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3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In a “first ring” suburb outside a midsize American city, Ben and Mary fire up the grill to welcome the new neighbors who’ve moved into the long-empty house next door. The fledgling friendship soon veers out of control, shattering the fragile hold that newly unemployed Ben and burgeoning alcoholic Mary have on their way of life—with unexpected comic consequences. Detroit i ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Faber & Faber
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It had its moments, but I can't believe this is Pulitzer material. None of the characters were compelling, the plot went nowhere and the stage directions were bizarrely casual.
D'Amour can write excellent and funny dialogue as well as craft interesting, realistic characters. Therefore "Detroit" is a definitely stageable play, fun to act, entertaining and, as any good play should be, not easily adapted to film or television. However, a play written and set in Great Recession America, with the title "Detroit" should deal much more extensively with the problems of that place and time- it is telling that in the introductory material D'Amour states that the play doesn't eve ...more
Hayley DeRoche
It is the year 2013. Our Pulitzer Prize Finalists now have stage directions like this: "suddenly Ben falls through one of the boards of the porch. Ether it breaks or there was like a slot that his foot could slide through" (p. 52).

I was disappointed, as other reviewers have also noted, that a play set "now" (literally, "time: now") and a place that is "not necessarily Detroit" and is yet called "Detroit" is really...not about the new reality of American lower-middle class at all. It's like a sa
Honestly, not a fan. There's some interesting stuff in here. But the characters seem a tad bit superficial, and Ms. D'Amour's habit of using questions in her stage directions got very grating. There are large monologues for both women, though they may not work out of context. An interesting read, but nothing I need to return to unless I pull a monologue from it.
Regina Clarkinia
So funny! Pitch black humor, my favorite variety. Smart, hilarious and scathing critique of present day USA, living in the penniless limbo of the abandoned American dream. I like the pacing and way the dialogue flows.

UPDATE: I just read the negative reviews. People are upset about the stage direction options being choose your own adventure. Also they are calling the characters white trash. But I don't think they are. Not that it would matter.

It's new, surprising and unpredictable. Not every ame
Mark Johnson
This play is an honest document of late empire in the USA, circa 2012, set in an 'inner circle' suburb of the sort that blossomed outward from urban centers in the aftermath of the second world war. Thirty-somethings Ben and Mary invite the new next door neighbors over for a welcome dinner. Ben has recently been laid off from his banking job, Mary has turned to alcohol to mute her insecurities about their tenuous finances; the new neighbors - Sharon and Kenny, also in their thirties - are recent ...more
Interesting play that seems to comment on the deterioration of lifestyles through the generation gaps. From a hardworking culture to a lower class survival, with an all-is-not-lost twist to it.

Overall, it is a great play, relevant in how, and with who, this would resonate... Though at times the text feels a bit forced onto the characters...

White-trash inspirational would be the blunt descriptor.

I would put on this play, but it would have to be free for the public, as showcasing this topic to t
Mathieu Quesnel
C'est définitivement une pièce qui doit être jouée et non lue. L'hyper réalisme est la force de ce texte et c'est pratiquement plus un documentaire qu'une pièce selon moi, car les personnages n'ont pas de quêtes précises, à part celui de participer à un portrait de génération. Mais je suis persuadé que ça peut être un très bon show si les acteurs trouvent le naturel désarmant que ça nécessite. Point fort : de très bons personnages féminins. Mais ma question : est-ce aussi drôle et percutant une ...more
Do you really know who your neighbors are? Lisa D'Amour tackles that question as well as a few more in this play. You don't really know where it's going, but then it all leads up to a fascinating climax. Dark, humorous, and thought-provoking; this play is one to pick up.
Mr. Smidl
There were entertaining moments, but it was
Something that was not so though-provoking or really focused on a lot of the issues that have occurred with the American economy. This felt more like white trash pulling a fast one on a couple that already has issues.
I was fortunate enough to acquire the play while it was still being premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. D'Amour evokes the great American narratives found in the works of Labute, Durang, Margulies, and Letts. Her skillful insight into the rough fissures underneath the facade of the American Dream--in this case, the current foreclosure crisis--is both timely and somewhat depressing, though not rife with the ennui and desperation of other recession/depression themed works, like those ...more
Kat C
The Goodreads rating of 2 Stars means "it was ok" and that is how I felt over all about this play. It was ok.

However, it was nice to read a play again! It had been too long.

Included in my June/July wrap up video:
I was looking for an issues-based play to teach with my grade 10 class next year. While this play certainly has issues, the material is a bit morbid for my liking. Also, I have to say that it would take some pretty phenomenal actors to pull off the humor here; in the wrong hands this would be mind-numbingly depressing. So, I'm going to pass on this one.
This funny, uncomfortable, compelling play questions the nature of our rapidly deteriorating society through the relationship between two couples. The script asks many questions: What is this "illusive" dream? Did they have it "right" a generation ago? Are we "right" now? What do we do when society crumbles around us?
Much like the shell-shocked Mary and Ben in the last scene, the audience is left pondering the answers.

I had a bit of issue with the portrayal of Kenny and Sharon - their inherent "
I honestly don't get how this play was nomited for Pulitzer prize. Or any prize really. I didn't care for it, maybe I didn't get it. To me it just read as a play about four unpleasant and uninteresting human beings hanging out together and nothing really happens. The ending was the best part and the older gentleman was the best character. Suppose this was a commentary on the concept of neighbors and neighborhoods, which to me only reinforced my firm belief that good fences make good neighbors an ...more
A darkly humorous look at recession life.
David Laurin
Personnages mystérieux et complexes. Un peu long avant d'aboutir avec quelque chose d'intéressant. Beaux moments d'humanité. Quatre personnages dans la trentaine avancée. Dans l'ensemble, la pièce m'a laissé sur ma faim.
A somewhat strange and somewhat amazing look at American life, particularly home ownership and the idea of neighbors. I want to see it staged now.
You know you're reading a play that belongs in a college course when it beings with a simple BBQ in a suburban backyard and ends with that house burning down.

A thunderbolt of a play that shocks us into taking a hard look at the slipperiness of middle-class life in the wake of the Great Recession.
Pulitzer nominee play set in adjoining backyards, two couples interact, barbeque, and burn down the house.
3.5, if we're getting specific.
i can't wait to see this play!
Jeremy Martens
Fuckin' crazy and hilarious. Would love to see this staged.
Gioya marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2015
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Detroit: A Play Airline Highway: A Play Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays from Clubbed Thumb Play: A Journal of Plays - Issue 3 New American Theater

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