REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Dead Poets Society” Opened with a ShowScore of 73

Show-Score | Nov 18, 2016
“Dead Poets Society,” written by Tom Schulman and directed by John Doyle, opened on November 17, 2016 in New York City. “Dead Poets Society,” written by Tom Schulman and directed by John Doyle, opened on November 17, 2016 in New York City.


15 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 56.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 40
"Mr. Sudeikis has a natural stage presence, a baritone voice, and he’s charming...But when he’s exhorting everyone to find their singular selves, he often looks as if he’s aching to send up his lines...If the students switched roles midway through, I doubt you’d notice...Doyle's habitually ingenious, less-is-more staging yields fewer dividends than usual.'Dead Poets Society' needs the cinematic distractions of sets and camera work. Stripped naked, it comes across as blunt and bland."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 65
"Sudeikis impressively steps out of the long shadow of Robin Williams in his gutsy portrayal...Schulman has smartly condensed his original screenplay, reassigning scenes to a smaller cast of characters and eliminating others altogether...Despite Doyle's breezy production and solid performances from the cast, the show doesn't make a very good argument for its necessity onstage. You can get the exact same story on-screen, much of the dialogue word for word."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 60
"Let’s just say Classic Stage Company’s earnest but flat-footed adaptation inspires thoughts of Netflix streaming more than leaping up on one’s desk to cry, 'O Captain! My Captain!'...Tom Schulman has competently translated his screenplay to the stage, with scenes smoothly flowing in and out. And Doyle has assembled a solid ensemble of keen young actors as the boys...Sudeikis has a smooth, easygoing air...but he’s far too flip and contemporary to believe as a poetry-loving pedant circa 1959."

“Dead Poets Society” was also reviewed by Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Jon L Jensen of Broadway Blog, Carol Rocamora of Theater Pizzazz, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Linda Winer of Newsday, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Windman of AM New York, Frank Rizzo of Variety, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, and Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK).


The show was also reviewed by 37 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 81.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Entertaining

StinkyLulu, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You want to see a solid performance from Jason Sudeikis alongside a cast full of charismatic rising talents. If you want to see Doyle's deft staging."
Don't see it if…"You are looking for a musical or something without depth or heartache." 
Andrei, ShowScore: 83
See it if…"You loved the movie, you like Doyle's directing, you want a compelling story told by great actors." 
Don't see it if…"You aren't open to the liberal arts, you don't like all-white casts."
BarbaraG Star, ShowScore: 79
See it if…"Excellent production with outstanding ensemble acting and fine direction. It had something to say!" 
Don't see it if…"A well-made play with relevance is not for you."

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.