Exquisite, mesmerising, compelling and, um, nuts

17071aReviews of Terre Haute are popping up all over the interweb, much to our excitement.

Marilyn Stasio in Variety knew the story was fictitious, but thought, "literary heavyweight Edmund White writes so persuasively about such an encounter it might as well have taken place."

She lauded White as "a concise and commanding stylist," and highlighted the play's "exquisite dialogue".

Props too for "the wonderful Peter Eyre", and Nick Westrate, who she thought played Harrison "with quiet intensity" in a "compelling drama that dares to speak about matters unspeakable."

Marilyn did take issue with the end of the play, which she unreservedly described as "nuts".

Fortunately, over at Backstage, Mark Peikert reckoned the end "transforms Terre Haute from a cat-and-mouse game between a wily old journalist and a stubborn young man facing execution into an oddly touching glimpse of two lonely men finding a strange, final comfort with one another."

Mark thought Eyre's performance was "remarkable" and that "director George Perrin smartly focuses on White's tour-de-force dialogue."

Maybe a Boston transfer is in the offing? The Boston Herald's Stephen Schaefer thinks "A Boston stage is sure to mount in the near future Terre Haute." He thought it was "mesmerizing" and "truly engaging theater."

Dan Bacalzo of Theatremania was less convinced. "While some aspects of the 80-minute two-hander are provocative and engaging," noted Dan, "other moments feel static or forced." Ah well.

In CurtainUp, Deidre Donovon mentions Terre Haute in the same breath as Oedipus Rex, Medea, King Lear and The Playboy of the Western World as she declares:

"The 80-minute intermissionless play is orchestrated like a pas de deux. It's a riveting portrait of the writer and the terrorist...White has created a rich tapestry of dialogue that not only details their cross-fire of ideas but lays bare their souls."

She also noted, "George Perrin helms the top drawer production...The acting is outstanding."

"Smart and unexpectedly touching," was Robert Attenweiler's verdict in nytheatre.com. He praised "George Perrin's nuanced directing", and said "Peter Eyre and Nick Westrate both do fine work."

David Barbour thought it was rubbish. But as he was reviewing for lightingandsoundamerica.com (the new home for PLASA Media Inc's leading daily news service and a web reference for the entertainment technology industry worldwide - created by PLASA Media Inc, publisher of Lighting&Sound America (L&SA) magazine), we shan't be too disheartened.