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Editorial Reviews

American playwright Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play This Is Our Youth is an exuberant portrait of disaffected young people during the Reagan Era. In 1982, teenager Warren Straub steals $15,000 from his abusive father and goes to the Upper West Side apartment of his friend Dennis Ziegler. They smoke pot, plot how to spend the money, and are joined by their friend Jessica Goldman. Actors Mark Ruffalo, Missy Yager, and Josh Hamilton give arresting performances in this recording of a live theater production.

Publisher's Summary

Starring Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hamilton and Missy Yager, the original cast was reunited for this exclusive L.A. Theatre Works performance of This is Our Youth.

In 1982, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, three pot-smoking teenagers are resoundingly rejecting the 1960s ideals of their affluent parents. In hilarious and bittersweet detail, This is Our Youth follows 48 turbulent hours in the lives of three very lost souls at the dawn of the Reagan Era.

©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
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Mark Ruffalo Rocks as Socially Awkward Teen

What did you love best about This Is Our Youth?

The performances by Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hamilton, and Missy Yager are all top notch. They draw in the listener so completely that one forgets one is not watching the performance live in a theater.

Would you be willing to try another book from Kenneth Lonergan? Why or why not?

Absolutely yes, although the story was a little weird and didn't go in any of the many ways it could have, and arguably maybe should have, given its early dramatic promise (e.g., maybe these kids' parents didn't necessarily need to be portrayed as dangerous, violent psychopaths--which, after all, is statistically improbable--if nothing was ever going to come of it, and maybe the main character's sister who died ten years ago didn't necessarily need to have been MURDERED--again, statistically unlikely--in order merely for her death to have had a lasting impact on that character).

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Each actor fully inhabited his/her character, and each, though sometimes extreme, and is completely consistent and believable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No tears, but several laugh-out-loud moments. I loved it!

Any additional comments?

[PLEASE PRESS 'YES' IF THIS REVIEW WAS EVEN SLIGHTLY HELPFUL!! THANKS!!]

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A contemporary masterpiece

Great cast (particularly of note is a young Mark Ruffalo) and phenomenal writing. An LA Theatre Works classic, and a must for any modern drama fanatic.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful