Man from Nebraska

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87411-11This New York premiere of Tracy Letts’ 2004 play “Man from Nebraska” is a NY Times’ critics pick and has been extended through March 26, so clearly it has found an audience. However, while I am a fan of Letts and of director David Cromer, I’ve preferred some of their other work, such as Letts’ “August: Osage County” and Cromer’s direction of “The Band’s Visit.” Here, the very slow start leads into watching Reed Birney, a grandfather from Nebraska, go on a walkabout and wonder about faith, science, drugs and alcohol — which seems a bit like a “delayed-onset adolescence.” Nonetheless, the acting is quietly strong — or in the case of fabulous Nana Mensah, not so quiet. As one audience-member quipped, this play could definitely help you feel better about how substantive and varied your own life is by comparison.

Geisel Odbody

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