After a hit Off-Broadway run at Manhattan Theatre Club last season, Simon Stephens' play transfers to Broadway with original stars Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt. More…
It's just another day on a crowded London train platform. A woman named Georgie approaches a much older man named Alex, whom she's never met before, and kisses him. This surprising moment sets in motion a series of events which will change both Georgie and Alex forever. Written by Tony-winning playwright Simon Stephens, best known for 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,'
"Stephens is doing what appears to be the thing he is most brilliant at: creating two characters, flawed and difficult, engaging (but sometimes disengaging) in a one-on-one dialogue that is as complex in its emotionality as it is in its simplicity of words...Parker is exceptional in making Georgie so layered that we are instantly taken. And Arndt shows a quiet yet powerful dignity in his depiction of this surprising man...Both Parker and Arndt fit perfectly into the skins of their characters." Full Review
“Simon Stephens, whose ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ recently amazed audiences with its razor-sharp take on the inner workings of an autistic boy, is back with ‘Heisenberg’, a two-hander that examines the relationship between a forty-something woman and a seventy-something man, written with the same consummate insight into the foibles of human beings, minus that play’s technical wizardry, here replaced by a sharp ear and eye for the nuances of neediness.” Full Review
"Simon Stephens' play is as sumptuous an experience as theater gets...Director Mark Brokaw upped the intimacy level by putting bleacher seats on much of the stage, making the venue into a poor man's theater-in-the-round. Then he let Parker and Arndt do what they do best...Stephens does nothing less than alchemy here. He captures new love and old love at the same time, hope and fear, the new world and the old." Full Review
"The actors dive right into the emotionally intricate 'Heisenberg,' and the audience is enthralled for 90 minutes...The play beguiles and captivates because of Stephens' remarkable and lean script, which director Mark Brokaw honors with powerfully understated staging. And thanks to the two dynamic actors embodying Georgie and Alex...Both actors sizzle with stage chemistry...Masterfully put together by such an amazing creative team." Full Review
"The sexiest couple on a New York stage just now...I groaned when I heard 'Heisenberg' was traveling to Broadway. I would never have predicted that it would seem even more vibrant and emotionally charged...The production’s creative team thwarts expectations at every turn...Mr. Stephens is an uncannily subtle dramatist who never wears his depths on the surface...He makes us see how conventional story lines fail to hold their shape when unspooled within the mess of human reality." Full Review
"They are a mismatch made in dramatic heaven. Combine Parker and Arndt with the intriguingly enigmatic script and the canny direction by Mark Brokaw, and you have another winning new play...The play loses none of the dynamic impact it had on 55th Street. In fact, the spare staging actually enhances the fragmentary nature of the play, with the pair striving to maintain balance as if on a metaphysical seesaw...What joy there is in watching actors like this, in a new play like this." Full Review
“Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt and this wonderful play have made the transition with deeper performances, even with the volume turned up a notch to accommodate the bigger space. It is, hands down, the most romantic, not to mention sexiest, show in town…The acting is stripped bare as, in the beautifully calibrated performances, Alex’s initial imperturbability yields to Georgie’s ever-more poignant persistence.” Full Review
"The actors are back, even more nuanced and riveting...Director Mark Brokaw’s simple, impeccably observed production has little more than a couple of metal tables and chairs with which to burrow into fine-tuned character studies...In just a few ingratiating, ultimately devastating scenes, Stephens and his actors carve out mismatched, lonely grown-ups who are as confused and fascinated by their history and future as we are." Full Review
"Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt return as a pair of misfits who somehow manage to connect despite being worlds apart...Written by Simon Stephens and so beautifully performed, what transpires between them bears out Heisenberg’s famed uncertainty principle in the flesh. Or put another way, opposites do attract...What seems so incredibly simplistic somehow registers as one of the most emotionally complex relationships you’re likely to witness on stage or in real life." Full Review
"Mary-Louise Parker gives one of her strongest performances in years and is a joy to watch. Denis Arndt is equally brilliant as a shy, strident man of many interests. Mark Brokaw has given them just enough direction so they can express themselves as they do and expose their raw nerves. He also has made them interesting to watch... 'Heisenberg' has got to be one of the most provocative dramas of bringing two diametrically opposed people together, and is certainly one of the best." Full Review
"What’s truly wonderful about 'Heisenberg' is that it never goes where you expect it to go...Yet, it all feels completely believable because of the performances of these two masterful actors...Parker truly immerses herself in Georgie, a woman who would perhaps be considered pathetic if Parker ever let her slip into full-on pathos. Parker gives her life and purpose despite her hopeless flaws....Arndt’s portrayal of Alex is wonderfully realistic." Full Review
"'Heisenberg' isn’t a play that relies on over-the-top theatrical effects. It doesn’t crutch itself on snazzy scene changes; it doesn’t showcase the most impressive lighting or sound design ever devised for the theatre. Instead, it returns our attention to what should be most important to us—simple, beautiful, human connection. Director Mark Brokaw has given two gifted actors the freedom to take the most basic stage setup and completely capture our imagination." Full Review
"Parker uses her limbs, every muscle in her face, and the full range of her vocal cords to bring Georgie’s anguish bursting through the surface. The result is thrilling; Parker suffuses the text with empathy and pathos. And what text it is...Pushed along and anchored by Parker and Arndt, respectively, this two-hander is unlike many plays seen on Broadway. Its focus is squared tightly, telling a small story in rich detail with vivid, memorable performances." Full Review
"Stephens is wildly successful in applying uncertainty principles to human character and relations, codifying realities we know somewhere to be true, but haven’t yet the language to exactly identify...The result is exquisite – delicate in its observation of two damaged souls stumbling their way to the other...This production is bare-boned, throwing the efforts of these two into nice relief and if you like watching the work of solid actors, you’ll love this production." Full Review
“The Manhattan Theatre Club’s season opener...offers rich, intelligent dialogue, crisply efficient staging, two strong actors, and a situation and characters that require swallowing with more than a single grain of salt...Most audiences will appreciate the play as an amiable, straightforward romantic dramedy between an elderly man and a younger woman, each in need of filling a well of loneliness. You do, of course, have to make allowances for dramatic license.” Full Review
"One of last year’s best dramas has somehow become one of this year’s best comedies...The two-person cast is still terrific, with Parker doing her best stage work in years, and Arndt again a wonderful surprise to New York audiences. The script, too, is all but unaltered...Yet somehow the spin seems to have reversed direction; it’s now less like a whirlpool pulling you under than a tornado flinging you up...But with the story’s increased size come the social pleasures of large-scale theater." Full Review
"If I understand the oblique title correctly, 'Heisenberg' is about how being with another person—being observed, at close range—can affect your direction...Mark Brokaw’s spare production seems even less imposing in the company's Broadway house, but that works to its advantage. Stephens’s carefully crafted 75-minute play has a sense of how little its characters matter to the universe. It makes that smallness feel liberating." Full Review
"With a set consisting of just a couple of tables and chairs the only glitter in 'Heisenberg' comes from the acting and that's certainly in good hands here. The part of Georgie seems written to order for Mary-Louise Parker's singular affinity for somewhat lost, almost child-like characters. Denis Arndt's Alex at first seems mostly a sounding board for Parker's Georgie...But though Parker has the showier role, Arndt quickly becomes a much more significant and endearing presence." Full Review
"The connection that begins with a kiss is the engaging subject of Simon Stephens’s 'Heisenberg'...Under Mark Brokaw’s astute direction, Ms. Parker and Mr. Arndt tackle the rich complexities in Mr. Stephens’s script and successfully grapple with the mysteries of human connection...'Heisenberg' meets the vicissitudes of the human condition and clarity convenes on the stage of life and on the stage of the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre." Full Review
"Often enchanting, occasionally frustrating, and ultimately poignant two-hander...Director Mark Brokaw and scenic designer Mark Wendland have created a small central playing area on stage with the part of the audience seated behind them on the stage...It’s about as anti-spectacle as Broadway gets. And it doesn’t matter one bit!...I may not know much about physics, but I am certain that these actors’ sterling work is not to be missed." Full Review
"The working out of the playwright’s musings, under the snappy direction of Mark Brokaw...is in the hands of two terrific actors, Arndt and Parker...All lies in the writing and acting, and the stars are commanding. Parker, in a role very different than some of the parts she has played, is amusingly flamboyant and a dynamic force that little by little brings Alex out of his shell...There is no uncertainty that this is a captivating play offering two highly appealing performances." Full Review
"This has to be one of the most unlikely, yet deeply convincing couples you’ll ever see on stage; a romantic, highly sexual relationship that slowly evolves despite reticence, red flags and trap doors at every turn. Playwright Simon Stephens has created two marvelous characters who make what could have been yet another quirky-girl-gets-repressed-man-to-open-up scenario into something eminently richer and more satisfying...Timing is impeccable, physical acting perfection." Full Review
"The physical production is so simple it allows us to focus all of our attention on the characters themselves, and Parker and Arndt have created for us two personalities that are composed of much more than we first realized...It’s to the great credit of Mr. Brokaw, Ms. Parker, and Mr. Arndt that they so thoroughly fill the needs of the play. Ms. Parker is radiant, in full command, most appealing, and totally convincing." Full Review
"Stage veterans Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt are the skilled interpreters for Stephens’s rich two-hander, a spot-on rumination about joy and sadness, and how either can seep into proceedings where neither may have been anticipated...It’s hard to take your eyes off Parker, who allows us to see Georgie as a multidimensional human being...As Alex, Arndt is spare and understated...Like their relationship, 'Heisenberg' is more than the sum of its parts." Full Review
"The play initially feels like a kooky rom-com. But as Georgie’s torrent of quirky chatter shades into something sharper and more ambiguous, so, too, does the production...There’s something generously honest in 'Heisenberg' about ordinariness. With humour and a low-level ache of sadness, it tunes into those small, often overlooked encounters that can spin people’s lives off in new directions." Full Review
See it if you have an open mind to the power of acting. The two actors left alone on the stage are enough to captive for the full 90 minutes.
Don't see it if you enjoy traditional plays and can't lose yourself in the actors and their story.
See it if You can appreciate a play that relies on its text and the skill of its actors to inform and entertain.
Don't see it if You require excessive visual stimuli for a satisfying theatrical experience. This play? It's all in the words.
See it if you enjoy 2 handers, filled with smart, realistic dialogue. Probably the most intimate play on Broadway
Don't see it if you're looking for a flashy, exciting, experience. you don't like plays based in language.
See it if you like intelligent plays, non-predictable dialogue, and the sparring of two truly talented actors who constantly react to each other
Don't see it if you can't follow dialogue or hate two-actor plays
See it if Both actors, Ms. Parker and Mr. Arndt were exceptional. Their performances are Tony worthy. Meaningful and tender love story..
Don't see it if you can't handle a two actor play with no sets or scenery or if you are looking for a huge Broadway production.
See it if You love Mary Louise Parker. You enjoy 2-character plays where relationships develop. You like to discuss the play after you've seen it.
Don't see it if You need to understand the characters. You don't enjoy wordy plays.
See it if You believe in the unlikely becoming both possible and believable.
Don't see it if You need lots of spectacle, changing stage sets and scenery.
Also Beautifully acted, sensitive and believable.
See it if you enjoy excellent acting in the service of an absorbing play which will surprise you. I was sorry to see it end.
Don't see it if you want a traditional play with a traditional story line.
See it if You like great acting by 2 veterans with great chemistry performing clever dialogue on a sparse stage
Don't see it if a 2 person play involving a romance with a 25 yr age difference creeps you out -tho the younger is in her 40s. If don't want intimate show.
See it if You appreciate two wonderful actors with fantastic chemistry tell a story I've never seen before.
Don't see it if you don't like seeing a play between only two people, or one that is a bit subversive in its subject matter.
See it if You enjoy a simple evening of brilliantly acted theatre where character development, and storytelling triumph over spectacle.
Don't see it if You want grand scenery, props, and spectacle.
See it if You want to watch two actors really show their mettle. A phenomenal and electric performance by both.
Don't see it if you aren't interested in getting in deep with only two characters. But see it anyway.
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