Magazine article The Nation

One Neck

Magazine article The Nation

One Neck

Article excerpt

Todd Alcott's One Neck, at the Atlantic Theatre on West 20th Street, offers a villain of much deeper dye. A villain, indeed, of almost unthinkable vileness, and yet (such is the nature of stage villains) not without his own peculiar charm. The playwright himself takes the starring role of Lucian, a serial killer who invites himself to a dinner party of five strangers, each a yuppie of the sort we'd all like to kill (because they're us). Lucian reveals his favorite hobby and his body count to date at the end of Act I, and then in Act II proceeds to knock off, one by one, the dinner guests, who have been taped to their chairs during the intermission. They can't escape, and their efforts to plead for mercy or to make a deal with Lucian are futile. There is, however, a surprise ending of sorts, which I can't reveal.

One Neck can't really be accounted a suspense thriller, since the victims can't fight back or even run for their lives. …

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