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Becky Shaw

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Gina Gionfriddo’s Becky Shaw, which just defied the theater slump to extend into mid-March, is every bit as clever as Tracy Letts’s epic hit August: Osage County, and almost as full of what one of her characters calls “Faulknerian chaos.” The play—a quantum leap beyond Gionfriddo’s sketchy first Off Broadway show, After Ashley—is deceptively simple: A family copes with the aftermath of a father’s death and an awful blind date. What keeps you engaged and continuously rethinking your allegiances are the characters, all hilariously flawed without becoming caricatures. In particular, David Wilson Barnes plays financial analyst Max with such near-hysterical energy—all awkward lunges and trembling knees—that you glimpse the panic beneath the soulless douchebag exterior.

Becky Shaw
By Gina Gionfriddo
At Second Stage.
Through March 15


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