The Hermit in New York | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Hermit in New York


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Playwright Teresa Weed uses the writings of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and radical Catholic thinker, as the starting point for this story of his life. But her placid, overlong, dry-as-dust assemblage of set pieces for Still Point Theatre Collective fails to capture the essence of a man who was both removed from the world and deeply engaged with it. For two hours she shows Merton pottering about the hermitage, muttering to himself or entertaining the occasional visitor--who seems to have dropped by mostly so Merton can expound on some subject, rather in the style of a Platonic dialogue. As a result, Weed's play feels stilted and lifeless in a way that Merton's work never does.

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