(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/8.)

You may think you’ve seen just about every variation on the dysfunctional family play. Adultery? Check. Sexual abuse? Check. Drug addiction, incest, alcoholism. Check, check and — yawn — check.

 I’m here to tell you that unless you’ve seen “Hir,” the sensational — in all senses of the word — play by Taylor Mac, you cannot consider yourself an authority on this ever-enduring genre of American theater. Mr. Mac’s audacious and uproarious black comedy, which opened on Sunday at Playwrights Horizons in a crackling production, makes even the more extreme angst-amidst-the-chintz plays seem like demure drawing-room comedies of the 1950s.

Consider just the opening tableau: the kitchen and living room of a modest California home, looking as if squatters had been running amok for a good few years. Knee-high piles of clothing blanket the floor, and you wouldn’t want to go near the sink without a hazmat suit. (The set designer, David Zinn, renders this chaos with abundant flair.)


Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http 2015:// www.stagevoices.com/ . If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com.

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