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The Commerce Bar's Backstage Bartender Talks About 'The Revisionist'

By Heidi Patalano | March 12, 2013 7:30am

WEST VILLAGE — Geoffrey Culbertson hasn't seen "The Revisionist" himself.

But he's heard enough about actor Jesse Eisenberg’s new play from patrons grabbing drinks at Commerce after catching the show at the nearby Cherry Hill Theatre to know all about it.

Many people have raved about the play, which was written by and stars Eisenberg (with Vanessa Redgrave), particularly after it was reviewed by The New York Times, he said.

Culbertson, 25 — a former English major and actor and playwright himself, who's worked at the bar the past five months — tells DNAinfo.com New York what he's overheard across the bar:

Q: What have patrons been saying about “The Revisionist”?
A: I’ve gotten mixed reviews, but strong reviews. No one has given me an opinion that seems to be blasé or "meh." Either they are so turned off by Jesse Eisenberg’s lack of voice or they find it to be speaking to some new generation’s voice, that it’s a voice that isn’t understood. It might just not hit with a certain generation.

What's the worst thing someone's said about the play?
I hear so many positive reviews now. Especially since that Ben Brantley review came out, now everyone’s gushing about it and they think it’s brilliant. I think I heard that people were a little confused by it before that review came out. I’d say the bar’s been packed after every show with theater-goers, and I’d say 90 percent of them end up talking about that review and that’s what brought them to the show.

Given all the opinions you’ve heard, what’s your take?
My opinion of the play — even though I haven’t seen it — is that it’s highly conceptual.

Hear any gossip about the cast?
People love talking about Jesse Eisenberg and how surprisingly brilliant he is...I hear a lot of people who still don’t know who he is. People will end up telling their friends, "That guy from 'The Social Network.”'

Has Mr. Eisenberg stopped by at all?
He comes in probably every other night, after the show. He gets a table in the corner. He was in two nights ago and had dinner with Mia Wasikowska.

Anyone bother them?
The clientele that comes in in the West Village, they couldn't care less. They’re all high-profile in their own way. I haven’t even noticed people give Jesse Eisenberg a second look. We get celebrities in quite a bit, so it’s not that big a deal.