It's funny, i wasn't going to post my reaction to Richard Maxwell's SAMARA if, for no other reason than I think the guy is so important and has given me such joy over the years, it's somewhat painful for me to admit just what a hard slog this production was. Thankfully, I can blame it on the fact that he was not directing. For me, at least, when RM is both writer and director by the end of the night you're convinced you've just witnessed some kind of strange alchemy you best not attempt to explain for fear it might crumble under too much scrutiny. When RM is directing someone else's play (assuming the play works) he can bring things to the fore not even the playwright probably would have imagined, witness 2016's REALLY. But when he gives his writing over to a director who has no feel for the intricacies of RM's approach to actors and acting (particularly if the actors are not in his company) it can be like giving a hand grenade to a child; you best head for the hills as nothing good can possibly come of this. My dismay was made all the greater because, as a life-long fan of the music of Steve Earl (who, when they first met, told RM he moved to NY so he could breathe the same air as Tony Kushner!) I was REALLY looking forward to their collaboration...how could it possibly miss...?