REVIEW ROUNDUP: “A Day by the Sea” Opened with a ShowScore of 78

Show-Score | Aug 26, 2016
“A Day by the Sea,” written by N.C. Hunter and directed by Austin  Pendleton, opened on August 25, 2016 in New York City. “A Day by the Sea,” written by N.C. Hunter and directed by Austin Pendleton, opened on August 25, 2016 in New York City.


Seven critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 72.

Neil Genzlinger
The New York Times
ShowScore: 90
"This is a very well made play, and Austin Pendleton, the director, gets the most out of it…Mr. Elfer is terrific, and so is Ms. Firth, whose Frances gradually emerges during this two-intermission play as the most complex character on the stage. Their pas de deux is a beautiful study in conversations never had, or had too late…Miss Mathieson isn’t around much, but what Ms. McKie does with her one big scene, a confessional moment of yearning, is heart-stopping."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 65
"Apart from the easily parodied genteel surface of Hunter’s work, one is struck by its derivativeness. At moments, it’s as if Hunter wrote on tracing paper laid over 'Uncle Vanya.' Of course, there are worse talents to ape, and Hunter is a sensitive observer of English neuroses and resilience. The fine cast navigates the quippy, stiff-upper-lipness with vibrant grace…A melancholy study of middle-age malaise leavened by flashes of wit and humor, good for Anglophiles and 'Downton Abbey' addicts."
David Gordon
ShowScore: 40
"While the feelings presented in this play are universal, they're strained by the three-act structure, with too little action to justify its length…While 'A Day by the Sea' is surprisingly relevant (loneliness never goes out of style), Pendleton's production, no matter how attractive it is, cannot overcome the tediousness of the script…Despite Pendleton managing to guide a few of the cast members to performances of genuine ache, most of the company is too actorly to be truly believable."

“A Day by the Sea” was also reviewed by Samuel L. Leiter of Theatre's Leiter Side, Michael Portantiere of Talkin' Broadway, Terry Teachout of Wall Street Journal, and Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp.


The show was also reviewed by 56 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 79.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Absorbing, Great writing

Robbie, ShowScore: 80
See it if…You want to discover a hidden gem of a play—the type of play that the Mint helps us rediscover. One miscast actor ruins the overall effect.
Don't see it if…You don't like talky, slowly paced plays.
Linda 22, ShowScore: 82
See it if…You're a fan of British satire about the upper classes. To see a great ensemble cast struggle to make sense of their purpose in a changing world.
Don't see it if…You expect a fast-paced drama with shocking conclusions. You have no patience for a three-hour, three-act play. Chekhov & Noel Coward bore you.
Ken 15, ShowScore: 75
See it if…You like character studies. Not a ton of action, but very interesting interpersonal interactions. Thoughtful themes.
Don't see it if…You don't like subtle plays with muted humor.

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.