Hir

Critics

LemonMeter

63 %

Reviews: 19

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

A darkly funny, shockingly absurd and endlessly surprising vision of a world in transition by MacArthur genius Taylor Mac. Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from Afghanistan with a dishonorable discharge, only to discover a household in revolt. The insurgent: his mom. Liberated from an oppressive marriage to Isaac's father by his debilitating stroke, and with Max, Isaac's newly out transgender sibling, as her ally, Paige is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. “Top Ten Best Theater of 2015… Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac's audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater.” — The New York Times. Jan. 19 – March 17: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with 3 additional weeknight performances on Thurs., Jan 31; Wed., Feb. 20; and Wed., March 6, all at 8 p.m. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025; For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.

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Reviews

Shari Barrett
"I found the show extremely uncomfortable and too Theatre of the Absurd for me. But if you like seeing disgusting bodily functions onstage and way too over-the-top characters in a dysfunctional family yelling and attacking each other, perhaps HIR will be more your cup of tea. Certainly the lack of applause after both acts let me know I was not alone in my bafflement at what I was seeing and why the Odyssey chose to have it there."

sour - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Though Hir's intermission may provide an exit excuse for some, those who can see beneath the physical and emotional mess on stage will find much to savor in this unapologetically radical look at family dysfunction gone berserk."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


"Well respected Bart DeLorenzo directs an immensely talented cast whose performances alone deserve your attendance."

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it may seem like this is a story about experiences of people who identify as gender queer and the effect this has on their families, but the theme that ultimately overshadows everything else is that of abuse. Ironically for a play that is wall-to-wall speeches, banter, and loudness, Hir is most effective in its rare quieter moments, of which there are not nearly enough. Much like the set on which it unfolds, the writing is cluttered, and the amount of noise ultimately confuses the potentially interesting statements the playwright is trying to make."

sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


"Tiresome, moody, without heart or vulnerability. Misses the mark so much that if you read a review of the NY production you'll hear a different play described."

sour - Chris


"There is an adage in the creative pursuit of playwriting: “It's easier to set them up than knock them down.” How this translates, in actuality, is that there exists an awful lot of plays with very strong first acts which then proceed to unravel in the second. Taylor Mac's HIR currently at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble manages to be the exception that tests the rule."

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - The TVolution - ...read full review


"If this play is often very funny, it's also quite terrifying to me, after just seeing the 1945 drama An Inspector Calls, for just how similar the family breakdown in this contemporary drama is to that of the figures who led us to both World Wars. There is no right “hir,” only a terribly loneliness that will lead them all into a corner from which they may never escape."

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


"Skillfully directed by Bart DeLorenzo, HIR explodes beyond its confines with dark humor and irreverence. The talented ensemble cast keep the story popping in unexpected and very funny ways. ...The entire production team has done a terrific job of making the ridiculous painfully real."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


"Mac's 2014 play in its Los Angeles premiere at the Odyssey - is a wonderfully disturbing satire that imagines a long-abused family reaching its greatest potential by taking revenge on the abusive patriarch (Ron Bottitta),..."

sweet - Barlo Perry - Paris/LA - ...read full review


"Humor tips into horror and back again, a seesaw experience fearlessly propelled by director Bart DeLorenzo and his actors."

sweet - Daryl Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


"The cast is simply and thoroughly marvelous. Cynthia Kania delivers a nuanced performance of terrific range and power. As Isaac, the appealing Zack Gearing, in all of his character's youthful confusion, meets the script's demands with ease and aplomb. Puppett lends an impish, puckish quality to her performance, leavened with an appealing vulnerability. And Ron Bottitta as the drooling, lurching creator of the family woes is a dominating presence onstage that cannot be ignored. Taylor Mac, a MacArthur genius, is a titanic talent, and this staging of Hir is nothing short of brilliant."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"Director Bart DeLorenzo allows the actors to interpret the world instead of creating a stylistic foundation that the actors would then have to be a part of, and the result minimizes effect. Sometimes on-the-nose doesn't come close enough to the intention of the writer, and here we have a play where the playwright has faltered the director and actors."

sour - Patrick Hurley - That Awesome Theatre Blog - ...read full review


"The intriguing angle of Hir is bringing a transgender point of view into this setup, but ultimately this gets obscured by the more traditional, familiar themes, which is disappointing."

sour - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"I searched for other reviews because while the stated tone and subject matter of the show are what would normally be right up my alley, my own feelings about the show are decidedly mixed. So, I am puzzled. Is my lukewarm reaction a response to the play itself or to this production?"

sour - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"It's a hot mess, mess, totally disastrous and un-redemptively calamitous. So sad is their collective condition that, yes, it's hilarious. Except it's not."

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"Is it worth seeing? If you're offended by the very premise? Yes.  If you're sick of seeing the same stories over and over again? Yes, with caveats. Just know that the first steps on any new journey can be a bit bumpy."

sweet-sour - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


"GRIPPING, CLEVER, SAVAGE, FUNNY. SHOCKING. ROUSING TRANSGRESSIVE… sure-handed direction and an immensely talented quartet of actors… one of those unequivocally superb evenings of theater that only come along once or twice per season."

sweet - John Paul King - Los Angeles Blade - ...read full review


Gil Kaan
"Even though, we are just coming to the end of January, I can already nominate a prominent candidate for Most Horrid Theatrical Character of 2019 - Paige Connor, the matriarch in Taylor Mac's HIR. Graphic subject matters touched on, certainly not for the meek of heart - marital abuse, rape, masturbation, de-masculating humiliation, descriptive drug use, spiteful revenge, lots of puking, peeing and must plain meanness."

sour - Gil Kaan - Broadway World - ...read full review


"Hir is an outrageous, brilliant, hilarious, and enlightening evening of theatre."

sweet - Annemarie Donkin - Messenger Mountain News - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Through humor and shock value that blasts through at full gallop, what energizes Taylor Mac's signature vision more than anything else is its blistering indictment of the ways our society has marginalized the folks struggling to navigate and understand our existence in these troubling time, an era when many of us are edging closer and closer to the kitchen sink to cough up all the bile Tweeted by our inglorious “leader” on a daily basis as those around him ignore all the Isaacs trying their damnedest to come home."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"I found the show extremely uncomfortable and too Theatre of the Absurd for me. But if you like seeing disgusting bodily functions onstage and way too over-the-top characters in a dysfunctional family yelling and attacking each other, perhaps HIR will be more your cup of tea. Certainly the lack of applause after both acts let me know I was not alone in my bafflement at what I was seeing and why the Odyssey chose to have it there."

sour - Shari Barrett - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Though Hir's intermission may provide an exit excuse for some, those who can see beneath the physical and emotional mess on stage will find much to savor in this unapologetically radical look at family dysfunction gone berserk."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


"Well respected Bart DeLorenzo directs an immensely talented cast whose performances alone deserve your attendance."

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it may seem like this is a story about experiences of people who identify as gender queer and the effect this has on their families, but the theme that ultimately overshadows everything else is that of abuse. Ironically for a play that is wall-to-wall speeches, banter, and loudness, Hir is most effective in its rare quieter moments, of which there are not nearly enough. Much like the set on which it unfolds, the writing is cluttered, and the amount of noise ultimately confuses the potentially interesting statements the playwright is trying to make."

sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


"There is an adage in the creative pursuit of playwriting: “It's easier to set them up than knock them down.” How this translates, in actuality, is that there exists an awful lot of plays with very strong first acts which then proceed to unravel in the second. Taylor Mac's HIR currently at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble manages to be the exception that tests the rule."

sweet-sour - Ernest Kearney - The TVolution - ...read full review


"If this play is often very funny, it's also quite terrifying to me, after just seeing the 1945 drama An Inspector Calls, for just how similar the family breakdown in this contemporary drama is to that of the figures who led us to both World Wars. There is no right “hir,” only a terribly loneliness that will lead them all into a corner from which they may never escape."

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


"Skillfully directed by Bart DeLorenzo, HIR explodes beyond its confines with dark humor and irreverence. The talented ensemble cast keep the story popping in unexpected and very funny ways. ...The entire production team has done a terrific job of making the ridiculous painfully real."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


"Mac's 2014 play in its Los Angeles premiere at the Odyssey - is a wonderfully disturbing satire that imagines a long-abused family reaching its greatest potential by taking revenge on the abusive patriarch (Ron Bottitta),..."

sweet - Barlo Perry - Paris/LA - ...read full review


"Humor tips into horror and back again, a seesaw experience fearlessly propelled by director Bart DeLorenzo and his actors."

sweet - Daryl Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


"The cast is simply and thoroughly marvelous. Cynthia Kania delivers a nuanced performance of terrific range and power. As Isaac, the appealing Zack Gearing, in all of his character's youthful confusion, meets the script's demands with ease and aplomb. Puppett lends an impish, puckish quality to her performance, leavened with an appealing vulnerability. And Ron Bottitta as the drooling, lurching creator of the family woes is a dominating presence onstage that cannot be ignored. Taylor Mac, a MacArthur genius, is a titanic talent, and this staging of Hir is nothing short of brilliant."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"Director Bart DeLorenzo allows the actors to interpret the world instead of creating a stylistic foundation that the actors would then have to be a part of, and the result minimizes effect. Sometimes on-the-nose doesn't come close enough to the intention of the writer, and here we have a play where the playwright has faltered the director and actors."

sour - Patrick Hurley - That Awesome Theatre Blog - ...read full review


"The intriguing angle of Hir is bringing a transgender point of view into this setup, but ultimately this gets obscured by the more traditional, familiar themes, which is disappointing."

sour - Terry Morgan - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"I searched for other reviews because while the stated tone and subject matter of the show are what would normally be right up my alley, my own feelings about the show are decidedly mixed. So, I am puzzled. Is my lukewarm reaction a response to the play itself or to this production?"

sour - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"It's a hot mess, mess, totally disastrous and un-redemptively calamitous. So sad is their collective condition that, yes, it's hilarious. Except it's not."

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia on the Move - ...read full review


"Is it worth seeing? If you're offended by the very premise? Yes.  If you're sick of seeing the same stories over and over again? Yes, with caveats. Just know that the first steps on any new journey can be a bit bumpy."

sweet-sour - Anthony Byrnes - KCRW - ...read full review


"GRIPPING, CLEVER, SAVAGE, FUNNY. SHOCKING. ROUSING TRANSGRESSIVE… sure-handed direction and an immensely talented quartet of actors… one of those unequivocally superb evenings of theater that only come along once or twice per season."

sweet - John Paul King - Los Angeles Blade - ...read full review


Gil Kaan
"Even though, we are just coming to the end of January, I can already nominate a prominent candidate for Most Horrid Theatrical Character of 2019 - Paige Connor, the matriarch in Taylor Mac's HIR. Graphic subject matters touched on, certainly not for the meek of heart - marital abuse, rape, masturbation, de-masculating humiliation, descriptive drug use, spiteful revenge, lots of puking, peeing and must plain meanness."

sour - Gil Kaan - Broadway World - ...read full review


"Hir is an outrageous, brilliant, hilarious, and enlightening evening of theatre."

sweet - Annemarie Donkin - Messenger Mountain News - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Through humor and shock value that blasts through at full gallop, what energizes Taylor Mac's signature vision more than anything else is its blistering indictment of the ways our society has marginalized the folks struggling to navigate and understand our existence in these troubling time, an era when many of us are edging closer and closer to the kitchen sink to cough up all the bile Tweeted by our inglorious “leader” on a daily basis as those around him ignore all the Isaacs trying their damnedest to come home."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


"Tiresome, moody, without heart or vulnerability. Misses the mark so much that if you read a review of the NY production you'll hear a different play described."

sour - Chris