Birneys Horizons

"See me, feel me, touch me, heal me!" Michelle Pawk and Reed Birney; photo by Joan Marcus


Reed Birney in “A Small Fire” at Playwrights Horizons.


After a heartbreaking turn in last year’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” (postmodernism’s theater games take on “A Chorus Line”) Birney is back at Playwrights Horizons in Adam Bock’s “A Small Fire.” Birney plays the husband of a woman who slowly loses her sense of smell, taste, sight, and hearing. (She can have sex we discover. Them’s some brave actors!)

Birney isn’t the center of the piece, but as always, he’s overflowing with heart, empathy, humor, and spontaneity. He effortlessly replicates the thoughts, gestures, and emotions that ultimately define us as regular people. You just feel for the guy.

I’m a fan, and you should be too! Thankfully, Birney seems to be constantly employed. Look for him in Roundabout’s “Dream of the Burning Boy” starting in February.


Playwrights Horizons seems to have misplaced an apostrophe – has anyone seen it? That menace behind the film “Two Weeks Notice” is probably to blame. Until then, the playwrights won’t have any horizons, they’ll just, y’know, be stationed next to them. Such a shame.


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