Good For Otto @ the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre of The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center

PHOTO CREDIT: Monique Carboni

David Rabe’s Good For Otto, playing down at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre of The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center, until April 8th, is a sprawling 3 nights of theatre. The set sports chairs three quarters of the way around the open rectangular space, with audience members as much sitting ‘up’ there as the cast of 14. Ed Harris, playing a psychiatrist working in a rural Connecticut mental health facility, leads us through his Dr. Michaels’ dreams and demons as the many problems presented by the patients that come to see him and fellow doctor, “Evangeline,” Harris’ wife in real life, Amy Madigan.

All the performances are spot on. Quirky, dangerous, sad, funny, the gambit you’d expect from such a stellar crew and writing as good as Rabe’s, can be, at times. Director Scott Elliott manages exits from the front of the stage as well as the back, great swooping moments where chairs are sliding past characters, the full cast rising into song and dance, but the point, I’m sorry to say, is lost…if there ever is one to be made. And at three hours with one intermission, Good For Otto is too long…and too long for not coming to a point.

I wouldn’t exactly say it was an uncomfortable evening of theatre. Again, I love seeing actors of this caliber work so well. And God knows, I’m not sure if there is a facility nicer than Pershing Square anywhere in the city. It’s just that Good For Otto is ok at best, a bit too long and simply a little too meandering without much meat to its potatoes.

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