Every Brilliant Thing at the Barrow Street Theate

December 18, 2014 4:13 PM

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Jonny Donahoe walks around the theater dropping notes on the audience members' laps as you are seated for Every Brilliant Thing. "Oh, you are the star, right?" observed a man picking up his paper. "I am the play," said Donahoe. Well, not quite. I hope it is not revealing too much to say that his supporting cast is you, if you are adventurous enough to attend this brisk hour of an uplifting, funny play on a potentially grim subject. Author of this engaging night of theater with Duncan Macmillan, the subject is a suicidal mother and the son's attempts to cheer her into life by listing as many brilliant things as can be imagined.

In that endeavor, he enlists the audience to chime in: on opening night, I was 999, 997, The Alphabet. But Donahoe also gets help from the audience in more elaborate speaking roles. I had to wonder, was it kismet that he got Doubt playwright John Patrick Shanley to be his father, a Freudian coup, to...

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