From the Wall Street Journal:
Now Mr. Teller is at it again, this time with a solidly crafted, sensationally entertaining Off-Broadway shockfest called “Play Dead” that he directed and co-wrote. While I’m no producer, I’ll be surprised if “Play Dead” doesn’t settle in for a long, profitable run at the Players Theatre. Yes, you’ll scream—I did, repeatedly—but “Play Dead” has a hard core of emotional seriousness that makes it more than just an exercise in audience manipulation (and I use that last word advisedly).
From the New York Post:
Reluctant volunteers are pulled onstage to participate in anything from a séance to a kind of psychic vivisection. At times, the proceedings take on an even darker edge, as when Robbins relates a professed tragic story about a friend or channels the “spirits” of audience members’ deceased loved ones.
From Broadway Doctor.com:
Warning: there are many moments in complete darkness with this play (even the emergency lights go out) where spirits will haunt and fright you. This is not a play for children, seniors, or the faint of heart… But it is one hell of a ride!
And meanwhile, it appears that things are just as rosy on the financial side according to NewYork.CityBizList:
NEW YORK — Play Dead Theater Company LP, a partnership of Schuster Entertainment, has raised $950,000 of its $1 million goal, according to an SEC filing.
Posted by Editor on November 10th, 2010
NPR’s All Things Considered takes a look behind the scenes with Todd Robbin’s Play Dead, including an interview with the creative mastermind Teller.
Screams, philosophy and melodic Robert Siegel narration await!
Posted by Editor on October 6th, 2010
• Eric DeCamps
Eric DeCamps joins us to talk about why more magicians haven’t made a reputation with recent talk show appearances, if Teller and Todd Robbins’ Play Dead will ever come back to Vegas and which magicians could get away with creating a fantasy epic cartoon featuring themselves in the lead roles like Siegfried and Roy.
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Posted by Editor on October 4th, 2010
With Todd Robbins and Teller’s spook show Play Dead officially shuffling east to the windswept isle of Manhattan, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Mike Weatherford ruminates on the likelihood of such a show (which was workshopped extensively in Sin City) ever living in Las Vegas on a permanent basis.
As I drove home, adrenaline still pumping, I thought about whether it could even work in a casino. On one hand, it’s what I’ve been wanting to see: magic reinvented in a creative new context, beyond tigers in boxes. But the distance to New York seems more in miles of context than content.
With time and patience, you could sell this show here. You could explain it, playing up what Teller calls the “spooky amusement” factor, as an October opening in New York will no doubt do.
But the very existence of “off-Broadway” gives the show a context; no need to explain it will be sophisticated and thoughtful in its own gory way: “You look in low places for high things,” Teller says.
The column also mentions that Dead went through three distinct re-writes, something the jibes with the reviews we’ve heard from folks that saw it multiple times and noticed significant changes.
Posted by Editor on September 15th, 2010
Found on the New York Post’s coverage of fall Off-Broadway shows. Looks pretty dope.