REVIEW ROUNDUP: “The Front Page” Opened with a ShowScore of 77

Show-Score | Oct 21, 2016
“The Front Page,” written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and directed by Jack O'Brien, opened on October 20, 2016 in New York City. “The Front Page,” written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and directed by Jack O'Brien, opened on October 20, 2016 in New York City.


16 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 73.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 75
"Diverting. Pretty darn good. At moments, very funny indeed...But aside from those moments when Lane is all but setting fire to the stage, it is not the stuff of banner headlines...The problem is that in this production the dirt isn’t so much slung as spun, carefully and thoughtfully, so you can trace the arc of a joke before it lands. The show is pointedly and self-consciously funny, savoring its own raucous wit, which paradoxically means that it just isn’t as funny as it should be."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 70
"Individually, they're all very funny, but their performances become cacophony in concert...O'Brien fails to bring harmony to the proceedings during the lethargic first act. The piece only really begins to come together after 90 minutes, when Lane enters with a show-stealing performance...The whole ensemble benefits from Lane's presence as the dialogue and slapstick significantly tighten...'The Front Page' takes a long time to warm up, but once it does, it proves worth the wait."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 100
"A 5,000-volt revival...Whipped into a hellacious comic frenzy by one of the best acting ensembles you and I may ever see. Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s 1928 evisceration of the newspaper racket is a summit of American screwball comedy...Director Jack O’Brien’s pedal-to-the-metal production is astonishingly true to the spirit and letter of the script...O’Brien’s pacing is masterful, guiding us from belly laughs to a sudden, sickening drop in our stomachs. What seals the deal is the acting."

“The Front Page” was also reviewed by Matt Windman of AM New York, Robert Feldberg of, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Marilyn Stasio of Variety, Doug Marino of Act Three - The Reviews, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Mark Kennedy of The Associated Press, and Robert Hofler of The Wrap.


The show was also reviewed by 138 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 77.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Dated, Disappointing

Jeff S, ShowScore: 46
See it if…"You feel you must see this cast (however miscast some are) despite the fact that the material does not hold up." 
Don't see it if…"You're not a fan of casual racism and misogyny, and prefer old plays that still have something to say about our current world."
George 1776, ShowScore: 70
See it if…"You like fast-talking old movies or plays from long ago. Also, a star-studded cast that is sure to please." 
Don't see it if…"You want something innovative or relevant...or short."
Roger 6083, ShowScore: 96 
See it if…"You want a good, old-fashioned madcap show. Super acting, great set, lots of action, funny. Nathan Lane and John Slattery are terrific." 
Don't see it if…"You want serious heavy drama."

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.