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
International

PHOTOS: Places to visit on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

William Shakespeare would celebrate his 450th birthday on Wednesday, and England's greatest playwright let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.

National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

Movies

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Movies

Review: 'The Other Woman' needs to be angrier,…

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton play women who team up to destroy the man they're all unwittingly sleeping with in "The Other Woman."

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?

Wellbeing

You can have your healthy snacks delivered

To take the guesswork out of procuring snacks good for you and your family, check out one of these companies.

Wellbeing

Jillian Michaels wants to ‘Maximize Your Life’

The fitness star returns for her second “Maximize Your Life Tour.”