Theater review: ‘Madrid’ is a mystery

Edie Falco, left, and Phoebe Strole strive to make amends within "The Madrid." Credit: Joan Marcus
Edie Falco, left, and Phoebe Strole strive to make amends within “The Madrid.”
Credit: Joan Marcus

There’s certainly something to be said for the fresh dialogue, zippy zingers and well-drawn characters in Manhattan Theater Club’s “The Madrid” at City Center. They make for striking interchanges and more than a few good laughs. But ultimately Liz Flahive’s latest doesn’t add up to much. A black hole at its center drains its energy and marginalizes its impact.

Martha (Edie Falco) is a kindergarten teacher who one day tells her class she’ll be “right back.” She disappears. Her husband John (John Ellison Conlee) and daughter Sarah (Phoebe Strole, reminiscent of Ellen Page at her strongest) are confused and cope as best they can. Her mother (a droll Frances Sternhagen) drives her car into a tree. Neighbors Becca (Heidi Schreck) and Danny (Christopher Evan Welch) try to help, but fail. Then Martha shows up at the Starbucks where Sarah works, and Sarah soon starts seeing her on the sly at her sparsely furnished apartment in a building called The Madrid.

Unfortunately, we never get even a whiff of what motivated Martha to fly the coop or, for that matter, who she is. Not that we need to see a blueprint – a little mystery is fine. But we should have some idea of what makes her tick. Her underwritten character seems like an afterthought, which is especially bizarre since the other characters are so well-developed. We keep waiting for a revelation, but it never comes — and its absence leaves the entire production hanging, its potential unrealized.

If you go

‘The Madrid’
New York City Center, Stage I,
131 West 55th St.
$85, www.nycitycenter.org.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.