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November 23, 2021

But Nottage’s delightful new play, “Clyde’s,” which opened at the Helen Hayes Theater on Tuesday, dares to flip the paradigm. Though it’s still about dark things, including prison, drugs, homelessness and poverty, it somehow turns them into bright comedy. In Kate Whoriskey’s brisk and thoroughly satisfying production for Second Stage Theater, we learn that, unlike Oedipus and his mom, people who may have little else nevertheless have choices.

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November 23, 2021

A sandwich has always been a kind of vehicle, ingredients riding between sliced bread. Lynn Nottage improbably turns the lunchtime staple into the storytelling engine of “Clyde’s,” her deceptively simple flavor-bomb of a new comedy about survival, second chances and digesting whatever life serves up.

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November 23, 2021

The quest to create the perfect sandwich takes on existential tones in Clyde’s, the tasty if occasionally and slightly undercooked new dramedy from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. Though it lacks the heft of the playwright’s great SweatClyde’s makes for an intriguing companion piece.

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November 23, 2021

Maybe “best” should mean that actor or director who takes flawed or flimsy material and turns it into something worth watching. That’s the miracle director Kate Whoriskey performs with Lynn Nottage’s sketchy new play, “Clyde’s,” which opened Tuesday at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater.

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November 23, 2021

When is a sandwich more than a sandwich? When it becomes a symbol of redemption, aspiration and hope, as in Lynn Nottage’s latest play, “Clyde’s,” a lively and funny if sometimes ham-handed — or should I say ham-on-rye-handed? — comedy-drama at the Helen Hayes Theater.

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November 23, 2021

More than any piece of theatre that has premiered on Broadway in the past few decades, Clyde’s could possibly transform the way that viewers regard their reformed brethren and demand that necessary reforms be passed to allow them to reintegrate into society. Until that time, I’m returning for an in-person encore viewing―Clyde’s is quite simply, that tantalizingly piquant.

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November 23, 2021

Clyde’s asks questions about the malign primacy of our inner demons. And it also asks whether liberation is possible via the art of making the perfect sandwich. Forget all the big stuff. If you love sandwiches, go see this play!

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November 23, 2021

In Sweat, poverty and outsourcing rip apart a factory town, and Jason’s crime provides the show’s awful offstage climax. Clyde’s is Sweat’s foil. Sweat was long, grimly realistic, full of argument and instruction; Clyde’s is short, buoyant, and atmospheric. Sweat asks a bleak question about whether work can sustain us; Clyde’s offers a hopeful if fantastical answer.

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November 23, 2021

Director Kate Whoriskey (who regularly collaborates with Nottage) may have overemphasized the play’s broad humor, to the point where it often starts to resemble a sitcom version of “Top Chef.” But at its best, “Clyde’s” is a relatable, rambunctious, feel-good work that optimistically preaches a path to self-redemption.

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November 23, 2021

With the official opening Tuesday of “Clyde’s,” Lynn Nottage’s highly entertaining comedy of kitchen nightmares at a Pennsylvania truck stop, Broadway’s cup of bracing drama has begun to runneth over.

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New York Theater
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Jonathan
Mandell

November 23, 2021

The chief delight of this production, directed by frequent Nottage collaborator Kate Whoriskey, is the art and craft of the theater making, by an extraordinarily talented cast, and also by the designers, who get whimsical and weird (in a good way.)

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New York Stage Review
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Steven
Suskin

November 23, 2021

Nottage is in the midst of her own personal uptown theater festival, with no less than three pandemic-delayed items scheduled to open by February 1 (the others being the Lincoln Center Theater opera version of her early play Intimate Apparel and the biomusical MJ). Clyde’s demonstrates that the twice-Pulitzered, MacArthur-winning author remains high among our most accomplished playwrights. And how.

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New York Stage Review
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Melissa Rose
Bernardo

November 23, 2021

Given the choice in any restaurant, I will pretty much never opt for a sandwich. Honestly, sandwiches are hard to eat. They’re messy. Just chop everything up in a colorful crunchy salad, please. But the way two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (RuinedSweat) writes about sandwiches in her tempting new slice-of-life comedy, Clyde’s—and the way her characters rhapsodize about them—could bring me around.

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Theatermania
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Zachary
Stewart

November 23, 2021

This play about recently incarcerated people attempting to stabilize their lives qualifies as a lighthearted comedy from Nottage, the playwright who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Ruined (about women in war-torn Congo) and another one in 2017 for Sweat (about the havoc wreaked by deindustrialization). A combination of witty dialogue, outsize characters, and zany staging from director Kate Whoriskey creates a madcap world that keeps us laughing while addressing real-world problems with seriousness and sophistication.

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November 23, 2021

Lynn Nottage has assembled Clyde’s in a similar spirit. It comes as something of a surprise that the playwright behind such heavy works as Intimate ApparelSweat and Ruined (the latter two of which earned Pulitzer Prizes) should make her Broadway return with the feel-good play of the season. But from seemingly disparate ingredients—slices of ex-con life, a dash of fresh rom-com, a battle between the forces of good and evil—Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey have crafted a light, delicious medley of sustenance and flavor.

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Theatrely
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Juan A.
Ramirez

November 23, 2021

A boss who spends their life berating their employees instead of tending to the business is one with something to hide, and not much to show for it. In Clyde’s, a new play by Lynn Nottage which just opened at the Hayes Theater, this infernal chief is played with irresistible gusto by Uzo Aduba. With sketchy gambling ties and a passion for making her employees’ life hell, she runs her titular roadside sandwich shop with a punishing fist, always ready to swing should any backtalk arise. This funny, poignant production by 2nd Stage Theater matches her commanding wit, even if Aduba’s magnetic performance takes a kitchen knife to her vaguely undercooked character.

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Ny Daily News
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Chris
Jones

November 23, 2021

Working in the kitchen at Clyde’s, a roadside sandwich joint in Berks County, Pa., is no fun whatsoever. The beaten-down, formerly incarcerated, staffers, all of whom have had major struggles in life, are forever in fear of the manager, the kind of toxic personality who will get right up in your face on a daily basis and, on occasion, will bruise both your psyche and your physical body.

And yet, “Clyde’s” is a dark Broadway comedy, replete with a terrifyingly funny performance from Uzo Aduba (”Orange is the New Black”) as the titular boss from hell.

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