According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Right Kind of People, Review by Matt Windman

Though Charles Grodin’s “The Right Kind of People” is not a great play, it is an enjoyable one that effectively makes fun of its uptown audience.

Based on his experience on the tenet board of a Fifth Avenue building, Grodin has written an ensemble comedy exposing the racial, ethnic and sexual prejudices of those at the top of the housing system’s food chain.

This marks his third play to be produced in New York, but Grodin is primarily an actor as well as a cultural and political commentator. His background can be sensed in the straightforward writing and sarcastic humor used to excoriate his subjects.

Those who are “The Right Kind of People,” according the play’s tenet board, are rich, white, Republican individuals without eccentricities and accents. The play’s best scenes involve the board’s interviews with Texan couple and Jewish orthodox couples.

Director Chris Smith, likewise, has provided his ten person ensemble cast (a huge size for non-profit, Off-Broadway standards) with a sense of rhythm to match Grodin’s verbal comedy.

For Primary Stages, this is certainly not as ambitious a project as “In the Continuum.” Even so, Charles Grodin has written an audience-friendly play that simultaneously manages to be very unfriendly.

Primary Stages, 59 East 59th Street, 212-279-4200, $60. Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm.

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