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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

at Second Stage Theatre Uptown

By Robert Cashill

  Michael Ray Escamilla and Lorenzo Pisoni/Ph: Joan Marcus

A hanging chad of a farce, Election Day wins few votes. Like many a politician, the young playwright, Josh Tobiessen, confuses noise with substance, and by the time its mostly twentysomething characters are stoned, handcuffed to bedposts, or missing digits viewers expecting something wittier or more blackly humorous will be calling for impeachment. Feckless Adam (Adam Green), a member of the electoral unwashed, promises his high-strung girlfriend Brenda (Katharine Powell), a mayoral campaign worker, that he will get out the vote against oily robo-politician Jerry Clark (Lorenzo Pisoni, in the show's standout performance). In a curious plot strand that goes nowhere, Adam, an adoptee, fends off the advances of his adopted sister, gonzo Cleo (Halley Foster), who is entangled with bomb-throwing eco-anarchist Edmund (Michael Ray Escamilla). When Clark shows up at Adam and Brenda's apartment, hustling votes as wormily as he can, strenuous silliness ensues as audience members steal uneasy glances at their watches, waiting for the 80-minute running time to wind down. The current governmental scene isn't hard to satirize or parody, but this timidly apolitical comedy doesn't even try.


New York's mayor Mike Bloomberg would ensure my vote in elections to come should be designate the area around Broadway and 76th Street a No Jeremy Dobrish Zone. The director has done creditable work, but 2005's appalling In the Wings helped put the neighborhood's Promenade out of business, and Election Day, at the McGinn Cazale, is just a step or two up from those depths. If nothing else, audiences of every political persuasion can finally agree on something: desperate to please but as empty as a baby-kisser's promises, Election Day was not ready for the campaign trail.


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