The world they’ve created is a fascinating one to get lost in

The show’s dreamlike mood of sinister paranoia is so palpable and persuasive that it almost doesn’t matter if the story loses you. The world they’ve created is a fascinating one to get lost in.

Carl Faber’s marvelous lighting design creates an atmosphere of creepy anxiety, and it soon becomes clear that this is less an apartment building and more an insane asylum.

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Heartbreakingly Beautiful

So it’s a bunch of crazy stories about cons and suckers? Yes, but the play is really about humanity’s essential and irrepressible need to believe in things. It’s about heartbreakingly beautiful ideas like the blindness of love, religious faith without question, and the need to give the common man the benefit of the doubt. On the cynical side, it’s all ripe fodder for cons and the audience gets to be in on the joke. 

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✮✮✮✮✮ Sheer ambition… A breathtaking stunt!

Woodshed Collective proves itself up to old tricks in its marvelously intricate and involving new show. The sheer ambition of the project is impressive in and of itself: Set aboard the Lilac Steamship at Pier 40, The Confidence Man comprises at least a dozen of stories about charlatans and mountebanks, some of them adapted from Herman Melville’s novel of the same name. These tales, organized into three discrete tracks, are enacted simultaneously in 25 different playing areas for groups of spectators, who are escorted around the ship by six docents but free to wander as they please. On a technical level, it’s a breathtaking stunt.

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