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Fish in the Dark

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Hilarious, Great writing
70
Critics
60
44 reviews
Members
77
67 reviews
 

Jason Alexander stars in this limited run comedy about a death in the family, which brings playwright Larry David's acerbic wit and unfiltered observations to Broadway.

... Read more

Jason Alexander takes over the role originated by Larry David, who returned to the stage for the first time since eighth grade, in a brand-new Broadway comedy written by...Larry David. Norman Drexel is a character who is very much like...Larry David. Expect his trademark humor and no-filter criticisms of life's annoyances.

 

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Reviews (111)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
60
Avg Score

40
The New York Times

"The fish that figures in ads for the new play and can be seen on the drop curtain at the Cort Theater is pretty great, a charming and maddening creature destined to capture your heart. O.K., if you insist: It is pret-ty, pret-ty, pret-ty great. The show for which this fish stands? Not so much...I have been known to dissolve into incontinent giggles while watching episodes of “Curb” or of “Seinfeld.” During “Fish,” I laughed fully exactly once." Full Review

55
New York Post

"Brace yourself for misunderstandings, selfish scheming and the explosion of decade-long grudges caused by petty slights. There’s also a hefty dose of wink-wink titillation (boobs!), and a sexual situation involving Larry’s mother and a much younger hunk. If only all of this were funnier...This fish isn’t so much in the dark as it is out of water." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"Anna D. Shapiro stages the hybrid sitcom-farce for maximum shine, and the mix of seasoned actors with David’s breezy script (about three TV episodes’ worth of plot windup) results in a night of huge, rolling laughs." Full Review

80
Variety

"The people have spoken. This outlandish comedy penned by Larry David opened with a stratospheric advance of $13.5 million. Which renders moot whatever the critics might have to say about the show...Instead of sticking to a conventionally constructed plot, this “Fish” swims from one comic situation to another — which may not make it much of a play. But there are plenty of laughs in the play’s minor comic questions." Full Review

70
Theatermania

"The story is all over the place, and the second act doesn't continue the narrative as much as tell an entirely new one. And it would probably benefit from a shorter run time than its current two hours of amusing peaks and dry valleys. For a Seinfeld and Curb diehard, though, it's impossible to discount the amount of joy that comes from watching David's antics in the flesh. In that respect, Fish in the Dark is more than pretty good, it's pretty great." Full Review

25
New Yorker

"The director, Anna D. Shapiro, moves bodies around the stage with little visible evidence that she’s concerned about their inner lives, and rarely steps outside the Broadway machinery to reënvision the dreck she’s stuck with. And still I can’t help wondering how she was able to reconcile herself to this script, with its cynical manipulation of sentimentality and humor." Full Review

55
New York Theater

"At its best, both the episodes and the Broadway play are not just armored vehicles shooting one-liners. They involve a knowing exploration of the inappropriate (but secretly common) reactions to a death in the family...But this might imply more substance than actually exists. “Fish in the Dark” is the lightest of entertainments, so much so that it’s almost shocking how much deep talent, on stage and behind the scenes, is associated with this show." Full Review

35
The Wall Street Journal

" A thimbleweight comedy about two bickering brothers brought together by the death of their father, it consists of several thousand jokes, most of which involve somebody saying something inappropriate. Imagine a Neil Simon play without a plot—or three bottom-drawer episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” hastily knocked together into a two-hour script—and you’ll get the idea." Full Review

60
New York Magazine / Vulture

"It’s well built, occasionally thoughtful, and consistently very funny if not transcendently so. In short: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry — well, you’ll cry when the Visa bill comes...For a playwriting debut, if not a Broadway acting debut, Fish in the Dark is amazingly confident and delivers what it promises. But it’s got neither cerebral gloss nor solid emotional underpinnings. It’s going for something else, and almost gets there. Which is a complement, truly. We criticize because we care." Full Review

60
AM New York

"Hardly a great work of dramatic literature, “Fish in the Dark” hearkens back to the silly and insubstantial Broadway comedies of the 1960s, full of one-dimensional characters and nonsensical farce." Full Review

85
The Hollywood Reporter

"The uninitiated may sniff, but Larry lovers will plotz...No Neil Simon character ever exclaimed, "You f***ed my mother?!" But in countless other ways, Larry David's first venture into Broadway playwriting is a spirited throwback to that once hugely popular gagmeister's patented specialty: classic boulevard comedy molded to fit the American Jewish family. It's also pure sitcom, energized by David's customary serrated edges and willfully abrasive characters...exactly what the fans are craving." Full Review

80
New York Daily News

"Chronically amusing, if creakily old-school...David wrote and stars in the funny full-length sketch that aims for, but just misses, the lofty territory of great 1960s Broadway comedies. He has a huge following from “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — and when you add in everyone’s deep craving for light entertainment, the show is a bona fide must-see...You don’t need to be a fan of David’s hit TV series to appreciate zingers." Full Review

75
Deadline

"Very funny. Occasionally very, very funny. Four-stars funny. If that’s all you need to know about Larry David’s Fish In The Dark, his debut as a Broadway twofer—playwright and actor—then read no more...A half-hour seems just the right amount of time you want to spend with these folks on any given evening. Of course, this is the age of binge-watching, so two hours of shtick can be satisfying. Or give you heartburn." Full Review

55
CurtainUp

"I can't say that seeing Fish in the Dark left me with a belly ache from laughing. Nor did it make me less apt to curb my enthusiasm for Larry David's brand of misanthropic humor. Mostly it left me hoping that the producers will spend some of the money they're raking in to back some fledgling playwrights who aren't already multi-millionaires." Full Review

75
Chicago Tribune

Larry David's first foray into Broadway comedy is like watching a weird — but undeniably entertaining and, God help us all, even potentially transformative — fusion of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Borscht Belt comedy of the old school, long-form improv of the Chicago school, and the kind of black situational farce associated with Joe Orton or other radicals with dark, anarchic souls and a taste for shows commanding premium prices. Well, that, and "Old Jews Telling Jokes." A plethora thereof." Full Review

45
Newsday

"Still, don't expect a hip, retro, wry spin on the old-time formula. This is a comedy which, despite the occasional amusing twist, could have been written by someone who hasn't seen a play since the early days of Neil Simon...Everyone around me seemed to be having a wonderful time. Wish I were there." Full Review

80
The Wrap

"It’s to be expected that Larry David’s new play is laugh-out-loud funny. The big surprise, though, is just how sturdy and conventional his stage comedy is in an old-fashioned Broadway kind of way. David may have written cutting-edge TV, but “Fish in the Dark,” is anything but cutting-edge theater. Maybe “vintage” is a better word than “old fashioned” to describe “Fish,” which harks back to the pleasures of Broadway’s golden age." Full Review

75
NorthJersey.com

"The petty, obsessive, socially challenged figure we see onstage is indistinguishable from David's alter ego on his brilliantly funny HBO series...So the play is a kind of transfer without transformation. The character is, however, such a sturdy comic figure, and David's take on him – as both writer and performer – so authoritative that, despite the show's recycling, it's often extremely funny." Full Review

35
WNBC

"The absurd and erratic "Fish in the Dark,” is a pret-tay, pret-tay good time for some, but too much of nothing for others. What plays well on the small screen occasionally generates honest laughs on stage, though “Fish” becomes ponderous and ultimately feels like a sitcom episode tenuously stretched over two-plus hours." Full Review

30
The Associated Press

"David's new stage comedy is like his 30-minute HBO show, only stretched out over two hours so that what is usually a cringe-worthy appetizer on TV has grown into a tedious and self-indulgent main course onstage. What opened Thursday at the Cort Theatre will surely delight fans of David, the "Seinfeld" and "Curb" master of observational humor, who stars and wrote "Fish in the Dark." But it may leave others frustrated that a great cast, set and director were wasted." Full Review

85
NY1

"I can safely report that “Fish In The Dark”, in which David is the writer and star, is an expanded version of the TV comedy. While it is about as funny of a show as you’re likely to see on Broadway, it doesn’t quite measure up to the impossibly high standard of the TV series...Over two hours, this “Fish” can feel a bit thin. However, minor quibbles aside, there will be no curbing audience enthusiasm here. Larry David knows from comedy!" Full Review

75
Theater Pizzazz

"He’s the great neurotic of all time as he gesticulates in his mime-like persona that makes the audience roar with laughter. But keep in mind, that although this is a tough ticket to score (mostly sold out) you have to be a big time Larry David fan or this won’t work for you." Full Review

60
DC Theatre Scene

"He is a first time playwright, and that means the best we can say about the work is that he gives new meaning to the word “promising.” There’s no question his play is full of laughs, but it is peopled by over a dozen completely one dimensional characters who remain where they began until minutes before the final curtain." Full Review

85
USA Today

"What, you were expecting Chekhov? Surely, even Larry David's most ardent fans weren't hoping to have their lives changed by Fish In the Dark...But the jokes do keep coming, and usually stick. If its humor can be predictably caustic, Fish's tone is pleasingly light and flaky." Full Review

70
Financial Times (UK)

"I kept wishing that the show’s director, Anna D Shapiro, who stages with her usual expert hand, had been able to coax him into another rewrite. But most of the audience won’t care that the pace flags in the second act. For them, it will be enough to see their King Kvetch in the flesh, uttering trademark phrases such as “pretty, pretty, pretty . . . ” And I must admit: I had a pretty, pretty, pretty good time." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
77
Avg Score

55
Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Old-fashioned

See it if you love Larry David. If you don't, you'll be disappointed. You'd be better off watching a few episodes of Curb.

Don't see it if you want fresh humor. FITD felt tired, altho it's new. I expected much more from LD.

Also I'm catching up on reviews for shows I saw. I had high hopes for FITD,... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Hilarious, Fluffy

See it if you love Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you do, the show is an absolute riot!

Don't see it if You don't feel like forking out the money. OR if you don't like the shows mentioned above.

Also I saw the show with Jason Alexander and thought it was a great and fun... Read more Read less

73
Funny, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you're a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm or Larry David. Funny shtick, almost like a lengthened stage version of a Curb episode.

Don't see it if this is not your kind of humor. The plot is somewhat thin.

88
Funny, Great writing, Banal, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm humor, are Jewish/ NYC based, can afford the tix

Don't see it if you were not a fan of Larry David's shows

56
Disappointing, Cliched, Predictable, Playing to larry david fans, Hoping for more

See it if love Larry David no matter what he does, if you have never seen good theatre, like farce.

Don't see it if want a real theatre experience or if you think this will be like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld, or want to really laugh.

68
Funny, Great acting, Disappointing, Great cast, Mediocre play

See it if are a fan of Seinfeld, Larry David or their style of sitcoms.

Don't see it if are expecting this to have any depth.

73
Funny, Quirky, Cliched, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You love Larry David and just want to see Curb Your Enthusiasm on stage.

Don't see it if You can't stand Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld, and would be annoyed to watch basically a 2 hour long sitcom episode.

78
Seinfeld episode on stage, Bizarro world where seinfeld sitcom is live

See it if You are a Seinfeld fan. I saw it with "George Costanza" in the lead role and it felt like I was watching a live version of Seinfeld sitcom

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Larry David's humor... Or if you choose the enjoy Seinfeld in syndication instead of on a Broadway stage-- it's cheaper

80
Clever, Quirky, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You love Curb Your Enthusiasm because this is a live version of it.

Don't see it if You do not like Curb Your Enthusiasm

87
Original, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you like a great laugh with a clever writing. Love Larry David.

Don't see it if if you don't love Larry David.

79
Funny, Clever, Great writing, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if Like an extended Seinfeld episode, but much dirtier. Very funny show - can't remember when I laughed harder at a show. Tight ensemble.

Don't see it if Some people might find the subject matter offensive. The humor was very Jewish - some people might not get it.

53
Dizzying, Intense, Quirky, Cliched, Overrated

See it if You enjoy Larry David and his brand of humor. You definitely enjoyed his show and Seinfeld

Don't see it if You didn't enjoy Larry David and his show. Find it hard to laugh at humor that makes fun of other people

88
Funny, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You love Larry David , you want to laugh and to just enjoy a night at the theater.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a silly sitcom-like show.

78
Funny, Clever, Indulgent, Entertaining, Seinfeld-lite

See it if You are a fan of Seinfeld/Curb/Larry David. It's a fairly funny spiel from David's mind stretched to play length. Mostly funny shtick.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the Seinfeld-type brand of humor or are expecting the 2nd coming of Jerry, George, etc. Or the 2nd coming of Neil Simon

70
Funny, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you're a fan of Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Don't see it if you're looking for something heavy and timeless.

73
Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Plodding

See it if you're a big fan of Larry David and/or Curb Your Enthusiasm. It feels like a long episode of Curb, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Don't see it if if you don't care for Larry David or Curb. (It's VERY Larry David.) The plot is a little thin.

80
Funny, Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you love larry david humor and seinfeld.

Don't see it if you hate larry and seinfeld

70
Funny, Great writing, Cliched, Overrated, Fluffy

See it if funny, but not hilarious.

Don't see it if not larry david's best work, was expecting more

77
Original, Delightful, Quirky, Hilarious, Fluffy

See it if If you're a fan of David's work or are looking for a show with quirky characters and gut busting laughs; "Ooh!" moments in a show;

Don't see it if If you're looking for a well-structured play; serious acting;

50
Banal, Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if You just really need to see Larry David onstage.

Don't see it if watching Curb is an option.

60
Funny, Great acting, Cliched, Slow, Dated

See it if you are a fan of Larry Davis

Don't see it if you can't stand Larry Davis. It's all about him...

80
Funny, Hilarious, Entertaining, Fun, Comical

See it if You like Larry David or the humor in Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld.

Don't see it if You don't find Curb or Seinfeld funny

75
Funny, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if Love the Larry David Show, or Seinfeld....or just want a relaxing evening with a few laughs

Don't see it if Hate sitcoms, Larry David, or neurotic Jewish humor.

75
Funny, Great acting, Indulgent, Great writing, Seinfeld

See it if You just want to see an episode of Seinfeld or Curb on stage. You love all things Larry David.

Don't see it if You can't stand Larry David's writing, you want something new.

100
Clever, Intelligent, Great writing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You are fan of Larry David and dark, satirical humor, if you like parodies and enjoy laughing at yourself.

Don't see it if You are self-righteous and can not find humor in the tragic parts of life or if you prefer to cry at the theater.