(Ken Jaworowski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/20; via Pam Green.)
“Abigail’s Party” may be the most uncomfortable comedy in New York right now, and I’d sit through it again in a second. Here, humor and unpleasantness are intertwined, and that leads to laughs — many, many laughs — that are part gleeful and part appalled.
Set in 1977 at a cocktail party from hell, the story opens on Beverly (Sarah Street) and Laurence (John Pirkis), the hosts, preparing for their guests. The tension in their marriage is subtle at first, with a smattering of frustrated comments and irritated replies.
Their smiling neighbors arrive, and the stress begins to build. Angela (Lily Dorment) and Tony (Nick Hetherington), another married couple, are a bit less mismatched, yet they too have troubles, as does Susan (Colleen Clinton), whose 15-year-old daughter, the unseen Abigail, is throwing a bash of her own within earshot.