Dorfman's post-absurdist script nods to original sin and will evoke various conflicts and catastrophes for viewers, not least of all the conflict in Iraq. But for all its disturbing aspects, Side, which runs through Jan. 15 at New York City Center, ultimately makes a case for the power of love and empathy, even in a troubled and disjointed world.
However, it hasn't gone down very well with these NYT reader reviewers. Variety is a little more even-handed:
Ariel Dorfman delivers his message right off the bat in this political allegory about two unnamed nations worn out by an endless war. But having made his point about the absurdity of war between neighbors who share a common heritage, the Chilean scribe leaves himself nowhere to take this static drama. Despite forceful performances from veteran thespians Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, this bleak tale feels out of its element in Blanka Zizka's overstaged production for MTC and more suited to the literary form of short story or novella.