuild?
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: Not everything works. Quinn's deadpan delivery can become monotonous over the course of an evening. And the show's climactic episode, in which he skewers each of the country's 50 states with a withering one-liner, proves hit-or-miss. But those flaws don't prevent Red State Blue State, which will eventually be available on Audible, from being the sort of sharp political satire we can't seem to get enough of right now.
Deb Miller, DC Metro: If you believe in the old maxim that laughter is the best medicine, be sure to catch Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State; it provides the antidote we all need in today's contentious political climate. If only it could be a permanent cure for what ails us . . . but at least it offers some temporary comic relief.
Robert Hofler, The Wrap: Quinn is at his funniest when he takes on - no surprise - Donald Trump. He doesn't resort to the beach-blond wig, the obscenely long red tie or turning his mouth into a cat's anus. Quinn doesn't even sound that much like the president, but he replicates his one-syllable bombast ("great") to perfection. So how come every state in the union, even those that didn't vote for Trump, get the same one or two-sentence take-down? (Michigan: "No one's going back to Detroit. Drop it.")
Tulis McCall, New York Theatre Guide: Although Quinn disparages most of the immediate world, he does it with a light touch. He also repurposes and recycles his material, and makes it work. Opinions on the Constitution, international relations, the two party-system have not changed. He has, perhaps at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, brought them back in a new set of clothes. He has read and studied and read some more. Life is easily broken down into simple truths that, if most people got their noses above the water level, they would see for themselves. Quinn understands that we are walking around with blinders on, and he does not condemn us for that. Instead he steps into our field of vision and makes it impossible to look away. Quinn makes you smile as you squirm. Quinn is a comedian who sticks to your ribs. Bravo.
Raven Snook, Time Out: Yet this solo show, minimally directed by Bobby Morseco, lacks a clear narrative through line. Quinn has mined some of the same subjects in previous outings, such as Long Story Short and Unconstitutional, and his routine often seems stitched together, like a parade of greatest political hits-and misses. (His bit on vigilantism gets tired fast.) But at a brisk 75 minutes, Red State Blue State has a fairly high laugh rate and, despite its hot-button topicality, feels designed to unite, not offend. We may be hopelessly divided as a country, but Quinn stakes out territory for comedy as a temporary common ground.
Matt Windman, amNY: Even if you disagree with Quinn, his fast, loose and furious mode of presentation (as directed by Bobby Moresco) is consistently exciting and packed with solid laugh lines and smart comparisons between history, politics and pop culture.