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Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman Duo



Shorter excerpts

“achieved dazzling sophistication”

“virtuoso level of characterization”

The Village Voice

“their real intent is to go to the center of human movement,  habit and meaning”

“Fay and Glassman’s timing is impeccable and interrogates the very coming and

going, leaving or staying that makes a relationship”

“consummate professionalism"

—Chicago Theatre Blog


 “I think that Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman belong in some kind of genius category”

“hone their material to its essence”

—The Times-Picayune


“hilarious but intellectually challenging, simple in execution yet extremely difficult to execute”

“unnatural contortions and severe movements unexplored in dance or theater”

“on the cutting edge of comedy and theater”

The Lincoln Star Journal


Longer excerpts

  "achieved dazzling sophistication…In Triangle, Fay and the amazingly chameleonic Jeff Glassman jumped in midword…among three pairs of personas: a couple of withered old cleaning employees, and actor and director, and a whiny tobacco exec and his bored, abusive wife.  The effect was merely surreal at first, but as coincidences between the plots multiplied, I began to suspect (though I can’t swear) that the performers were intercutting between scenes locatable on a single stage:  a couple of theater janitors, the actors rehearsing a play, and the play itself.  The piece then became an anatomy of power relationships as the two struggled for dominance in their changing personas… I’ve seen a lot of theater fail to reach this virtuoso level of characterization." 

The Village Voice,
Kyle Gann, New York 1995


“The best way to think of what Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman do is to ponder tape editing.

These are the characteristics of the Fay-Glassman experience…Thursday evening’s end results were hilarious but intellectually challenging, simple in execution yet extremely difficult to execute.

It’s called theater “natural,” and it takes behavior considered “normal” or “ordinary” and subjects it to unnatural contortions and severe movements unexplored in dance or theater improvisation…

On cue, dialogue retroverted instantly to a point in the action perhaps half a minute previous.  Or, it jumped ahead a minute in the script.  It’s like editing digital video, and Fay and Glassman timed it to perfection. 

A similar vignette, “Triangle,” not only presented the classic love entanglement but hybridized a grouping of three scenes into one dialogue piece which took place in a hotel lobby and involved lovers and business associates.  Couple roles changed exactly on cue and without warning.

The Fay-Glassman experience is on the cutting edge of comedy and theater, not to be missed if you enjoy innovation and stage humor.” 

The Lincoln Star Journal, Lincoln, Nebraska
 John Cutler, May 1997


“For Fay and Glassman, words seem to be as malleable as movement phrases…breathtaking, as in Coffee Cup Duet, in which words became part of a counterpoint of stillness and frenzy in a restaurant rendezvous.... compelling, clockwork intricacy”

Philadelphia Inquirer
Miriam Seidel, Sept. 2, 2002


“I think that Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman belong in some kind of genius category. Their "Depth of a Moment" surreal vaudeville -- an off-kilter restaurant encounter, a man whose every movement is accompanied by an apt sound, a couple whose inane conversation keeps burping into rewind and finally, a long episode performed by Fay entirely in reverse -- is endlessly creative. Dialogue is sparse apart from classic double-talk by Glassman in the first scene and snatches of words here and there. One is reminded of silent film comedians and European circus clowns, who hone their material to its essence.”

—The Times-Picayune,
David Cuthbert, New Orleans, August 14th 2008


“Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman have the consummate professionalism of a longstanding comic team. While undoubtedly their short theater pieces contain comic moments, their real intent is to go to the center of human movement, habit and meaning. Coffee Cup Duet establishes the rhythm of a simple business meeting over coffee, as well as the rituals inherent in meeting and needing transactions wherein coffee and its accoutrements establish the common ground. ’Napse is a mysterious and unearthly piece, combining Glassman’s commonplace movements with the gargling, choking, chewing, distortions and whispers Glassman conjures from a small mic saddled in his cheek. One never knows where Glassman is going next with the world he creates from each garbled sound. The suspense alone leads to a finish that unites the everyday with eternity. “Time and Again” examines the stop and start repetitive habits of a couple over the issue of when to return a book to the library. Fay and Glassman’s timing is impeccable and interrogates the very coming and going, leaving or staying that makes a relationship. “Homeland” hits the hardest, with a solitary housewife moving backward in time, from the moment she weeps into a phone in her hand to the violation of her home that has provoked her upset. The piece chillingly depicts where we are now.”

—Chicago Theatre Blog
Paige Listerud, Chicago, January 2011


“Life happens because of small movements we make every day over and over again without thinking, movements like picking up the phone, washing dishes, using a pen, walking. At some point all these movements add up to memories, memories to choices and somewhere down the line, in a space we think is far removed from these small movements, are the big decisions that decide our futures.

We never question whether deciding to take that job or go back to school is really bound by the same beliefs as pouring a cup of coffee.These are the beliefs that Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman challenged in their very short run of Currency, which played last weekend at Prop Thtr.  

All of us are completely unaware of the small moments of synchronicity. Lisa and Jeff take those moments and heightened them. From there, Lisa and Jeff continue to expose the everyday moments, often in very funny ways, as beliefs we hold about what is supposed to happen. Time even moves backwards in the final piece, “Homeland.””

Gozamos, Remedios Piña
Chicago, Jan. 26, 2011