"The gloves come off early in STONEWALL JACKSON'S HOUSE, Jonathan Reynolds' caustic comic tirade against political orthodoxy. A woebegone black guide leading a group through the haphazardly restored home of the Confederate general suddenly stops the tour to ask a well-to-do white couple from Ohio if she can come home with them, as their slave.
It's a provocative moment: where is this playwright, who so deliciously savaged film making fifteen years ago in GENIUSES, headed with this tasteless conceit? Mercifully, not to a scene depicting modern slavery. The revolving panels of the play's simple set are eventually pushed aside to reveal the rehearsal room of a small theater company whose self-righteous administrators, interviewing playwrights for the new season, denounce the play the audience has just sampled.
With that, Mr Reynolds climbs on his soapbox for a ambling, funny, cranky and highly entertaining diatribe against all the agenda-laden forces and high-minded programs (especially of the liberal stripe) that he believes have conspired to wring common sense out of American political and cultural life.
Affirmative action, political correctness, nontraditional casting, the welfare state, black studies, ethnocentrism, multiculturalism: Mr Reynolds pushes so many buttons he could have staged the play in an elevator....
You don't have to agree with Mr Reynolds' inexhaustible supply of opinions to get a kick out of this....
The plot of STONEWALL JACKSON'S HOUSE takes several outrageous turns, culminating in a hilariously radical restaging of the tour-guide scene along lines more politically palatable to the theater company's old guard....
But maybe a little more unvarnished spleen-venting is just what the theater needs."
Peter Marks, The New York Times
"In STONEWALL JACKSON'S HOUSE, Jonathan Reynolds has created an American play of ideas much in the manner of Paddy Chayefsky, with intelligent characters expressing their philosophies with a wit that sparkles and stabs at the same time."
Howard Waxman, Variety
"...the funniest and most outrageous play of the season, a withering fusillade of satire aimed at our comfortably congealed political orthodoxies.
He's brought brainy cantankerousness back with a vengeance."
Jack Kroll, Newsweek