Deanna Isaacs in the Chicago Reader:
The latest Chicago stage production to head for New York hasn’t exactly been high profile at home. Though it’s had three runs here over the last two years, Theater Oobleck’s The Strangerer managed to fly under the radar of the lead critics at the local mainstream papers. Playwright Mickle Maher says the dailies’ big guns never made it to the show, which leaves it nicely positioned as an “underground” hit. That’s always sexy.
And the critics who did make it pretty much raved their heads off, with words like “brilliant” and “hilarious” leaping from their keyboards. Still, when The Strangerer opens July 13 at the Barrow Street Theatre in lower Manhattan, it may face a little marketing challenge. The play’s an odd duck: a take on the Albert Camus novel The Stranger (last read by most of us in high school) wedded to a fictionalized presidential campaign debate—minus the current candidates. In The Strangerer, it’s 2004 and George Bush is facing John Kerry while Jim Lehrer moderates. When I posted news of the New York gig to the Reader’s Onstage blog, a commenter was moved to remark that the idea “just doesn’t seem timely.”