(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/1; via Pam Green.)

It happens only rarely. But on the occasional random, happy day, you come across a work of art that you’ve never encountered before, even though it’s been around for years. And it feels so absolutely essential to your experience that you think, “But where have you been all my life?”

That was the way I felt seeing David Harrower’s “Knives in Hens,” which opened on Sunday at 59E59 Theaters in a becomingly modest production, directed by Paul Takacs, in a tiny upstairs space. First staged in 1995, but only now receiving its New York premiere, this stark three-character play came early in the career of Mr. Harrower, best known for the incendiary “Blackbird,” seen on Broadway last year.

Though a great admirer of “Blackbird,” I was only dimly aware of “Knives in Hens.” It has been revived several times in London, and only several months ago at the Donmar Warehouse. And each time the play itself (if not always the production) has elicited the kind of marveling, open-mouthed praise that leaves you wary.

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Photo: New York Times

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