(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 5/19; via Pam Green.)

Anyone who’s ever woken up in a strange apartment with an unexpected bedmate and a deathly hangover will appreciate the brute fear that pervades the first moments of “The Way We Get By,” a slight but spirited new play by Neil LaBute, which opened on Tuesday night at Second Stage Theater.

It’s not just the pained walk of that man in his boxer shorts (Thomas Sadoski), lumbering across the stage like a zombie in search of brains, that commands instant pity and terror. So does the what-the-hell-have-I-done expression plastered on his face like a “Wanted” sign, and the subtle, ominous hum (the throb of conscience or merely traffic in the distance?) that underscores every step he takes.


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