This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



(photo by Erin Baiano)

It’s not all laughs as Greg (Peter Grosz) and Alex (Carla Gugino) try to get their four-year-old son into the right school in world premiere of A KID LIKE JAKE (photo by Erin Baiano)

Claire Tow Theater
LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater
150 West 65th St.
Through July 14, $20

In Daniel Pearle’s A Kid Like Jake, having its world premiere at Lincoln Center’s 112-seat Claire Tow Theater through July 14, husband and wife Greg (Peter Grosz) and Alex (Carla Gugino) are going through the challenging process of trying to find the perfect New York City school for their four-year-old son, Jake, and they’re ready to spend thirty grand a year for the privilege. But as they work with teacher and consultant Judy (Caroline Aaron) on crafting just the right essay and preparing Jake for interviews, they also must face a major factor that could influence their son’s future: his penchant for dressing up as princesses in lieu of playing with trucks and army men. Greg and Alex had never been overly concerned with Jake’s gender identity before — after all, he’s only four — but when they are told that he has been acting out in response to treatment from other children, they are suddenly forced to take a long, hard look at both Jake as well as each other. In A Kid Like Jake, Pearle (The Prodigies, The Truth about Christmas) and director Evan Cabnet (All-American, The Performers) explore the complex, very believable situation without ever showing Jake, instead cleverly allowing the proceedings to be more about the parents, and the system itself, than the four-year-old boy. The three main actors are uniformly excellent — Michelle Beck also appears occasionally in a minor role, including in an unfortunate and unnecessary dream sequence near the end — as they try to find an emotional balance as the character of Alex grows more and more unlikable. A Kid Like Jake is another satisfying production from LCT3, following such other shows as Slowgirl, Luck of the Irish, Mr. Joy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced.

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