Theatre is Easy - open heart
Dan Fingerman
Aug 23, 2010

open heart, a new play by Joe Salvatore, gives voice to the often occurring, yet rarely discussed, phenomenon of open relationships amongst gay men.  Regardless of your feelings on monogamy this is a very well done and thought provoking piece.  It is made all the more interesting as the discussion of granting legal rights to monogamous same-sex couples engages our nation.  Salvatore and his cast deliver an unflinching, engaging, interesting, and often humorous work.”

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Backstage - open heart
Erik Haagensen
Aug 21, 2010

 open heart is engrossing and illuminating.  Salvatore’s five-person cast…offers nuanced work, deftly distinguishing between sometimes similar, other times divergent characters.”

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Danny Bowes
Aug 19, 2010

 “One doesn’t often think of the stage as a medium that lends itself to the documentary. To see perhaps the best possible example of one onstage, get a ticket to open heart before they sell out (which should be soon, judging by the size and enthusiasm of the opening night crowd). It’s hard to imagine anyone else pulling this off as well as open heart.”

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Time Out New York - Fringe Fest returns
Beth Greenfield
Aug 09, 2010

Finally, there’s open heart, a show that found its inspiration in the past but tells present-day stories. When playwright Joe Salvatore was researching his 2008 Fringe Fest production, III—about the long-term three-way relationship among photographer George Platt Lynes, writer Glenway Wescott and MoMA curator Monroe Wheeler—he started to wonder about the frequency of such romances today. At the same time, Salvatore became single and began dating, and kept meeting men who were in long-term “open” relationships.


“I was intrigued,” he recalls. “These few initial stories prompted me to begin exploring the idea of creating a piece where the voices of men would provide insight for an alternative to the heteronormative, monogamous structures that many gay men are living in or believe they have to live in.”


He found and interviewed 13 such couples, was struck by his subjects’ candor and learned, among other nuances, that some relationships start open and others open up over time. The material was also surprisingly honest and articulate. “One thing I always find in verbatim-theater work that I create is that people will speak more metaphorically than I could ever construct through a more traditional playwriting process,” Salvatore says. “I am still struck by the authenticity that people convey through these moments of poetry that just spill out of them.”

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CurtainUp - 2008 New York International Fringe Festival
Deidre Donovan
Aug 25, 2008

"Joe Salvatore’s III smoulders with talent. Salvatore is the real star of the production. He has directed with the same careful intelligence with which he has written the drama--and proves himself to be a capable actor as well. Salvatore has brilliantly dramatized the psychology of these gifted artists living in a gay enclave before the Gay Liberation Movement."

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Gay City New - Fringe Finds
David Kennerley
Aug 21, 2008

“Yet ‘III’ can be easily applied to the show’s creator, Joe Salvatore, who proves to be the most gifted triple-threat I’ve encountered at the Fringe this season. He wrote, directs, and stars in this magnificent production that feels like, with just a little re-jiggering, it belongs in a regular run in the Off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theater.”

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Backstage - III
Leonard Jacobs
Aug 18, 2008

"Salvatore’s prowess at pure dramatic construction serves him equally well, especially as he charts the salient moments when Wheeler, Wescott, and Lynes cohabitated together on East 89th Street. The actors — Salvatore as Wescott, John Del Vecchio as Wheeler, and Daryl Embry as Lynes — beautifully calibrate the curving, winding shape of their unlikely romantic and emotional bonds. Physically, psychically, and otherwise, their chemistry is extraordinary. They are — like the notable men they play — a fabulous trio for the ages."

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Anthony Pennino
Aug 13, 2008

"Salvatore has created three extremely complicated, complex, and flawed individuals in his piece. Each character resonates; each portrayal is heartfelt. III is an extremely worthy addition to this year’s FringeNYC. If you have only a couple of Fringe shows to see, make sure one of them is III."

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