Rob Nash: He'll Take Manhattan

New York critics have weighed in on the off-Broadway debut of Rob Nash's Holy Cross Sucks! and given the Austin theatre artist a bushel of Big Apple praise

Rob Nash: He'll Take Manhattan

Judging by the speed with which New York critics reviewed the off-Broadway debut of Rob Nash's Holy Cross Sucks!, you'd think they spent the last few years awaiting the show's on-again, off-again Big Apple premiere as anxiously as its creator. Within days of the show's Sept. 9 opening, a half-dozen critics had weighed in, including The New York Times (which, amusingly, found the titular verb too vulgar for publication, leaving a demure ellipsis in its place). Critical opinion was pretty consistent: Nash successfully evokes both the traumas of high school and American life during Reagan's first term (with more than one reviewer raving about the early Eighties soundtrack). And though he took raps for the show's abundance of dramatic crises – an occupational hazard when you condense four separate plays into a single two-hour show – Nash reaped praise for his comedy and skills at playing multiple characters. As Richard Hinojosa says at NYTheatre.com: "He switches back and forth from one character's voice and posture to another with the ease and skill of a carnival juggler. It is an absolutely stunning feat of focus and precision to behold." TheaterMania.com's Dan Bacalzo notes: "Nash has a buoyant energy that's infectious and a delightfully comic delivery." Andy Probst at Backstage.com feels that some of the storytelling is "overly contrived," but "Nash … compensates for any content-related issues with his utterly charming and well-executed characterizations." TalkinBroadway.com's Matthew Murray finds the play's characters closer to caricatures, but notes that "at least the laughs are first rate. … Nash's deconstructions of everything from school plays to first sexual experiences are often downright hilarious." And the Times' Rob Kendt writes: "Under Jeff Calhoun's sure-handed direction, Mr. Nash comes off … as uncannily mellow and unflappable. … By mostly playing it cool, Mr. Nash builds a warm glow of bemused hindsight around his essentially sweet-natured reminiscence."


Holy Cross Sucks! runs through Oct. 1 at Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th, New York City. For more information, visit www.robnash.com.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rob Nash, Holy Cross Sucks!, New York Times, Richard Hinojosa, NYTheatre.com, Theatermania.com, Dan Bacalzo, Andy Probst, Backstage.com, Rob Kendt, Jeff Calhoun

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle