(Erik Piepenburg’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/11; via Pam Green.)
Journalists and pollsters may have been caught off guard by the election of Donald J. Trump. Maybe they should have gone to the theater more.
Here’s a look at six recent plays — four you can see now in New York, two to read, and all of them favorites of our critics — that reckon with the lives of working-class Americans and others facing economic anxiety. (Many of the theaters are offering discounted tickets; check their websites for more information.)
‘Women of a Certain Age’
Public Theater (Through Dec. 4)
WHAT IT’S ABOUT Richard Nelson’s drama — the third in his “Election Year in the Life of One Family” trilogy — quietly follows the lives of the Gabriels, a middle-class family with deep roots in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The play unfolds on election night 2016, as members of a left-leaning family gather in the kitchen to make a meal and consider their diminished economic fortunes and the political landscape. Marathon performances of the trilogy will be held in December; a tour heads to Washington, Australia and Hong Kong beginning in January.
WHAT OUR CRITIC SAID Mr. Nelson “asks us to sit down in real time, in the kitchen of a close family for a casual meal. And as we listen to its members talk, even on trivial subjects like the decoration of cookies, we feel the far-reaching tremors of a scared country that has come down with a rattling case of identity crisis.” [Read the review]