Stage and Cinema film and theatre reviews




picture - The AtheistTheatre Review

by Chad Menville

published October 17, 2008


The Atheist

now playing Off Broadway at the Barrow St. Theater

open run


On stage: desk, a chair, a half bottle of bourbon and a video camera aimed at the desk. Out walks Augustine Early, played by the wonderfully beguiling Campbell Scott. Enchanting and delightfully pitch perfect, this one-person show is a provocative, refreshing tour de force.


Augustine is a washed-up crooked reporter who wants his name to be on the tip of everyone's tongue. Hungry for headlines and chasing his 15 minutes, he will do anything to get his next front-page story. Next in his crosshairs is local Congressman Wallace. Augustine has abandoned conscience yet mentally makes room on his mantelpiece for awards. Vulgar yet charming, inspired and self-destructive, he runs towards his own kind of truth, stepping on plenty of toes along the way.


The play "is written very much as a jazz score," says Justin Waldman, the director. "There's not a single punctuation mark in the script." And though it is not a straight-told story, its progression remains swift and captivating. Playwright Ronan Noone has skillfully crafted a character who is part whistleblower and pariah, in a story of how the press can so easily be manipulated; a subject so central to our time.


90 minutes of watching a person who does not believe in God or a soul might prove too much for some theatergoers. There have been reports of a few walkouts, but isn't powerful, memorable, life-altering art meant to shake things up a bit? At the end of the day, The Atheist is a welcome escape from Broadway; a must-see (for the 18 and over crowd) with a heck of a lot more laughs than its title would suggest. As Augustine Early would say, "This is pure gold."


chadmenville @


NYC theater
LA theater
movie posters
privacy statement
contact us
site map



Follow stageandcinema on Twitter

facebook logo