(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/18.)

A friendly suburban barbecue spirals into a delirious, dangerous bacchanal in the superb play “Detroit,” by Lisa D’Amour, which sizzled open at Playwrights Horizons on Tuesday night. A sharp X-ray of the embattled American psyche as well as a smart, tart critique of the country’s fraying social fabric, Ms. D’Amour’s dark comedy is as rich and addictively satisfying as a five-layer dip served up with a brimming bowl of tortilla chips.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize after its premiere two years ago at the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago — where I was first knocked out by it — Ms. D’Amour’s play has, happily and unhappily, lost none of its topical punch in its wayward journey to New York. (Scheduled for Broadway last season, the play made a pit stop at the National Theater in London before arriving here Off Broadway, in a new production directed with finesse by Anne Kauffman.)


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