13 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 73.
The New York Times
"Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s elegantly staged production is good-looking, well-spoken and intelligent, as easy on the ears as it is on the eyes. But you know that you’re not going to be dreaming about it later, or wishing that you could see it again. It’s a picturesque, nicely paced show that engages without enthralling or unsettling...While Iwuji and Stoll turn in crisp and lucid performances as the great general Othello and his envious ensign Iago, they don’t really stand out in a talented crowd."
The Hollywood Reporter
"Stoll's rollicking portrayal of the villainous Iago in Shakespeare's classic takes some getting used to...His undeniably entertaining performance is the most unorthodox aspect of Ruben Santiago-Hudson's otherwise slavishly traditional staging...The approach feels refreshing...Unfortunately, that lack of daringness also results in the evening feeling stodgy and dull...the production lacks the passion and urgency necessary to make us care about the tragic fates of its principal figures."
Theatre's Leiter Side
"Mostly conventional, textbook staging…Only a few minor directorial flourishes stand out…Avoids underlining the play's contemporary relevance…James has dressed Othello in a sexy ensemble that makes…Iwuji look more like a biker bad boy than the Moorish general…The performance of this very difficult role is intelligent and emotional but falls short of being tragically powerful…Wright is so consistently honest and real, she makes this often neglected secondary role shine."
“Othello (The Public Theater)” was also reviewed by Allison Adato of Entertainment Weekly, Thom Geier of The Wrap, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Isaac Butler of New York Magazine / Vulture, Jacob Horn of CurtainUp, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Matthew Wexler of Broadway Blog, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, and Matt Windman of AM New York.
The show was also reviewed by 81 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 81.
Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Intelligent
See it if…"You want to see a very solid version of 'Othello' with a strong cast from the leads to the smaller parts and beautiful costumes in the Park."
Don't see it if…"You want the normal physically imposing Othello: having a lither Othello took a minute to get used to, but his acting was strong."
See it if…"You like great acting, clarity in direction and intelligent portrays of every character. Brilliant leads make every moment absorbing."
Don't see it if…"If you have a hard time with 3 hour productions or the portrayal of pure evil on stage (Iago). This brilliant production hits hard."
See it if…"You want to see an well-played, conventional staging of one of Shakespeare's finest works. Stoll is especially compelling as Iago."
Don't see it if…"You've seen a bunch of 'Othello's already. Although Desdemona's death scene is particularly well-staged, the last two acts felt slow"
Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.