WHAT "Dan Cody's Yacht"
WHERE Manhattan Theatre Club, 131 W. 55th St.
INFO $90, 212-581-1212, newyorkcitycenter.org
BOTTOM LINE Problematic play is adrift in misguided assumptions.
An "incorruptible" English teacher who works on the right side of the tracks and lives on the wrong side comes up against the manipulating father of a student in "Dan Cody's Yacht," the problematic new play by Anthony Giardina now at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
The complicated issues of inequities in the education system and the college selection process — territory covered better in Joshua Harmon's recent "Admissions" — get lost in the play, inspired by a passage with aspirational significance in "The Great Gatsby." No coincidence that it's the same book that resulted in a failing grade for the slacker son of said dad.
Well acted — especially by Kristen Bush as the teacher, Rick Holmes as the dad and Casey Whyland, portraying the teacher's daughter with ambitions of attending Vassar — the play follows implausible roads that make little sense. Would the daughter really have a better chance of getting into her chosen college by switching to a "richer" high school? "Dan Cody's Yacht" is adrift in such misguided assumptions.