Before “Evening at the Talk House” begins, audience members are offered snacks — marshmallows and gummy candies.
Too bad the play by Wallace Shawn (“The Fever”), who’s part of a seven-actor ensemble that includes Matthew Broderick and “L.A. Law” alums Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, doesn’t give you that much to chew on.
Set in the near-future, it imagines a not-so-pretty picture. Theater is practically kaput, elections are a bad joke and everyday citizens are employed by Uncle Sam to “target” (as in, kill) enemies. Oh, yeah, people are also being poisoned.
All that bubbles up when old friends and ex-colleagues who worked together on a hit drama gather to celebrate that show’s 10-year anniversary. And while Shawn’s play, seen in London in 2015, stirs up a bit of dread, especially considering current affairs, it’s played so bluntly that it’s not that disquieting.
Under the direction of Scott Elliott, performances in this New Group show are mostly fine, but Broderick struggles to sound like just a regular guy talking in the show’s long opening monologue.
The physical production also nags. The Talk House has seen better days, so it’s said. Yet the couch, chairs and ottomans in the place appear to have been purchased yesterday. Furnishings, like the talk in this house, could have been more lived-in.
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