'The Great God Pan' review: Intriguing

From left, Joyce Van Patten and Jeremy Strong,

From left, Joyce Van Patten and Jeremy Strong, in a scene from Amy Herzog's new play, "The Great God Pan," currently performing off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in New York. (Credit: AP )

Amy Herzog's "The Great God Pan" is another of this celebrated playwright's delicately observed, emotionally conventional plays. Like "After the Revolution" and "4000 Miles," this one explores obvious relationships with perceptive detail and unsurprising psychology.

Jamie (Jeremy Strong) is a nice guy who always did the right things. But he doesn't talk much about his feelings, even to his longtime girlfriend (Sarah Goldberg). He also doesn't want to commit or to face what she describes as sexual dysfunction. Enter Frank, a childhood friend (Keith Nobbs), a troubled kid Jamie hasn't seen for decades. Frank, gay with spiked hair and a prison record, is putting together a sexual-abuse case against his father and wants to know if the man also molested Jamie.

We are in recovered memory territory here, as the characters, directed by Carolyn Cantor, relate in sensitive duets and trios against a woodsy backdrop that, significantly, looks like camouflage. His good parents (Becky Ann Baker, Peter Friedman) also have a secret and so, perhaps, does the boys' aged baby-sitter (Joyce Van Patten). It all plays out with dramatic neatness, and no small amount of mundane sentimentality.

WHAT "The Great God Pan"

WHERE Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St.

INFO $70; 212-279-4200; playwrightshorizons.org

BOTTOM LINE Recovered memories, conventional drama

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Newsday on social media

@Newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday