I’ve just started a new gig covering New York theater for a website called CultureVulture.net. I made my debut on the site with a review of Edward Albee‘s Me, Myself & I at Playwrights Horizons.
“It revolves around a pair of 28-year-old identical twins and their mother, who’s so monstrously self-involved that she can’t tell them apart. “Which one are you?” says Mother, played by Elizabeth Ashley as a fabulous frazzle, propped up in bed next to her elderly doctor boyfriend (Brian Murray), who’s fully dressed in three-piece suit. “Are you the one who loves me?” Clearly, everything about the twins’ lives has been arranged for her convenience, including their names: OTTO and otto….
“At its best, “Me, Myself & I” is an extended theatrical prank that pays homage to Albee’s roots in what critic Martin Esslin labeled Theater of the Absurd, a somewhat dodgy catch-all to describe the playwrights who emerged from the existential funk of post-World War II Europe. The minimalist set and language of “Me, Myself & I” refer explicitly to Samuel Beckett, one of Albee’s heroes, just as the replication of names pays homage to Eugène Ionesco (who once wrote a children’s story about a family whose members were all named Jacqueline). And the play’s self-referential theatricality has its roots in Luigi Pirandello (“Six Characters in Search of an Author”).”
See the whole review here.