REVIEW ROUNDUP: “How to Transcend a Happy Marriage” Opened with a ShowScore of 72

Show-Score | Mar 21, 2017
“How to Transcend a Happy Marriage,” written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Rebecca Taichman, opened on March 20, 2017 in New York City. “How to Transcend a Happy Marriage,” written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Rebecca Taichman, opened on March 20, 2017 in New York City.


14 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 68.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 65
"An idea-inebriated, unsteady comedy...Fanciful mysticism and anchoring reality coexist less comfortably in 'How to Transcend a Happy Marriage' than they do in other works by Ms. Ruhl. Though the cast members are uniformly agile and appealing, they seldom seem entirely at home in their characters’ skins...The elements never quite coalesce into a single fluid stream of thought or story. Ms. Ruhl is suspended ambivalently here between satire and empathy."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 75
"Ruhl approaches the subject with her usual wit and intelligence, subtly questioning our societal assumptions around love and commitment...Director Taichman impressively grounds Ruhl's prodigious intellect in an ever-present dramatic tension...Unfortunately, the archetypal nature of our central triad somewhat masks the truth that polyamorous groupings are made of all types...Still, a combination of thoughtful performances and smart direction ensures that we never feel bored or alienated."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 60
"Sarah Ruhl has written an amiable hour about monogamy and its discontents...Then, unfortunately, Ruhl inserts an intermission, spins out 35 more minutes of chatty whimsy...A light, frolicsome one-act mutates into a mediocre marriage play...If 'How to Transcend' were a tryst, it would be two hours of light foreplay followed by your partner drifting abstractedly into the next room to browse books on Eastern philosophy. Eventually, you get up and leave, quite unsatisfied."

“How to Transcend a Happy Marriage” was also reviewed by Breanne L. Heldman of Entertainment Weekly, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Robert Sholiton of Bob's Theater Blog, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Matt Windman of AM New York, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, and Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter.


The show was also reviewed by 67 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 73.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Quirky, Edgy

PATRICIA 3, ShowScore: 78 
See it if…"You enjoy excellent ensemble actors working with a slightly uncomfortable plot; a bit confusing in places, but explores interesting material."
Don't see it if…"You are offended by sexual content, magical realism, goat carcasses hanging on stage, or actors breaking the fourth wall."
CO2015, ShowScore: 85
See it if…"You like intelligent new plays that profoundly explore large subjects such as love, marriage, parenthood and mortality." 
Don't see it if…"You don't enjoy overt theatricality."
hw, ShowScore: 65
See it if…"You must see all Sarah Ruhl plays. There are some funny lines, good acting, magic surrealism, and it isn't exactly boring. But...
Don't see it if…"This is a weak Ruhl play; it doesn't cohere and it doesn't really examine the ideas she purports to think important."

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.