Press for Lured''s world premiere at Theater for the New City's, November 2018
Boy Culture: Anti-social Media: A Review of LURED
"Frank J. Avella's revelatory play LURED... tackles a topical theme in an artful, non-exploitative way. It is never satisified preaching to the choir or giving us information we already know... Like Martin Sherman's Bent, LURED takes a piece of gay history — in this case, history-in-the-making — and turns it into an examination of the human spirit, of the propensity for human good and evil. It doesn't force-feed us any easy resolution, either, ending with a question mark in the best possible sense. LURED is not an easy play to watch, but it is 70 minutes of truth."
Popdust: LURED: A world of theatrical hurt
"Set in present day Russia amid newly revived anti-gay aggression, it deals directly with the violence of our time, and uncompromisingly shows it in gory detail... we are taken on a trip in to a heart of darkness that is all too prescient... It's a brisk hour and change, with a lithe cast undertaking the difficult material with guts and moxie. Every one of them is a raw mess, in one sense or another, by the final curtain... By the end there is no way to not talk about this play and the uncomfortable facts of our reality it presents.... The script is blistering. The performances, scalded. The direction, untempered and abrasive. It blazes a trail through the psyche that will not cool any time soon."
GayCityNews: Making the World Hate Again
"The power of LURED, a gutsy new political drama exposing heinous crimes against gay men in present-day Russia, is felt well before the actors take the stage... When the action begins, the dark promise of the set is methodically fulfilled. By the end of the drama, among the most arduous and exhilarating 80 minutes I’ve spent at the theater in recent memory, each of those props is put to dastardly use.... The piece asks who should decide what is moral, and if hate is inherent or learned. It also contemplates the value of revenge. At the play’s climax, we are left with no easy answers."
TheaterThatMatters: LURED lures us in and doesn't let go.
"Thanks to Frank J. Avella, we get a glimpse into the horror that plagues the gay community in Russia... This isn’t a play for the faint of heart, but sometimes we need to be jolted back into reality and bare witness. LURED is timely, relevant to our political climate, and heart wrenching. There were audible gasps of outrage throughout this 70 minute glimpse into Russian persecution. This is a prime example of Theater That Matters!"
Metrosource: LURED lets audiences look Russian Gay persecution in the eyes
Interview with LURED playwright Frank J. Avella and co-director Carlotta Brentan"
BroadwayWorld: Theater for the New City stages LURED - an honest and brutal depiction of gay persecution in Russia
BroadwayWorld: Casting complete for LURED in NYC and Rome
LURED at OnStage! American Theater Festival in Rome
Recensito: Lured by Frank J. Avella at the Off-Off Theater
"Was glad to take a part in a discussion after that incredible performance #Lured! Got very emotional as I could project the story on my own experience. I was crying remembering... I got petrified seeing again the fists of perpetrators... hearing the voices of sick ideology... feeling the boots on my face... The play is amazing and heartbreaking at the same time! Bravo to the director, actors and the crew!!!!"
- Lyosha Gorshkov, Co-President RUSA LGBT