In Woody Allen’s latest theatrical foray, a fifties Brooklyn family squabbles over obligation, money, and the incompatibility of love and marriage. The estranged beatnik daughter-narrator pops into her relatives’ dreams, introduces flashbacks, and explains the title (she’s just telling us what she heard). There’s a struggling business, a restless adult son, a benefactor-uncle who can grant wishes. And there are plenty of those—hardly enough space exists in this apartment for so many dreams deferred. There is also no shortage of nostalgia, for mistresses, richer days, innocence (“Do you even play the guitar anymore?” a wounded character asks). A preoccupation of this dour tale’s is infidelity, but Allen addresses it, and all the characters’ bad behavior, with a breezy amorality that hardly quickens the blood.
A Second Hand Memory
by Woody Allen
At the Atlantic Theater Company