New York Times Review of Zürich 

The New York Times did a review of  the play Zürich that Paul is currently in. The storyline looks very interesting and they gave the play 4 stars!

‘Zurich’: At this hotel, room service comes with a bang

NEW YORK — “Very nice and clean,” says the pretty maid with the artificial smile, speaking with the scripted sunniness of a corporate employee.

Certainly, no one looking at the crisply anonymous set for Amelia Roper’s “Zurich,” which opened Monday night at Next Door at NYTW, would argue with that description.

But don’t assume that the standards of moral hygiene are anywhere near as high for those who inhabit this dark, teasingly contrived comedy.

The 10 characters in “Zurich,” directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt in a polished Colt Coeur production, are human beings of the 21st century. They are, at best, a mess and, at worst, moral cesspools, polluted by greed, lust for power, political corruption and a system built on what one character refers to as “toxic masculinity.”

Described in the program as “an Australian-American writer and activist,” Roper lends a bracingly astringent perspective to life as we know it today. Even the children who scamper through her play — which takes place in a series of interchangeable rooms on the 40th floor of a luxury hotel — seem somehow tainted.

“Zurich” takes what might be called a terrorist approach to the classic omnibus comedies associated with the likes of Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon. I mean those plays in which disparate (and often desperate) lives, portrayed in separate scenes, turn out to be linked by both theme and circumstance.

Roper presents these lives through a weary, fed-up God’s-eye-view. In John McDermott’s impeccable set a pane of glass separates the audience from the 10 characters. (The design work — including sound design by Brendan Aanes and lighting by Grant Yeager — is first-rate throughout.)

It is no accident that the majority of the characters are American or that the show begins with a hung over, half-naked banker (Paul Wesley, late of “The Vampire Diaries”) bellowing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In what follows, various men and women (as well as one boy and two girls) embody an implicit, uneasy power struggle that often hinges on sex.

A sparkling cast has been assembled to play out these unsavory encounters. Its members include Wesley and Juliana Canfield as a couple blearily waking up from a one-night stand; Austin Smith as a self-disgusted businessman, who confides in and bullies a hotel maid, wittily played by Carolyn Holding; and the excellent Samantha Cutler and Gregory Diaz IV as a restless pubescent sister and her younger brother parked in their parents’ room.

Read full review 

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