Alliance’s “Aliens” Is Alienating

Carlos Alayeto and Kristian Bikic search for the meaning of life — sort of — in The Aliens at the Alliance Theatre

By Michelle F. Solomon,, for, Sept. 24, 2015 – Evan hates America, Jasper loves poet/novelist Charles Bukowski – he’s writing a Bukowski-esque book and will be famous for it one day, and college dropout KJ likes to make a ‘shroom tea that he sips on from morning until night. These are the characters that inhabit Annie Baker’s The Aliens now at Barry University’s Pelican Theater and staged by The Alliance Theatre.

Director Adalberto “Albert” J. Acevedo (Juan Carlos Besares is credited as assistant director) have assembled a solid cast including Carlos Alayeto as KJ, Daniel Gil as Jasper, and Kristian Bikic as Evan. It took the trio a bit to get the momentum going at Friday night’s “gala” opening night, but Baker’s script isn’t easy stuff.

At 34, Baker is currently playwright du jour. She won a Pulitzer last year for her play The Flick and has a number of other playwrighting awards under her belt. The Aliens was first produced off-Broadway in 2010.

For those among us who enjoy going deeper than what’s presented on the surface (what Baker wants us to do in The Aliens) – the navel gazing and self-conscious loathing of Samuel Beckett and the existential leanings of Edward Albee – Baker’s pace will be a treat. For others, Baker’s The Aliens will be an exercise in head scratching and perplexed moments in the space of two hours of wtf?

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