New York | 2h 30m | Ends Jul 14

Burn This

From 50 critic and 210 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing, Dated

About the show

Three-time Emmy Award nominee Adam Driver ("Star Wars: The Last Jedi") and Golden Globe Award winner Keri Russell ("The Americans") star in the first-ever Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s acclaimed play. More…

'Burn This' tells the story of four New Yorkers whose lives are uprooted by a young dancer's accidental death. Set in downtown New York in the raw and gritty 1980s, the combustible drama explores the spiritual and emotional isolation of the dangerous, sexy, raw, and demanding Pale (Adam Driver) and the modern dancer Anna (Keri Russell), and their tempestuous relationship after the two iconoclasts are brought together in the wake of a life-changing personal tragedy. Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer.

2h 30m | Ends Jul 14 | Hudson Theatre (Midtown W)

New York City Theater

“’Burn This’ ticks ALL the boxes...Mayer's direction is flawless, the performances are superb, and the set is fantastic...Driver is on fire...He billows onto stage and ignites every piece of this play with his fierce performance...Russell a damsel in despair likely to marry rich but they are willing to risk it all for love - a burning desire for love knows no boundaries and stereotypes, and Wilson's play is a brilliant tribute.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“Once onstage, Pale is the only character you see, Driver the only actor you watch. He roars, he whispers, he prowls, plumbing the depths of grief, finding nuance and humor in an unpredictable and unsettling character. Just when you think you know Pale; Driver unpeels yet another layer...It is absolutely thrilling...While Uranowitz and Furr manage admirably, I'm sorry to say Russell falls short....Ultimately, this play, this performance is all about Driver." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Driver is a super dynamic actor who piles on his peculiar charm with the force of fierce winds of a hurricane...Russell does a very effective job portraying the various frustrations and emotions of Anna in relation to Pale and her work...’Burn This’ holds up as an important work in Lanford Wilson’s writing, and it is delightful to get such an excellent all-around production with this formidable cast.” Full Review

Carole Di Tosti

“Mayer’s production with the illimitable Driver, measured, blossoming Russell, with assists from Uranowitz and Furr is revelatory for us today. The themes of love, acceptance, the possibility of redemption and growth...are vital...Mayer and the actors and artistic creatives take this startling, understated, emotionally sonorous and uplifting play and make it a resounding success that you do not want to miss, especially for the laughter, the hope, and the performances." Full Review


“Wilson’s 1987 improbable, meandering love story, is given an expertly calibrated revival...An unquestionable showcase for two actors who can generate romantic heat burning through personality clash, and...Driver and Russell, do that...wonderfully...The play is most alive when Driver is on stage...It’s a gratifying experience to see Driver and Russell bringing validity as well as marquee glamour to this sensitively, sometimes flashily written but not always convincing work." Full Review

On and Off Broadway

“Russell, Uranowitz, and Furr are resourceful actors who bring dimension...and we find ourselves...interested in following these three whose problems we hope to find resolved...Pale is a large character, and Wilson has written him brilliantly. He is aided by actor Driver...The conclusion is somewhat abrupt...What matter is the chemistry between Anna and Pale is hot; and though I’d feel that heat uncomfortably if I stayed too close to it, I had a fine time watching it build and grow.” Full Review

The Washington Post

"Absolutely delightful, witnessing Adam Driver, in an utterly captivating turn...The slightly discordant element for the audience here is forming the belief that this woman of inordinate self-control would have the patience for such a potential romantic train wreck; Russell never gives the impression that her Anna is capable of letting go to the degree that would seem necessary...Though, we are all so in the thrall of Driver...that we believe in his ability to turn Anna’s head. He’s such a na... Full Review


“Colorful and poetic writing...Excellent direction and performances...Driver is a bull in a china shop and charismatically raging as he reveals surprising sides to the character...Russell is a fine Anna...She and Driver don’t seem to share a burning chemistry...But their physical differences make them an interesting odd couple...When they come’s lovelier than anything in the gossip headlines. I’m burning to see this again.” Full Review

New York Post

“If you come to ‘Burn This’ expecting fireworks from Driver and Russell, be patient: The play takes a while to combust...It does some 20 minutes on, when Driver bursts in...Mayer’s fine cast plays up the humor, and then some...Driver and Russell have palpable chemistry, even as the prospect of becoming a couple terrifies Anna and Pale...That we want it for them is a sign that ‘Burn This’ isn’t just blowing smoke.” Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

“Mayer’s pretty dang good — mostly because, playing the human furnace at its center, Adam Driver is straight-up great...The play’s inherent risk, though, is that Pale will eclipse Anna by sheer force of personality, and despite Russell’s best efforts, this ‘Burn This’ is indeed Driver’s show...Driver keeps the show aloft...And he’s funny as heck...Driver’s performance is certainly this production’s crown jewel.” Full Review


“A finely-tuned revival that features incendiary performances by Driver and Russell, playing two lost souls in a powerful and passionate dance of denial...Vital to the success of this fascinating, flawed and overlong play is the casting, especially in the leads that require an audience to believe that such disparate people can find a safe haven in each other’s arms...Driver is riveting here, and audiences will identify with Anna’s dilemma of both wanting him to leave and needing him to stay.” Full Review


“While the performance overshadows the play itself, there's no denying Driver and Russell together are smokin' hot...Wilson clearly had a lot more on his mind than penning a romantic drama...But the ideas are never fully developed and Wilson falls back on contrivances that bring Anna and Pale back together. The performances are all excellent...Mayer does the best he can with the imperfect play, and though over-long, the production catches fire every time Driver enters the room.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Written in the 80s, when the AIDS crisis was at its peak, playwright Wilson’s exploration into this genre surely had more impact when it opened on Broadway...Mayer skillfully and cleverly plays it all to the hilt allowing for the silliness of Larry’s character to bloom large against the combustible and eventual surprisingly tender side of Pale. There are many spellbinding moments and some lulls. But you will leave the Hudson Theatre emotionally drained after two and a half hours.” Full Review


"Pale explodes onto the stage, embodied by the actor Adam Driver, and grabs your attention. His first monologue is a masterpiece of characterization, telling us all we need to know..Wilson's low-stakes romance is a bit worn around the edges, despite Michael Mayer's sprightly direction...Yet Driver's Pale is so vibrantly real, vulnerable and caring, despite all his angry posturing, that we're immediately drawn in. One of the best performances on Broadway this season." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“Driver gives a sublimely physical performance...As a piece of writing ‘Burn This’ is far better at character than it is at plot, but Driver makes it come alive, to the point that Michael Mayer’s bright production dims when he’s not on stage...Anna’s an underwritten role in comparison and Russell gives a restrained and overly subtle performance. Alongside them, Uranowitz manages to humanize the humorous Larry.” Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

“Mayer’s kinetic, consistently engaging production...Pale is a fantastically chewy part...And Driver owns every moment of it...Russell looks gorgeous...But she doesn’t seem entirely comfortable on stage...Driver moves through it all like his own weather system, maybe the most entertaining hurricane onstage this year...It’s too bad that the love story between Anna and Pale never completely convinces us that they are in fact, on fire; it sparks and smolders, but it’s not quite that kind of burn.” Full Review

National Review

"Driver is a handy illustration of the difference between an actor and a star...But his latest effort will make a believer out of even the most dedicated skeptic...He is by turns endearing, exasperating, exhausting, and hilarious...At its core it’s a romcom, albeit an R-rated one that finds a lot of humor in profanity and cocaine binges...It’s a highly entertaining if not particularly challenging evening at the theater made more than worthwhile by the punchy wit of the playwright." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“In a performance of astonishing physicality...Driver maintains that dangerous energy...It's a credit then to the luminous Russell and the two supporting actors that nobody gets swallowed up in Pale's vortex...Wilson's play remains a compelling account of love...In choosing to dial up the humor, Mayer has undercut the anguish that is the drama's foundation, exposing ‘Burn This’ as just a circuitous journey to an inevitable romantic conclusion...Still, this is a dynamic production.” Full Review

City Cabaret

"While the lead performers sizzle, the play fizzles...Russell and Driver, connect like sparkplugs while the play stumbles unevenly between the past and the conflicts of the present...The stage snaps alive when Driver pounds on the door...Russell, plays Anna with subtle grace and intimacy...It is Uranowitz...who has the laughs and often the best observations...The real fire in 'Burn This' lies in the search to find the burning passion in life." Full Review


"It takes far too long for Pale, Wilson's most outrageous and flamboyant creation, to arrive on the scene. For another, the premise of the play requires Anna to be overly reserved and subdued, in contrast with Pale's constantly explosive character. The customarily sure-fire director Michael Mayer somehow seems to have accentuated those problems with lethargic consequences." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s not a perfect rendering, but with Adam Driver as Pale, the evening is thrilling, and the conversations on fire. He’s as compelling and fascinating as you would hope, but with Anna in the arms of Russell, working a bit too hard as if someone told her to remember to project and enunciate, which she does, in abundance, one-third of the love triangle +1 feels unsteady and off track." Full Review

Theater Life

“Character-driven play with only a wisp of a plot,…'Burn This' is like a boiler that flares up with a whoosh whenever things begin cooling down, almost always when Driver's on stage…He makes a perfect Beast to Anna's Beauty, even though it's impossible to accept their eventual pairing…Wilson's script makes Anna so placid in the face of Pale's …rudeness that the actress is stymied from the outset; still, one would like to see more signs of her…distaste before she…gets to douse his flames.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Driver and Russell are like a slow blazing fire. Though they do not combust, there is heat. In their first round, the two smolder and are sexy as hell, but in the second round somehow the chemistry embers are just too lazy to ignite...Russell is beautiful and dancer like. Driver is larger than life, wonderfully quirky and very DeNiro like. Furr has more chemistry with Uranowitz who almost steals the show...Mayer keeps this two hour and twenty minute show on its toes." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

“For a gay playwright to write a play with gay characters, and never even obliquely mention AIDS is puzzling...Furthermore, the surviving gay roommate, while excellently a tired cliché...Driver is indisputably impressive, but I found his version of Pale unmodulated and too prone to reach for laughs. As Anna, Russell is the one who is pale. In her defense, I think her part is underwritten...If there are hidden depths in the script, director Michael Mayer did not find them." Full Review

New York Stage Review

“A facile but overdrawn comedy-drama which is highly entertaining much of the time, with too much of that time spent on wild theatrics and glib characters cracking wise...Mayer stages the play efficiently, under the circumstances. What the play needs, it seems, is the severe editing and trimming that you can’t easily accomplish with a revival of a play by a deceased playwright.” Full Review

Romantic, Great acting, Clever

See it if Love great acting and great writing Adam Driver is great!

Don't see it if If you’re not romantic

Intense, Great acting, Must see, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You appreciate the heights/depths of incredibly unique personalities reacting to the same event, turning sadness into hysterical laughter.

Don't see it if If the "F" word bothers you. However, it really fits the main character in this show, so see it anyway!

Also Looking at the marquee, and not knowing the background of the story, I... Read more Read less

Masterful, Great writing, Intense, Great acting

See it if You enjoy fine acting & a play by Lanford Wilson. Actors hold the audience in the palms of their hands. Laughter & drama!

Don't see it if You only like musicals.

Funny, Entertaining, Must see, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like a resonating well acted funny play about grief and love.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays with profanity and about relationships, love and art

Entertaining, Riveting, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like plays with a lot of smart dialogue and great acting.

Don't see it if you want mindless entertainment

Masterful, Intelligent, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to experience the acting talents of Adam Driver, Keri Russell, and Brandon Uranowitz. The story is engaging and entertaining.

Don't see it if you are not interested in seeing an excellent rival with a cast that shines in every way.

Also Adam Driver's entrance is one for the records and the sharp quick dial... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy intelligent, heartfelt and human dramadies. Adam Driver is exceptional!

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy romantic, old school plays.

Also I saw the original production and feel Adam Driver gives as magnetic a... Read more Read less

Riveting, Edgy, Hilarious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You Are a fan of Adam Driver. His performance is riveting and electric. Supported well by hilarious Brandon Uranowitz and Keri Russell

Don't see it if You dislike slow moving plays that need time for the mid to final build. You are uncomfortable with constant profanity and sexual issues

Also who holds her own. Good writing and still remains current in it’s mess... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy dialog heavy, emotional plays. Adam Driver is remarkable.

Don't see it if You are looking for a light evening without message.

Unexpected, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see Adam Driver, Keri Russell, Brandon Uranowitz & David Furr light it up in a Lanford Wilson play. Engaging and surprising!

Don't see it if you're expecting the sexy drama/romance that the poster and general marketing suggests -- it's kind of misleading honestly.

Also Not what I expected but I loved it. It's very funny. Pale (Driver) is ... Read more Read less

Intense, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to be taken for a somewhat odd ride that can only happen in the space after a death

Don't see it if You do not want to see a show that contains a lot of swearing or aren't interested in plays

Resonant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Great acting from the full cast. Play holds up very well

Don't see it if It is a long play. Could have cut 20 minutes.

Masterful, Great writing, Must see, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see Adam Driver on stage - he is giving a masterful performance. Brandon Uranowitz is also excellent.

Don't see it if You don't like straight plays.

Also This production is all around excellent, although I do have a couple o... Read more Read less

Riveting, Intense, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if if love/appreciate the great Adam Driver. This production is surprisingly funny and all involved are very good. but Driver: Wow!

Don't see it if you don't like straight plays and/or are put off by profanity

Intense, Edgy, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting

See it if wonderful acting, especially Adam Driver, interesting storyline

Don't see it if intense storyline, death themes

Romantic, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to be transported by gifted actors who give nuanced, complicated performances in a period drama that is epically romantic.

Don't see it if you don't want to sit in the pocket of emotion, don't want to see people experience grief, don't want to see real-time​ performances.

Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Indulgent, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Big Hollywood stars try to act out this Lanford Wilson emotional play. Driver overacts and Russell is interchangeble with any thin actress

Don't see it if if you are tired of emotionally charged storied about grief and the response to death of friends or family. Tourist audience can be rude

Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Although the show slowed at times the acting, particularly Adam Driver was very. good.

Don't see it if If you don’t like serious drama and/or don’t like the lead actors

Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a lovely production of a beautiful Lanford Wilson script with an A-game cast, including a riveting Adam Driver.

Don't see it if You can’t handle monologue-heavy plays and intense character studies

Thought-provoking, Riveting, Refreshing, Intense, Great writing

See it if you want to see a great play of the 1980's written by the excellent playwright Lanford Wilson. It still is very relevant for today.

Don't see it if you don't like a one set play with only 4 characters or if you don't like to see homosexual characters portrayed on stage

Romantic, Hilarious, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like a play that takes you trough a wave of emotions. If you enjoy dark comedy

Don't see it if If you dislike plays, dirty humor

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you’re in the mood for a play that has substantially withstood the test of time. The 2 hours 40 minutes fly by.

Don't see it if you are unfamiliar with Lanford Wilson.

Also This is one of those plays whose details I had largely forgotten. And ... Read more Read less

Riveting, Refreshing, Must see, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Great performance by Adam driver, who completely steals the show, but everyone else is excellent as well. Just see it for the acting.

Don't see it if You don't like "slice of life" plays.

Quirky, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if Russell and Driver.Brandon Uranowitz steals the show with his understated wisdom and humor in the shadow of the early days of AIDS epidemic.

Don't see it if Entertaining enough, but far from riveting or revelatory.

Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like funny, thoughtful plays. Evocative lighting/sets. Great acting. Movie/TV stars onstage

Don't see it if My only criticism is that the acting is a bit uneven. I felt there were 3 OUTSTANDING acting performances and one that was ok-kind of forced

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Cast & Creatives (6)