You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Loose Knit

If any of the five women and two men in "Loose Knit" have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she's been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they're not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps.

With:
Liz - Mary B. Ward
Lily - Patricia Kalember
Paula - Tamara Tunie
Gina - Kristine Nielsen
Margie - Constance Shulman
Bob - Reed Birney
Miles - Daniel Gerroll

If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, or simply realism, it nonetheless comes across at the Second Stage as misanthropy.

The women are friends joined together in a knitting circle, where they talk mostly about their jobs and their men, or lack of same. Earthy Lily (Patricia Kalember) is married to New Man (i.e., he does laundry) Bob (Reed Birney), who’s having an affair with her sister Liz (Mary B. Ward), a pop journalist.

Paula (Tamara Tunie) is a psychologist who can’t get over the fact that people pay for the privilege of lying to therapists. Gina (Kristine Nielsen) is a laid-off lawyer who may have found a new life in her knitting.

Margie (Constance Shulman), like Paula and Liz, is looking for a man, and all three eventually have dates with Miles (Daniel Gerroll), a smug mergers & acquisitions millionaire with a predilection for overpriced sushi and the annoying habit of taking extensive notes on his dates during his dates.

He reduces Margie to blithering incoherence, Paula to rage and Liz to petty theft; stealing his notebook, she realizes that Lily is the unseen hand behind these blind dates — though how they were arranged without the women knowing who was doing the arranging is just one of the play’s lapses in logic.

Though some of these actors are distinguished, none of the acting is, and Schachter’s staging is hopelessly incompetent. Rebeck has overlapping dialogue in several scenes, and you can practically feel the actors winding up before each of them.

Santo Loquasto’s set is also undistinguished, though it gets everything necessary on the theater’s tiny stage. Frances Aronson’s lighting is typically warm, though she bathes Gerroll in an unchanging white glare; why not just draw a curled mustache on his upper lip? Elsa Ward’s costumes look nicely lived-in.

In the real world, friends surely betray and hurt their friends; alliances and liaisons shift. But “Loose Knit” is cold merchandise. What’s missing is any sense of an author’s empathy for any of these characters, not to mention any sense of their growth. It’s got no soul.

Loose Knit

Second Stage, New York; 108 seats; $30 top

Production: A Second Stage presentation of a play in two acts by Theresa Rebeck; director , Beth Schachter.

Creative: Set, Santo Loquasto; costumes, Elsa Ward; lighting, Frances Aronson; sound, Mark Bennett; hair, Antonio Soddu; associate producer, Carol Fishman. Artistic director, Carole Rothman; producing director, Suzanne Schwartz Davidson. Opened, reviewed, June 30, 1993.

Cast: Liz - Mary B. Ward
Lily - Patricia Kalember
Paula - Tamara Tunie
Gina - Kristine Nielsen
Margie - Constance Shulman
Bob - Reed Birney
Miles - Daniel Gerroll

More Legit

  • Hello Dolly review Bernadette Peters

    Broadway Review: Bernadette Peters in 'Hello, Dolly!'

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Music Theatre International

    Drew Cohen Named Global CEO of Music Theatre International

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Male Gallery Capsule Placeholder

    Korean Stage Director Lee Yoon-taek Accused of Rape

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Kings review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Kings' With Aya Cash, Gillian Jacobs

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Joan Marcus/Photofest

    Original 'Angels in America' Reclaimed the Stage for Ambitious Theater (Column)

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Disney Theatrical's Thomas Schumacher Accused of

    Disney Theatrical's Thomas Schumacher Accused of Harassment

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

  • Wicked

    Broadway Box Office Gets a Little Love From Valentine's, Presidents' Day

    If any of the five women and two men in “Loose Knit” have any redeeming qualities, playwright Theresa Rebeck has gone to considerable length to hide them, and she’s been amply assisted by director Beth Schachter. The women are being humiliated when they’re not being duplicitous, while the men are creeps. If irony is intended, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content