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THIS WIDE NIGHT Receives Rave Review in The New York Times

The American premiere of Chloe Moss’ THIS WIDE NIGHT, starring Edie Falco and Alison Pill and directed by Anne Kauffman, opened last night at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. Below is Ben Brantley’s rave review in The New York Times.

“Two actresses at the TOP OF THEIR GAME. Though it’s running time is less than an hour and a half, I could have raptly watched for another hour or so.”

Two Ex-Cellmates Disoriented by Time
May 17, 2010

Even without reading Einstein, anyone who lives past the age of 2 figures out that time and space are relative. (When did my bedroom shrink? How did last year disappear so fast?) But rarely do you get to see this law of physics demonstrated with the artistry and emotional impact that Edie Falco and Alison Pill bring to it in “This Wide Night,” Chloë Moss’s deceptively slim two-character play at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

On the surface, very little happens in this Naked Angels production, which opened on Sunday night. The most eventful chapters in the existences of Lorraine (Ms. Falco) and Marie (Ms. Pill), former cellmates who meet again in London, are probably in the past, an idea that clearly haunts them. Yet as directed by Anne Kauffman and performed by two actresses at the top of their game, “This Wide Night” feels more packed with complex, compressed life than a season of television crime dramas.

“It’s different, isn’t it?” Lorraine says, shortly after arriving at the slovenly one-room flat where Marie appears less to be residing than camping out. Lorraine, 50, has just been released from the prison where she spent 12 years, and she is talking about time and the velocity it has suddenly acquired. Her reunion with Marie, a younger woman whose prison sentence was shorter and who has been free longer, had once seemed like “a speck in the distance.” Now here they are, together again, and a long-anticipated event has happened, it seems, too abruptly.

Their rhythms are off. They’re either too late or too early in picking up each other’s cues. Their speech pours out in rushes of words pitted with dangerous silences. Two women who spent years doing little but talking to each other are now incapable of basic conversation.

“This Wide Night,” staged in London in 2008, was commissioned by the Clean Break Theater Company, a group that describes itself as “working with women whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system.” In 2006, Ms. Moss spent a writer’s residency in a prison in Kent, England, gathering the material from which this play was born. It has since been performed in women’s prisons in the United Kingdom.

Ms. Moss’s script is without the shrill, self-conscious worthiness that sometimes cripples productions with social mandates. The play is shaped with compassion, but there is never even an echo of special pleading. Ms. Moss’s goal is to convey, in visceral terms, the disorientation of lives resumed after rending, warping interruptions. And you don’t have to have done time to identify with Lorraine and Marie’s addled, anguished sense of time.

To read the full review CLICK HERE.

This Wide Night is produced by NAKED ANGELS in association with Richie Jackson and H!GHBROW.

This Wide Night will be the first play in a full season of compelling new works produced by NAKED ANGELS in celebration of its 25th Anniversary as one of the most innovative theatre companies in New York. The remaining productions of the NAKED ANGELS 25th Anniversary Season will be announced at a later date.

Naked Angels is led by Geoffrey Nauffts (Artistic Director), John Alexander (Managing Director), Andy Donald (Associate Artistic Director) and Brittany O’Neill (Producer).

This Wide Night plays the following performance schedule:

Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM; and Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM. No performance: Sunday, June 13 at 7 PM. The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre is located at 416 West 42nd Street.

Tickets are $70; for reservations call (212) 279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.

Follow Naked Angels on Twitter: @NakedAngels, and on Facebook 

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