April 24, 2024

I wish I had something substantive to say about Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries at Second Stage but it’s difficult to muster a response when the most interesting facet of an afternoon at the theater is the set. Even more boring, the only action that truly held my attention during the two-handed tale of lost souls who connect every five years or so when one mishap or another variously lands them in the hospital was interstitial. That’s right, the scene changes. Despite the efforts of Pablo Schreiber and Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter, there is very little drama in the seven or so scenes that make up this play. Mostly there’s just whining of the come-to-me-no-go-away variety repeated ad nauseum. Just 80 minutes in length it was nevertheless interminable. An earlier play of Joseph’s, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, was a Pulitzer finalist last year. Later this season it will arrive on Broadway with Robin Williams in a central role. I’m hoping that unlike Gruesome Playground Injuries it’s more than just a clever title with little else to say.

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