Review: Three Degrees of Loneliness in ‘Amy and the Orphans’

From left, Vanessa Aspillaga, Jamie Brewer, Debra Monk and Mark Blum in “Amy and the Orphans” at the Laura Pels Theater. Jamie Brewer works wonders recycled dialogue. As one of three anxiously reunited adult siblings in “Amy and the Orphans,” the insightful but uneven new play by Lindsey Ferrentino, Ms. Brewer frequently speaks in vintage movie quotations. character — the Amy of the — is given to stopping conversations with lines like, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” You may have known ardent cinephiles with this habit, and found it more than a bit tedious. But Ms. Brewer’s Amy delivers well-worn gems from films past with a fresh conviction that feels both buoyant and angry — and highly personal. Her brother, Jacob (Mark Blum), and sister, Maggie (Debra Monk), don’t know what to make of interjections, and tend to ignore , as if Amy’s mimicry was as unthinking as a mynah bird’s. That’s only because they’re not listening. By the end of this production, which opened on Thursday night at the Laura Pels Theater, we have come to appreciate the eloquence in Amy’s non sequiturs, and to understand as of an armor she’s […]

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