The Bench, A Homeless Love Story

Critics

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100 %

Reviews: 4

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Tue Jun 18, 12:00am

“TOP TEN” - Stage Raw

Tour de force...necessary play. Well-spoken writer. Socially relevant”People's World

Mined from the true stories of people in the New York neighborhood where he lived, writer/activist Robert Galinsky presents a unique perspective of life on the streets through five homeless characters whose lives become forever entwined. With brutal honesty and humor, the story makes it alarmingly clear that so many of us are just one mistake away from joining this underserved and growing population.

“Simultaneously historical and street-level contemporary, it's a wake-up call on a very visceral level," says director Jay O. Sanders. “Robert's POV is from the inside, a place that most of us have never been.”

Robert Galinsky is an activist and theatre artist with numerous credits as a writer, poet, and educator. He is head speaker coach for TEDxTeen and TEDxFultonStreet. As a writer/activist, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and on The VIEW, NPR, and ABC Nightline News. Most recently, at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York, Robert debuted in The Bench, A Homeless Love Story. Selected stage credits include the roles of Joshua & Cathy in Cloud Nine, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet in New Haven Connecticut's "Free Shakespeare on The Green." He teaches writing and performance to incarcerated youths at Rikers Island Jail, works with homeless through the non-profits City Kids and Hearts of Gold and is a founding team member of the We Are Family Foundation and Nile Rodger's "Three Dot Dash" international peace initiative. He is a member of the Creating WE Institute, the Dramatist Guild, Drama League, and Screen Actors Guild, volunteering at Trinity Homeless Services, the Lollipop Theater Network, IMPACT Repertory Theater in Harlem, and the Kite at Rikers Island Jail.

Directed by Jay O. Sanders, the creative team includes producer Terry Schnuck (Tony Award Winner Spring Awakening; produced Fun Home, You Can't Take It With You, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical & more), presenter Chris Noth (Golden Globe Noms for his role as Peter Florrick opposite Julianna Margulies on the CBS drama The Good Wife, and for Mr. Big on HBO's series Sex and the City - Best Actor), presenter Barry Shabaka Henley (OBIE and Drama Desk Awards - Best Ensemble; won the NAACP Image Award for Rabbit Foot), Audio Designer Deep Singh (A. R. Rahman/Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Bombay Dreams, Twyla Tharp's musical Come Fly Away, Mira Nair's musical Monsoon Wedding, composing music for the prime minister of India Anthem of Us which debuted at Madison Square Garden), and Set Design/Illustrations/Bench Graphic Novel Artist Daphne Arthur (Recipient of the Anne Critz fellowship, The Ald Held Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome and the MassMoca Artist in Residence; MFA from Yale and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Selected credits: 59 Rivoli gallery in Paris & Florence Biennale VIII in Italy; Solo exhibitions: RARE gallery in NY & University of Massachusetts Boston). 

The Bench, A Homeless Love Story extends through December 13, 2018. Performances runs at 8pm on Thursday November 15th, Friday November 23rd, Thursday November 29th, Friday December 7th, and Thursday December 13. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Tickets are $25 online at www.plays411.com/thebench or call (323) 960-7822.

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Reviews

"There are powerful forces that can be at play here, and Galinsky twists himself mightily to manifest them. This is a play doing its job. These are stories that need to be told… it might be time to listen."

sweet - Stana Milanovich - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


"Recomended - because of Galinsky's exuberance and skill, his characters…their energy, resilience, resourcefulness and determination are their saving grace as they struggle to survive and pursue some kind of redemption."

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"Should be seen. Brutal honesty and gentle humor…grabs you by the heart. Delivers noteworthy set design and illustrations from talented artist Daphne Arthur. She has also created a graphic novel called “The Bench” which is available for purchase at the show, with proceeds donated to various charities."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"From the hundreds of true stories of people he has come to know through that work and in his neighborhood, he has compiled five homeless characters whose lives become entwined on and around a certain park bench that is the closest thing they have to what could be called “home.” As he delves into their stories and peels away the gruff exteriors vulnerable people often adopt as a means of self-defense, we come to appreciate his unique perspective of life on the streets. He neither beautifies nor sanctifies his characters (four men and a woman). To the contrary, they are revealed in all their rough, brutal honesty, and abundant humor as well. Several times Galinksi the writer will break out of his street roles, in a sort of reportorial Brechtian exposition, to explain how it arbitrarily came about that each one of these characters wound up on the street. For them, the safety net of family, friends, workmates, community and social services that many of us assume will always be there for us in the direst of circumstances simply failed. Any of us could be but one mistake or health crisis away from joining this underserved and still growing population."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


"There are powerful forces that can be at play here, and Galinsky twists himself mightily to manifest them. This is a play doing its job. These are stories that need to be told… it might be time to listen."

sweet - Stana Milanovich - Discover Hollywood - ...read full review


"Recomended - because of Galinsky's exuberance and skill, his characters…their energy, resilience, resourcefulness and determination are their saving grace as they struggle to survive and pursue some kind of redemption."

sweet - Neal Weaver - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"Should be seen. Brutal honesty and gentle humor…grabs you by the heart. Delivers noteworthy set design and illustrations from talented artist Daphne Arthur. She has also created a graphic novel called “The Bench” which is available for purchase at the show, with proceeds donated to various charities."

sweet - Peter Foldy - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"From the hundreds of true stories of people he has come to know through that work and in his neighborhood, he has compiled five homeless characters whose lives become entwined on and around a certain park bench that is the closest thing they have to what could be called “home.” As he delves into their stories and peels away the gruff exteriors vulnerable people often adopt as a means of self-defense, we come to appreciate his unique perspective of life on the streets. He neither beautifies nor sanctifies his characters (four men and a woman). To the contrary, they are revealed in all their rough, brutal honesty, and abundant humor as well. Several times Galinksi the writer will break out of his street roles, in a sort of reportorial Brechtian exposition, to explain how it arbitrarily came about that each one of these characters wound up on the street. For them, the safety net of family, friends, workmates, community and social services that many of us assume will always be there for us in the direst of circumstances simply failed. Any of us could be but one mistake or health crisis away from joining this underserved and still growing population."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - People's World - ...read full review