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JOSH’S REVIEW: Nebraska @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

While pretty enjoyable with some solid performances all around, Nebraska just didn’t wow me. There are also some cliche elements in the play, but there’s still enough here to give it a look. 

Should you see it?

ThreeNebraska tells the tale of Matt (Chris Jaworski), a man in his late 20s with a loving fiancee, Amy (Kate Boone). However, when Amy was out of town last year, Matt ha an affair with his co-worker, Lyndsey (Maddie Vezina). Now Lyndsey is pregnant and Matt has to tell Amy the truth. The premise has the potential for some great drama, and it does deliver at points. I suppose my gripe is that the “if I tell her, I’ll hurt her” thing has been done before. We know where this is going to lead, so it dampens the tension a bit. However, the actors’ performances save the show from falling flat, especially Boone in her other role as the over-the-top Children’s Help Phone Operator. Jaworski also does a great dead-pan at points when listening to his lovers ramble on, and Mark MacDonald, playing Matt’s brother Ryan, adds even more comedy to make this show  a fun experience.

I’ve gone on about good staging in a few of my other reviews, and I have to again here. Dividing the set down the middle, splitting the couch in half along the way, was a great way to allow Matt to switch between the apartments of Amy and Lyndsey for different scenes. On the left, we have Amy’s cleaner abode, while the right features Lyndsey’s magazine-strain grungier home. It’s seems simple, but it allows the play to flow nicely.

While some may criticize the ending, I personally found it fitting. Yet, by the end I was still left wanting. Nebraska has some good moments, but it never kicks into a higher gear.

But these are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Nebraska is running on June 29th at Academic Hall (venue 3). For more information on the show, please visit our preview page.


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