Theater: Plays With Prisoners, Prestidigitation and Puppets

December 9, 2014 2:24 AM

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I have the sinking feeling I will remain in the minority on playwright Ayad Akhtar. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Disgraced, a show I didn't like in its original production and continued to not like when it debuted on Broadway recently. Now his new drama is at the New York Theatre Workshop in a cast led by Justin Kirk. The Invisible Hand has a terrific hook of a premise and its message is very baldly stated. But unlike Disgraced, this show can't even boast of a production that offers it up with care.

The premise is indeed arresting: Nick Bright (Justin Kirk) is some sort of US hotshot, a Wall Street whiz kid who works for a major financial firm and has been advising the Pakistani government on investments or its country's financial structure or some such thing. When the play begins, he has been ...

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