China Doll
Closed 1h 25m
China Doll
48

China Doll NYC Reviews and Tickets

48%
(141 Reviews)
Positive
35%
Mixed
21%
Negative
44%
Members say
Disappointing, Slow, Confusing, Great acting, Excruciating

About the Show

Al Pacino returns to Broadway in a limited run of a new play by David Mamet about big money, fast planes, a beautiful woman, and other objects of desire.

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Member Reviews (141)

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602 Reviews | 224 Followers
72
Entertaining, Great acting, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if You love Mamet, even at his weakest, or will see anything with Pacino.

Don't see it if You disliked Mamet's last few plays.

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
45
Opaque, Boring, Tedious, Confusing, Unengaging

See it if you've always wanted to see Al Pacino make a lot of phone calls.

Don't see it if you can't handle a SUPER slow burn for a SUPER small payoff.

494 Reviews | 103 Followers
52
Disappointing, Slow

See it if you want to see Al Pacino on stage

Don't see it if any but Al Pacino is doing the role. It was clearly written for him and only him. Not much of a show in gereral

463 Reviews | 128 Followers
55
Dizzying, Edgy, Intense

See it if You are an Al Pacino fan ! This is close to being a monologue.

Don't see it if You only want to see a traditionally constructed play.

402 Reviews | 86 Followers
65
Cliched, Disappointing, Underrated

See it if This is hardly a masterpiece, but it wasn't as bad as people made it out. I saw it late in the run and it held my interest. Pacino was good.

Don't see it if This will be looked back on as a total flop and failure. But at least that makes this unremarkable play memorable now.

291 Reviews | 704 Followers
48
Disappointing, Slow, Confusing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You want to see Pacino looking like a homeless person in expensive clothes.

Don't see it if You want to understand what's going on, get value for your $ or be engaged by the story.

273 Reviews | 473 Followers
10
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you want to see Al Pacino have a one-sided conversation for two hours straight.

Don't see it if you want to see a compelling, complex play.

225 Reviews | 293 Followers
5
Confusing, Slow, Horrible writing, Makes no sense, Disappointing

See it if you really, really, REALLY love Al Pacino.

Don't see it if You want a very slow show. The WHOLE show has no real plot. You want to see Al fall asleep on stage and barley hear him. DON'T WASTE MONEY.

Critic Reviews (40)

The New York Times
December 3rd, 2015

"Christopher Denham is the most underpaid actor on Broadway…He is onstage for almost the entire show. So is — pause for ominous silence — Al Pacino. Now please cue sound effects of chalk scratching on countless blackboards and the ping, ping, ping of an endlessly dripping faucet, and you have some idea of what Mr. Denham must be going through...Mr. Pacino’s lurching, stammering performance is not easy to follow in terms of content, character or subtext."
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Time Out New York
December 3rd, 2015

"Two hours of bullshit....Have you ever had the desire to watch Pacino at home, arguing with AppleCare Plus? You are in luck...'China Doll' offers the sad spectacle of two world-class artists turning in their lamest work. The play is crammed with backstory and padded with an interminable series of phone calls. Pacino, wobbly on his lines, dithers without the vocal snap and drive that Mamet—even late, third-rate Mamet—needs."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
December 3rd, 2015

"The story is rigged to make Mickey, of all people, a victim…As the basis of a drama it’s disastrous...How much can one care about the machinations of the super-rich…? Perhaps what Mamet is getting at is hubris, the self-knowledge that comes only when it can do no good. If so, the production, clearly hamstrung by the script’s severe limitations, barely acknowledges the possibility, with its stuttering pace and sudden botch of a final curtain."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 3rd, 2015

"A smug but pointless exercise stretched over two hours and enlivened only by the occasional incisive political zinger…This is a far-fetched scenario whose scant credibility escapes it like air out of an unknotted balloon, landing with a splat in a preposterous ending that doesn’t work at all… Although the Pacino as always is a unique stage animal, he's giving a lazy performance without much heart."
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Variety
December 3rd, 2015

"There’s material for maybe a one-act in this overblown character study...Mamet loves writing this kind of savage dialogue and Pacino loves delivering it..Pacino can handle Mickey’s lightning mood changes and even charm (and con) us...What he can’t do is play all the characters who are integral, but aren’t actually on stage...Let’s face it, that’s the job of a playwright committed to writing a legitimate play, instead of phoning it in."
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The Wall Street Journal
December 3rd, 2015

"A strongly wrought story of considerable moral complexity, one that will hold your attention all the way to the brutal end… Not only is the premise of 'China Doll' involving, but Mr. Mamet is once again coining the bright, hard utterances that are his trademark…I never felt that Pacino was at ease with his lines. Especially in the first act, his pace is much slower than you expect it to be...In his best moments he’s as richly characterful as ever."
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The Observer
December 8th, 2015

"David Mamet’s ghastly 'China Doll' is the worst thing I’ve seen on a professional New York stage since the ill-fated 'Moose Murders.' On the disaster meter, it might be even worse...Neither he nor the play makes one lick of sense, including the title...What is it doing on Broadway, and what did we do to deserve it?"
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Deadline
December 4th, 2015

"Plays depending on phone conversations with unseen participants are almost always a bad idea, and 'China Doll' is no exception. However, bad as it is (and worse still after the intermission), 'China Doll' has one major asset, and that is the star’s unrequited commitment. It may be a dopey play that keeps tripping over its MEGO-inducing minutiae, but Pacino delivers every line with relish, with mustard, onions, the works."
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