(Helen Shaw’s article appeared in TimeOut New York, 4/11.)
I don’t care how devoutly you dedicate yourself to dialectical flexibility: Young Jean Lee will give you whiplash. Her ability to stake out aesthetic territory and then abruptly abandon it makes her unpredictable; her tendency to excel at each new genre makes her terrifying. In the enormously touching cabaret-style We’re Gonna Die, Lee jettisons everything that has armored this au courant young playwright against the world. She abandons archness, cynicism and metaphor; she comes out from behind the writer-director's anonymity and places herself center stage. After a brisk career of provocative, avant-garde work (The Shipment and Lear) Lee does the unexpected again: She spins a 180 degrees to embrace convention, naked autobiography and the unironic pop song.
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