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Theatre Critic Helen Shaw Can Write

"In Harris’s cleverest dramaturgical gesture, the old shorthand for innocence is changed: the melodramatic heroine’s blushing whiteness becomes Franklin’s shining blackness. It summons the monsters, just by existing."

Helen Shaw's mesmerizing review of Jeremy O. Harris's play Daddy - currently playing in New York - makes me want to see the play just to see it through her eyes. She doesn't necessarily like the play. She doesn't even recommend it. But she does get it. And she makes me really curious about the play, more curious than Harris's own Instagram account.

Who cares if the play is any good? Shaw makes me want to be there and see for myself what works and what doesn't work. With Shaw's invitation, I'm given permission to see past my own jaded preferences and into a world of curiosity that will certainly keep me on the edge of my seat for the 3 hour running time of Daddy.

And to his credit, Harris said this about the review on Twitter -

"Hi critics, This is stellar criticism. The kind that makes me want to grab a drink to discuss intersections of intentionality v impact w/ @Helen_E_Shaw because she reviewed the play! I know @4_columns has a higher standard editing than most but I wish everyone cared this much."

Here's the review:

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