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New York Theater


Bohemian Archeology knows that sin is always in. With its Off-Off Broadway revival of Sin, Wendy MacLeod's 1994 comically cautionary tale, this young company proves that even when sin isn't original, it can still be fun.

Set in San Francisco on the eve of the 1989 earthquake, Sin follows Avery (Megan Hill), a sanctimonious traffic reporter who looks down upon everyone from more than just her helicopter. Avery's life is filled with personifications of the seven deadly sins — such as her slothful alcoholic husband or her apoplectic boss — that she must navigate like a modern-day Everyman. It takes a major earthquake and her brother dying of AIDS to make Avery understand the humanity behind these sinners and discover that pride may be the deadliest sin of them all.

Sin has a definite mid-'90s feel to it, but MacLeod's dialogue — razor sharp and filled with bluntly comic observations and fearless one-liners — almost cuts through the play's schmaltzy ending. With gender politics butting heads with Reaganomics and the AIDS crisis, MacLeod makes a plea for us to sympathize with the unsympathetic. Sin has a tendency to become chaotic, but director Jordana Kritzer manages for the most part to keep the production reined in. That said, there is an inclination for the cast to fall into the trap of portraying MacLeod's characters as high-strung maniacs, with little variation throughout. But Megan Hill — with her restraint and deadpan delivery — serves as an anchor amid the pandemonium, and Amy Broder stands out as Helen, Avery's gluttonous junk-food-addicted roommate.

Sin isn't perfect. There are times when the production lacks the potency MacLeod's script requires (such as in the climactic earthquake sequence), but it manages to find the intimacy in the play's few quiet moments. And if Sin teaches us anything, it's that perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Presented by Bohemian Archeology

at the Abingdon Theatre, 312 W. 36th St., NYC.

July 19-29. Tue.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m.

(212) 868-4444 or

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