Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Midtown W
66

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus NYC Reviews and Tickets

66%
(536 Reviews)
Positive
52%
Mixed
27%
Negative
21%
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Disappointing, Raunchy, Confusing

About the Show

Three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane and Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen star in this world premiere comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur Fellow, Taylor Mac.

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Member Reviews (536)

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69
Sophomoric, Wild and weird, Thought-provoking, Antic, Clever

See it if you like crazy absurdist works. Sometimes funny, philosophical, political...and sometimes gross, puerile, repetitive. An extended sketch.

Don't see it if you want trad'l theater. Strg acting, but LOUD (shouting). Scatological humor abounds. Knowing Titus A helps. Ode to Power of Art (and Fart)

48
Insipid, Overrated, Raunchy, Banal

See it if If you want to see nathan lane. Some good comedic moments.

Don't see it if If you want a really good comedy, or something worth your money. Most jokes went flat, most jokes were pervie. Terrible shiw.

Critic Reviews (48)

April 21st, 2019

"Where carnage and camp coexist — if not exactly in peace, then in a constructive dialectic...For me, at least, the most convincing and powerful moments came when the performances aligned with the gravity of the premise. Gary’s speech about the power of art to create new realities was one such moment for Mr. Lane: You could feel the hope in the hyperbole he spoke of...Strange bird or not, I’m glad it’s here. Not everything perfect is true, and not everything messy isn’t."
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April 21st, 2019

"An outrageous mix of the absurd and the grotesque, designed to make audiences gape...Lane is tremendous, and Julie White is screamingly funny as the play’s third character, Carol...While George C. Wolfe’s production delivers all the flatulence a person could desire, there are stretches where it runs out of gas...The design elements are all first-class, but impressive through Wolfe’s staging is, a smaller and scrappier production might better capture 'Gary'’s essence."
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April 21st, 2019

"Though it’s Nathan Lane’s name that tops the marquee and Nielsen’s that comes close behind, it’s all but impossible to imagine ‘Gary’ without White’s brilliantly kooky antics. Of the show’s game trio of actors, she’s the one living most comfortably in its heightened, hyperactive yet pensive, tragical-comical-scatalogical world...Despite the fact that Wolfe’s production is pitched pretty much unrelentingly at 11, ‘Gary’ isn’t as funny or as biting as it could be."
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April 28th, 2019

"It is the work of a real writer expressing depths in a popular form...I have never liked Lane and White as wholeheartedly as I did watching them in 'Gary,' mostly because of their and Neilsen’s admiration for the script, and where it takes them as performers. Mac’s words illuminate them...This show is part burlesque, part lyric. Although I am not especially attracted to the former genre, this doesn’t detract from the lyricism we hear and see.”
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April 21st, 2019

"Unfortunately, despite the tremendous abundance of talent both onstage and off, the production is mainly notable for being the most batsh*t-crazy thing to be seen on Broadway in many a moon...An attenuated and increasingly tiresome sketch. To be sure, there are plenty of laughs, at least for a while. All three actors deliver virtuosic comic performances...Wolfe demonstrates here that farce isn't his strong suit...The proceedings feel much longer than their 95 minutes."
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April 21st, 2019

"The political satire is pretty much spelled out...But this is low comedy, so expect plenty of fart jokes and penis wagging and doubles entendre interlaced with the sweet humanity and higher-toned political satire...There’s no shortage of art and craft in this offbeat show; but there’s also a limit to how much goofiness a comedy can support, and Mac may have gone over his limit. The jokes start to feel lame and the crude burlesque routines seem a bit cruel."
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April 25th, 2019

"Lane almost justifies the play during the first half hour as he bumbles around the mound...The play relies on the supposition that all these goings-on have some weighty import—if only they could be properly understood...Perhaps Mac has read too much Walter Benjamin about the salvationary power of death-saturated Baroque tragic drama. What Mac offers us instead is an exercise in self-indulgence, with a dollop of facile allusion and a dose of bad faith."
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April 22nd, 2019

"What Mac excretes from the feast is a pungent, runny substance that won’t be to everyone’s taste. Still, give this prodigious artist credit for trying to transmute the Bard’s crassest, bloodiest play into an ethical work of theater...The most enjoyable bits here are visual...Lord knows we need a laugh, and the piece intermittently delivers, thanks to the immensely graceful director George C. Wolfe and the most accomplished farceurs in New York theater."
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April 21st, 2019

"Outrageous, hysterically funny, and connivingly moving...With co-stars Kristine Nielsen and Julie White – both splendid – and director George C. Wolfe, Gary could seem almost greedy bringing in original music by Danny Elfman...The iconoclastic vision, the captivating balance of highbrow and low, the undercurrent of compassion for a rarely deserving species – all stay true and really rather glorious."
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April 21st, 2019

"Effecting a not-entirely-convincing working-class London accent, Lane gamely tries to make hay of the tedious bluster of Mac’s conceit, about the bloody mess we’re all now in, and how we deal with the aftermath...An attenuated mess of a black comedy, partly in rhymed couplets and lacking even a scabrous sort of gleefulness, strands a theatergoer for 90 minutes in a restless state of ennui...Dramatic dissonance is one thing. An entire evening of flat notes is another."
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April 21st, 2019

"It’s got fart gags galore, but ‘Gary’ isn’t a gas — it’s more like hot air...Along the way, it lets three of the funniest actors in the business twist in the wind...Director George C. Wolfe cranks the cast’s volume to 11. Perhaps he suspects that if the lines, rhymed and otherwise, are loud enough, the audience won’t notice the actors aren’t saying much. We notice...It’s been said that comedy is tragedy plus time. ‘Gary,’ a comedy, alas, is just tragic."
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April 21st, 2019

"The weird new play from Mac that, depending on your tolerance for the comedically scatological, circuitous, and nihilistic, will either transfix you or drive you screaming from the theater hoping never again to encounter so many corpses with flatulence...Lane is quite spectacularly good here…‘Gary’ is unlike anything you’ve ever seen and, through its very presence on Broadway, an act of clear desperation and an important meditation on the role of the comic in a geopolitical hellhole."
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April 21st, 2019

"Directed with old-fashioned panache by George C. Wolfe, ‘Gary’ proves to be an intermittently amusing but primarily bewildering experience — like a five-minute vaudeville sketch that has been uncomfortably stretched to 95 minutes...One can’t help but admire Lane’s willingness to take part in an unpredictable new work...He gives an absolutely committed performance as a sad and sensitive clown/struggling everyman while being backed by two superb comic actresses."
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April 21st, 2019

"Hands down the strangest new show on Broadway. I say that with admiration...I love that this brand-new, blood-soaked bastard child of Samuel Beckett and the Bard is what is playing right now in the Booth...Lane and Nielsen are two of our greatest stage comedians, and their back-and-forth is one of the delights of 'Gary'...While director George C. Wolfe has staged a first-class production, it still has an air of timidity that seems to be hindering the play from reaching its full potential."
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April 21st, 2019

"Mac doesn't appear in this one, but is the fortunate recipient of three of Broadway's finest clowns to juice up his wild onstage antics...While the philosophical issues of leadership, class, and art don't always land as completely as the expertly-performed wordplay and slapstick, not to mention a rousing spectacle near the finish, ‘Gary’ is bound inspire further thought about those who create madness in art to inspire revolts against the madness of the world's injustices."
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April 30th, 2019

"Mac's jet-black humor won't be for all tastes. But this is not a dumbed-down work...The jokes may be based on blood and shit and death, but the playwright and his three stars are working a vein of humor that harks back to Athenian Old Comedy...To my mind, the stage of the Booth glitters with talent, everyone involved in investigating a deadly serious question while calling down one enormous laugh after another."
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April 21st, 2019

"Half of Mac's comedy is a low-comedy, borderline-burlesque romp, trafficking heavily in body functions, bad jokes, and sight gags, and blessed with, in the persons of Lane, Nielsen, and White, three peerlessly gifted clowns. The other half is philosophical high comedy, with echoes of Shaw and perhaps Beckett...Wolfe, whose direction revels in spurting fluids and rude surprises, is comparatively clueless about how to make the most of all the philosophizing and soul-baring."
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April 21st, 2019

"A raucous comedy whose subject is tragedy—not the titular Shakespeare play, which is merely its starting point, but our enduring capacity for destruction, which Mac engages with gloriously raunchy humor and blazing intuition, and an aching tenderness that sneaks up on you and wraps itself around your heart...A welcome sign of new life, the work of a truly sui generis talent who, if we’re lucky, will be blessing Broadway—as a performer, too, hopefully—for years to come."
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April 21st, 2019

"Bloody, flatulent, funny, and unexpectedly optimistic...Mac’s script is hilarious, and director George C. Wolfe has assembled for his cast three of the stage’s great comic performers...But there’s profundity hidden inside this high comedy...The serious point of this very funny show: That the only way to survive horrors is to turn them into art, that comedy must come from tragedy."
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April 21st, 2019

"It is clear that Mac’s is a singular creative voice that should be heard on Broadway...Now, to ask the unfortunate question — how did these titans manage to collectively conspire to give us this deeply disappointing production?...This play has the marks of an unfinished ‘mind dump,’ and even when the mind in question is of the caliber of Taylor Mac’s, it takes more to architect a coherent work of theater...We needed more help finding our way to an authentic place."
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April 26th, 2019

"This ribald yet philosophical downtown comedy is making its debut at the Booth, usually home to sedate, serious dramas. While low humor seems to be the name of the game, the play also has a good deal to say on various topics like comedy and tragedy, political systems, class structure, the little people who generally do the dirty work, and parodying Elizabethan revenge plays. The humor in 'Gary' is not for everyone but those who relish low comedy will have a ball as do the actors on stage."
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April 27th, 2019

"The wildest ride on Broadway this season—unhinged, harrowing, and hilarious...Mac’s immensely entertaining philosophical vaudeville—a pastiche of verse epic, farce, burlesque, grand guignol, the absurd, and political theatre...Wolfe directs this spectacle with consummate panache. You get a taste of the 'fooling' before the play’s end...Meanwhile, you stop trying to make sense of what’s going on, and enjoy the glorious, gory, and ultimately thought-provoking ride."
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May 2nd, 2019

"Though its 95 minutes are never boring, the nonlinear plotline can induce vertigo at times, and the gross details and low humor are hardly likely to make this a Broadway hit. That said, there's Nathan Lane displaying his knack for physical comedy and immaculate timing...All in all, one must admire Mac for the creative risks he's taken in his latest venture. Whether you go for the laughs, the great acting, or its political truths, you won't see anything else like it on Broadway."
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May 14th, 2019

“I rarely cannot find a place to start, but this production is so slippery that it keeps wiggling out of my hands. It doesn’t get far...because like so many of the victims that are piled high on the stage, it is missing ambulatory appendages that will take it anywhere...I cannot say with certainty what the play is about...In the end we have no idea what we have watched or why...If you have money to burn and are in the mood for mildly entertaining without a scoche of sense – you need look no further.”
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May 12th, 2019

"It’s a spectacle of riveting and ridiculous savagery, hilariously written with bemused wonderment by the whip-smart Taylor Mac and directed with a vaudevillian sense of indecency by George C. Wolfe...With Taylor miraculously finding the hope and hard truths amongst the dead, this bloody comedy delivers more than just a hefty body count, and even with the jokes being as guttural as they come, the laughs never stopped."
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May 1st, 2019

“An unique brand of quirk and activism...It’s unclear entirely what Mac is trying to tell us...Perhaps there is no making sense of it. Maybe we are just relegated to the tasks at hand...Such existential questions will linger long after the curtain falls...That’s what makes ‘Gary’ such a rare, hilarious, and thoughtful work. Though, in the hands of less talented actors, I’m not so sure it would work as well...What you will need is an open mind and an iron stomach.”
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C
April 21st, 2019

"Admittedly, during many sections of the show, the laughs pile up almost as fast as the numerous dead 'bodies' already piled on stage as the curtain rises...But then this tomfoolery stops for discussions on how a 'fool' is better than a clown, or how theater can change a world gone mad for the better, or how women have been mistreated through history. And instead of your funny bone being tickled, your head is being scratched."
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May 10th, 2019

"Some, like me, may find the post-flatulence laughter flatlining…Wolfe gives the actors free rein to pull out all the stops and go for yocks with every line delivery and reaction, but even these master farceurs struggle to keep the fun funny for 95 minutes. A few, quiet moments are not enough to distract from the consistently larger-than-life monkeyshines, the cacophony of shouting, and the eternal mugging that takes what we know these actors can do and multiplies it exponentially."
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April 21st, 2019

"Some...dismiss it as sophomoric, tedious, and confusing. Others praise it as clever, funny, and profound. I half-agree with both opinions. It’s the jarring juxtapositions that make 'Gary' feel so original...This is not the kind of comedy you might expect from Lane, even though his rubbery face and comic timing is priceless...The fact that ‘Gary’ is on Broadway strikes me as a kind of performance art, the chance to create the equivalent of the kind of Fool that talks truth to the powerful."
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April 27th, 2019

"Nielsen gets the most she can out of this part, but it is thankless. White is adorable, if not a little touched. Lane, again is someone who can take mediocre work and make it wonderful...It is confusing, gross, while taking on incest, mutilations, penis envy and cannibalism. This political satire is stroked with doubles entendres that are hit and miss...I did appreciate the deeply profound moments that snuck up on you. It’s a shame there isn’t a better vehicle for these three sublime performers."
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April 22nd, 2019

"A very good idea, but not, unfortunately, a very good play...If it weren’t for the fart jokes and the feces jokes and the corpse penis jokes, the play wouldn’t run more than an hour...Such an inspired provocation and Lane and Nielsen, soon joined by the equally adept Julie White, are such superb clowns and the rage that undergirds this comedy is so scorching that it takes a while to realize that the play itself has nowhere to go and aside from moving corpses around not a lot to do."
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April 21st, 2019

"The amount of talent behind this new Broadway comedy is almost breathtaking...With this array of talent, what could possibly go wrong? Just about everything, as it turns out. The script is a lumpy mixture...The role of Gary does not show Lane to best advantage. The ever-watchable Nielsen is fine, but, surprisingly, it is White who steals the show...I must confess that I have thus far been unable to acquire a taste for Taylor Mac."
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April 21st, 2019

"Wolfe makes sure that we wallow in inspired nastiness for a delightful, unrelenting 90 minutes...Despite all the gags, this clown-turned-worker-turned-Fool is ultimately very poignant in his quest to save the world...We see the design of Mac’s comedy, but the actors and Wolfe’s direction make it part of the spectacle, along with all those erect dicks and very low fart jokes. The imagination at work here is awesome."
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April 21st, 2019

"It is morbid and hilarious, poetic and gross, deeply absurd, and born of undeniable urgency...The kind of explosive art — wild, riotous, sharp as a dripping dagger — that comes at the height of rotting empire...Mac’s dexterity in weaving such social indictments into a madcap comedy rife with fart gags and dick jokes is a wonder to witness...Three singular performers blend in harmony to deliver a maniacal and uproarious treatise on the end of the world."
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April 21st, 2019

"An eccentric combination of high-brow references and low-brow laughs that has something to offend everyone, a whole lot to provoke thought, and a refreshingly uplifting moral...Mac’s writing pays homage to its source with a dazzling synthesis of rhyming verse, prose, and blank verse in iambic pentameter, and a theme that references Shakespeare’s play...Wolfe directs with a rapid-fire pace, an eye on the outrageous...You’ll either love it or hate it...I loved it."
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May 1st, 2019

"It is messy as hell and an indisputable work of genius."
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April 23rd, 2019

"Stoppard, Durang, Giraudoux, Beckett, commedia dell’arte, and the Theatre of the Ridiculous all come to mind...but though you’re laughing, the absurdism doesn’t seem based in enough grounding to fully take off, and the cast is directed at a pitch of hysteria...But I still cheer this kind of anything-goes burlesque, since perverse verse is always cherce and the three priceless clowns—sorry, fools—dive in with all burners lit."
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April 21st, 2019

"The search for meaning (not to mention entertainment) in this high-concept farce requires serious contemplation. The A-list cast, directed by George C. Wolfe, certainly gives everything they've got to this odd tale...They're all very funny, mostly relying on physical comedy to compensate for verse that often doesn't make sense...Ultimately, it's 95 minutes of weirdness and somehow not as funny as you want it to be."
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April 24th, 2019

“Exceedingly odd, only intermittently engaging play...The actors, perhaps sensing that the only way to make this hodgepodge cohere is to go for the guffaws, pitch their performances so loudly that they seem to be playing to the mezzanine of a theater five blocks away. The director, George C. Wolfe, telegraphs the slapstick gags from just as far out, so that all of the surprise and much of the potential comedy is lost. The result is a 95-minute show that feels twice as long.”
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T
April 21st, 2019

"In the smallest part, Ms. White nearly steals the show from her costars Nathan Lane and Kristen Nielsen...Filled with gallows humor, 'Gary' contains many, many laughs...As directed by George C. Wolfe, the best individual moments slay. The messaging is clear and appropriately in-your-face. Unfortunately the proceedings occasionally get bogged down like a battalion tramping through a muddy quagmire. The play loses focus and momentum at times."
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April 21st, 2019

"It’s been labelled a comedy, but it’s more of an experimental deconstruction of capitalism and political apathy. There are laughs, but they thin out quickly. While the shift in tone is intentional, the execution is muddy and laborious...Mac’s play combines farting corpse gags with a sly commentary on the rising up of the politically powerless. Though ambitious, it’s neither funny enough nor tragic enough; it’s also frequently hard to follow."
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April 22nd, 2019

"As played by Kristine Nielsen and Nathan Lane, they turn this unsavoury spectacle into comic gold. These are Broadway clowns at the top of their game, and they surrender themselves completely to the Ionesco-inspired Theatre of the Absurd...The show is often riotously funny, with a third character Carol, played by the dazzlingly dry and witty Julie White, drawn into the carnage...This is bold, audacious work -- Broadway has not seen anything quite like this before."
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May 5th, 2019

"Taylor Mac is known for extravagant and experimental work, and if that is what you are looking for, 'Gary' does not disappoint. But if you are coming for composure and coherence, this is likely not the show for you. Much like the dining room of corpses, this play feels a bit overstuffed. That being said, it is a delightful and hilarious piece, albeit one that is quite overwhelming...What I will say, however, is that Broadway is perhaps the wrong venue for this piece."
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April 22nd, 2019

"Taylor Mac’s jet-black comedy falls flat on so many levels that, despite the initial laughs, we are left scratching our heads halfway through. Other than being a star vehicle for Nathan Lane, why is 'Gary' even on Broadway?...Taylor Mac’s narrative is dull, puerile and fails to make any real comedy out of tragedy. Like 'Titus Andronicus,' much of 'Gary' is written in iambic pentameter, but this is all the more confusing to anyone unfamiliar with Shakespeare’s tragedy."
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April 21st, 2019

“Mac’s ‘Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus’ is utter crap. They are tortured on stage by a playwright who’s given them some of the worst material I’ve ever seen on a stage, Broadway or otherwise...If there had been an intermission for this 90 minute play, no one would have returned...There is no play...There is just nowhere to go except in the abyss. If only they could remain on that stage and do something else. Anything else.”
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W
June 13th, 2019

"The 'source material' - Shakespeare's bloodiest play 'Titus Andronicus.' This isn't really a sequel…In reality it gives the playwright a chance to ruminate…as the 'maids' set everything right…[they] are some of the most talented stage performers of our day…[the] script whirls and eddies on whimsical wings and then settles in for prescriptive changes…It is a riveting if uneven route…Run to see this as you will never see something this creative and crazy on Broadway again."
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April 28th, 2019

"No one knows how to create a beautiful mess quite like creative genius Taylor Mac...Weird, sexy, uncomfortable romp...The blood and piss and flatulence and other bodily excretions that can’t be ignored are on full display. And Mac manages to make a joyful playpen of weirdness from all the realities often considered shameful...This sort of wacky, wonderful production isn’t typically presented to mainstream audiences, but I’m so thrilled the world has flipped enough to let it be so."
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April 27th, 2019

"What exactly is 'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' about? I haven’t quite figured it out and I’m not sure director George C. Wolfe has, either. But he plunges into it with the determination that it will explain itself, and with the help of Santo Loquasto’s extraordinary design of dead naked bodies amassed into a triangle of flesh, carnage, and flaccid penises, he plants the play on a ground that fascinates and intrigues us precisely because it is unfamiliar."
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