[Greetings! As this is my first post at Show Showdown, here's a quick introduction: I'm Jon Sobel, a New York theater critic. (I'm also a music writer and a musician.) I'm the Theater Editor of Blogcritics Magazine, where our theater series is called Stage Mage, and I also post at my own blog, The Bagel and the Rat, where you can usually find my theater and music criticism as well as the occasional book review, political ramble, or reflective grumble about life in New York City.]
A parent gets sick or dies; damaged or estranged family members gather. This is the ur-text of present-day American theater. We can't avoid this fundamental plot machine. But we can appreciate what different playwrights do with it. Dark drama, comedy, absurdity - all are valid approaches. But the talented playwright Nicky Silver tries all three in Raised in Captivity, and perhaps inevitably, though he nails various targets over the course of the longish two-acter, he ultimately gets spun around one too many times and pins the tail on the Led Zeppelin poster.
Photo by Nathan Johnson.