I didn't believe a word of Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, directed by Davis McCallum. I didn't believe that the characters were real people. I didn't think that the references to Moby-Dick and Jonah and the whale had any relevance other than that the main character, Charlie (well-played by Shuler Hensley) is huge and whales are huge. I didn't find the conversations about religion compelling or even vaguely interesting. I didn't believe that anyone could spend five seconds with Charlie's daughter Ellie without having her locked up as a psychopath. I didn't believe that Liz didn't have any other friends. I didn't believe that anyone would sit on Charlie's couch, which had been presented as sweaty and smelly. I didn't believe that Charlie's ex-wife would lay her head on his chest, which had also been presented as sweaty and smelly. I didn't believe that Charlie is fat; he's a man in a fat suit who sits, rather than falls, and gets up without moaning in pain. I didn't think there was anything at all behind the sound and fury of The Whale. I didn't like this play.
(first row, Playwrights Horizons membership)