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  The Thanksgiving Play at Geffen Playhouse

The Thanksgiving Play

Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles

Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse penned this pointed comedy on what she calls “performative wokeness,” about the well-meaning creators of a kids’ Thanksgiving pageant, who consider themselves enlightened, but who become trapped in an ever-tightening noose of political correctness while trying not to ruffle any culturally-sensitive feathers.

Thru - Dec 6, 2019

Tuesdays: 8:00pm
Wednesdays: 8:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm & 7:00pm

Price: $30-$60

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 310-208-5454

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  The Thanksgiving Play Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The laughter goes from robust to ghostly. By the end, it's not so much humor as the idea of humor. FastHorse keeps churning out chuckling lines about heritage month hypocrisy, soy cheese and the nutty politics of arts grants. But the characters don't have enough granular reality to deepen the jokes. It's not long before the classroom antics begin to grate."
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Charles McNulty

LA Daily News - Not Recommended

"...By the play's end, the characters conclude that doing nothing - basically, what much of America does - may be best. That, probably, is FastHorse's satirical take on modern times. But a little less slapstick and broad humor, and a little more subtlety, might more effectively drive her points home to the type of audience that shows up to the theater - in other words, America's doers."
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Dany Margolies

Broadway World - Somewhat Recommended

"...In presenting this production, the message is good (and for the 98% caucasian audience, worth hearing and seeing). But the impact and how it lands on us and (should) affect us gets lost in the concept of trying to be too clever and funny. Author Larissa Fasthorse writes a great 90 minute play, but muddles it with too much (in this reviewer's opinion) esoteric material, rather than coming from the heart and speaking from a personal voice."
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Jeffrey Scott

Stage and Cinema - Not Recommended

"...I can't imagine a riper subject for satire than the chokehold that far-left liberal political correctness has on America. Playwright Larissa Fasthorse offers her 2015 comedy at The Geffen that is chock-full of the ridiculing we need, but satire without a story gets old fast. Instead of farce, which is grounded in reality and relies on what happens in the story, her tale merely pinpoints specific people - and newer PC theater conventions - to ridicule. As such, The Thanksgiving Play ends up being one long SNL skit."
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Tony Frankel

Total Theater - Recommended

"...The four characters in The Thanksgiving Play are caricatures to be sure, and the play's humor is one-note, but thanks to Fasthorse's way with jokes and comic invention, I found myself enjoying every minute. The playwright is also blessed with a cast of skilled farceurs and a director (Michael John Garces) who proves masterful at slapstick."
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Willard Manus

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...Most of the play's scattershot riffs are neither new nor fresh, but its targets deserve lampooning and the evening might have amused had the actors stood their ground against stereotype (implicit in the writing) instead of exacerbating it with arch posturing - which struck me as a directorial call. The outstanding exception is Marlowe (a recent addition to the cast after the original actor departed), unwavering in his funny and touching depiction of a nice but nerdy guy."
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Deborah Klugman

Haines His Way - Highly Recommended

"...Michael John Garces expertly directs the ever escalating insanity while also keeping a tight rein on the madness. The result is one of the year's biggest laughfests. The cast all fit their roles like a Native American headdress and sure-footed moccasins. Bane stands out as the man who would be yoga as does Henrikson, who brings surprising depth to what could easily have been just another airhead starlet. Sara Ryung Clement's scenic design has provided the actors with the perfect playpen for their acting out. I'm glad I'm not on the stage crew tasked with cleaning up after this 90-minute one-act. I'm not sure elementary students would be educated by The Thanksgiving Play but they would surely be entertained and maybe even traumatized."
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Rob Stevens

On Stage and Screen - Somewhat Recommended

"...A recently ended bad relationship is briefly mentioned, but the satire would be even more piercing with just one more layer to round out these characters' psyches. But overall, this is an enjoyable, challenging, and timely piece, and I am sure many other audience members may, as I did, look back on dressing up as a pilgrim in elementary school and cringe."
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Erin Conley

On Stage Blog - Not Recommended

"...In the end, director Logan believes that "nothingness" is the only way to do the play. Just silence and empty space, "It won't piss anyone off" said Logan, except it did. It pissed many of us in the audience who sat and watched for 90 minutes."
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Jill Weinlein

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