REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Animal” Opened with a ShowScore of 73

Show-Score | Jun 7, 2017
“Animal,” written by Clare Lizzimore and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, opened on June  6, 2017 in New York City. “Animal,” written by Clare Lizzimore and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, opened on June 6, 2017 in New York City.


11 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 67.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 55
“‘Animal’ ultimately disappoints and even infuriates…But the play, directed with clinical focus by Ms. Upchurch, has the virtue of allowing us to sit within touching distance of Ms. Hall as she plumbs the depths of toxic unhappiness. It is a pursuit to which she brings the expertise and bravery of a veteran spelunker…The scariest thing about this half-cooked play is that even after its catchall denouement, it’s still Rachel’s nihilism that feels like the most legitimate way of looking at life."
Hayley Levitt
ShowScore: 70
“Hall is astonishing in her ability to convey the subtleties of this inner tug-of-war…Considering the skill with which we're kept off balance through the majority of the play, it resolves incongruously neatly, and with a surprisingly pointed diagnosis. The overly explanatory ending takes away some of the raw punch…However, if all for the sake of bringing an underexplored facet of woman nature to the stage, a moment of human clarity is forgiven.”
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
ShowScore: 60
“Brilliantly played by Rebecca Hall, Rachel is one hot mess, and it’s the actress’ sterling performance that makes Clare Lizzimore’s gimmicky drama worth the discomfort…‘Animal’ can be a bit of a slog—slow-paced and lacking in narrative momentum…The glib resolution feels more redolent of a playwright’s trickery than an exploration into the human condition…Hall’s superb performance provides the main redeeming element.”

“Animal” was also reviewed by David Hurst of Talkin' Broadway, Joe McGovern of Entertainment Weekly, Michael Bracken of Theater Pizzazz, Simon Saltzman of CurtainUp, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Doug Marino of Act Three - The Reviews, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, and Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News.


The show was also reviewed by 27 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 75.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

Randy, ShowScore: 80 
See it if…"You want to see a master class-level acting performance by Rebecca Hall in the lead role."  
Don't see it if…"You don't like plays that tackle dark issues."
MQ, ShowScore: 45
See it if…"If you're a really big Rebecca Hall fan." 
Don't see it if…"It's a slow trod through cliched therapist scenes and purple prose that doesn't make up for the lack of originality or momentum."
CLAUDIA 6076, ShowScore: 95  
See it if…"You like emotionally written drama. Rebecca Hall plays a very complex character to perfection; the audience confusion is intentional."
Don't see it if…"You do not like plays that illustrate mental illness from the point of view of the patient."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
86 reviews
Overall Score

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