Ends Sep 10

Indecent

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
86
Critics
84
100 reviews
Members
86
576 reviews
 

Vineyard Theatre's critically acclaimed production of playwright Paula Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman's play about a controversial Yiddish show transfers to Broadway.

... Read more

'Indecent' is based on the real-life events surrounding the Broadway debut of Sholem Asch's 'The God of Vengeance,' considered to be a seminal work of Jewish culture by some, and a piece of traitorous libel by others. Peppered with popular songs of the era, this play charts the history of that incendiary work, the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it, and the evolving identity of the culturally rich community that inspired its creation.

 
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Reviews (676)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"'Indecent' arrives on Broadway as one of the season’s most respectable—and respectful—plays...It is virtuous, sturdily assembled, informative and brimming with good faith...Yet the ardor that must have informed the writing and early performances of 'Vengeance' only occasionally blazes forth in 'Indecent'...For all its resourceful stagecraft, 'Indecent' can be deflatingly earnest in its dialogue and timeline exposition...There is little room for the subversive pull of conflicting subtext." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

"There is a great deal of passion—beautiful, thrilling, powerful passion—on display at the Cort Theatre where the gloriously uplifting 'Indecent' has transferred...The connecting tissue of the piece's collage of moments is the 'rain scene' where Asch's lesbian characters first consummate their need for each other...To see that honest expression of mutual love, and to know the emotions it stirred in its time, is a breathtaking moment that connects the audience with theatre history." Full Review

95
NY1

"A heartbreaking tribute to Asch's controversial Yiddish drama 'The God of Vengeance.' If you care about Jewish history or the power of art to transcend tragedy, 'Indecent' must be witnessed...Taichman's direction, blending dance, movement and music, is a thing of beauty. Add to it a wonderfully versatile ensemble effortlessly juggling roles and live klezmer music, and you have 100 minutes of potent theatrical magic. The elegiac ending will leave you in tears." Full Review

80
Variety

"A riveting backstage drama...Thanks to Taichman’s impressionistic direction and David Dorfman’s stylized choreography, a troupe of long-slumbering Yiddish actors rise from the ashes and stiffly come to life to play their parts in this drama...We already know the outcome of their professional arguments. But such is the tension of the production, you want to stand up and warn this brave little troupe to catch that ship before it sails." Full Review

95
Time Out New York

"I was deeply moved by the play when it was at the Vineyard Theatre last year. On Broadway, with the same wonderful ensemble cast, it fills a much larger space without losing its essential intimacy. The script is Vogel’s, the staging Taichman’s, but the two are so lovingly intertwined as to be almost inseparable...Rich in sympathy and humor...An elegant tribute to things that vanish in the blink of a historical eye, 'Indecent' is a memorial that feels like a blessing." Full Review

95
Theatermania

"Under Rebecca Taichman's confident and inspired direction, 'Indecent' has been polished to a lustrous shine for this staging, with an achingly poetic majesty that makes it one of the season's unique and essential Broadway events...'Indecent' is a sumptuous theatrical experience, from its mysterious beginning to its heartrending, unforgettable end...The exceptional performances have matured and deepened with the transfer." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"'Indecent,' which might well be more powerful today than the original was when it reached Broadway in 1923, is given an impeccable production by director Rebecca Taichman, a very-much-in-tune team of designers, and an excellent and enthusiastic cast...Vogel and Taichman tell their story in inventive and exuberant fashion...Verson and Lenk play the rain scene several times over the course of the play; the last rendition is breathtaking and gasp-inducing." Full Review

90
DC Theatre Scene

"There are many reasons to find deep satisfaction in the arrival on Broadway of the play 'Indecent,' a fascinating tale wondrously staged...Proof that a play can explore a range of frighteningly relevant issues—threats to the arts and an entire culture, anti-immigrant bigotry, homophobia, even genocide—and do so in a production that is not only enlightening, and moving, but entertaining...'Indecent' helps us see the power and beauty of art, not just by its subject but by its example." Full Review

80
Broadway Blog

“Taichman's highly imaginative staging, using dance, music, and Brechtian storytelling techniques, is superb, and the play's panoramic narrative is absorbing. Having the dust pour from the actors' sleeves at select moments (evoking the notion of ‘ashes to ashes’) is memorable. The across-the-years, pageant-like structure, with seven actors playing over forty roles, seems more pronounced in a Broadway theatre. With the actors relying on shortcuts, few characters appear more than two-dimensional.” Full Review

90
Talkin' Broadway

"For what it is, 'Indecent' could not much be improved—its blend of form and function is total enough to be seamless, and it packs an emotional wallop for reasons (and from sources) you may not expect...Theatre, like religion, love, and so many of the other forces that drive our lives and Vogel's compelling, breath-stealing play, is often in the eye of the beholder. That's what makes all those things great—and what, ultimately, makes 'Indecent' great as well." Full Review

65
The Huffington Post

"Beautifully crafted, strongly acted and respectable in every way, yet not as soul-stirring as one would want...So much is tackled that the drama falls by the wayside. 'Indecent' is never uninteresting but it’s more panorama than play. But how beautifully it’s presented!...If 'Indecent' is indecently ambitious, if it wants to share absolutely everything about the fascinating history of an almost forgotten work, well one can only wish more shows were so admirably flawed." Full Review

55
New York Magazine / Vulture

"I already found 'Indecent' more worthy than fine when I saw it last year. But a second viewing of the play, now pumped up and retuned, only makes its problems more obvious. Happily, its good qualities are enhanced as well...Vogel has done little to trim the tired jokes or rethink the scene-setting shortcuts that suggest her lack of interest in the subtleties of real behavior...Vogel has never been a practitioner or exponent of naturalism...That style may simply not suit a history play." Full Review

80
New York Daily News

"A heart-stirring and haunting play...Vogel and Taichman tell the story in vibrantly theatrical fashion. The ace ensemble breathes life into more than three dozen characters, with an array of accents to match...'Indecent' covers a lot of territory in 100 unbroken minutes—subjects and themes include sex, religion, money, hypocrisy, plus the decline of the Yiddish language. It can be a bit diffuse. Still, the images are indelible...Be prepared for precipitation to fall from your own eyes." Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

"Ms. Vogel and the wonderful director Ms. Taichman have created a powerful piece that almost seems like a dance...The cast, director and play are first-rate. It is hard to single anyone out because this is a true collaborative effort. The only drawback to this play is it seems to have three endings and that takes away from the power of the piece...I actually preferred it more at the Vineyard. No matter the changes, this is a show not to miss. It is powerfully acted and beautifully staged." Full Review

90
Deadline

"Make haste for the Cort Theatre simply to share the astonishing power of this new play with music about a delicious ancient Broadway scandal that pulses through the decades to our own time...In addition to the music, 'Indecent' is moved swiftly by David Dorfman’s limpid choreography in concert with Taichman’s sensitive direction...It isn’t understating to call this fantastic play a work of all-encompassing art...It’s an exhilarating ride you’ll never forget." Full Review

90
CurtainUp

"Remarkably moving, relevant and entertaining...It retains the magic of an epic story simply told courtesy of a variety of theatrical devices...Every cast member is a standout, changing characters and accents on a dime...Even more powerful now than when I saw it last year...Here's hoping New York audiences won't overlook this unique and deeply moving play for lighter, glitzier offerings. Go see and enjoy it, and embrace its message." Full Review

75
Chicago Tribune

"A highly skilled, clearly personal and deftly structured piece...You can feel the historical force and weight of Vogel's play, which likely will be a future staple of regional theater...Authentically acted by an egalitarian ensemble and staged with hefty symbolic gravitas and surety by Taichman...Vogel's connection to this play and what it did for her as a young artist is at the core of why 'Indecent' deserves this production and the support it surely will need from the audience." Full Review

90
Newsday

"Has there ever been anything quite like 'Indecent,' a play that touches—I mean deeply touches—so much rich emotion about history and the theater, anti-Semitism, homophobia, censorship, world wars, and, oh, yes, joyful human passion?...It was hard to imagine how its specialness might hold up in a big Broadway house...It is a thrill to report that this multilingual (with subtitles as needed) adventure is a natural fit. It’s a gripping and entertaining show with laughter and tears." Full Review

90
Theatre Reviews Limited

“This remarkable and stunning play brings into sharp focus the importance of vigilance amidst intolerance and indomitability in the face of insidious censorship…Max Gordon Moore delivers a riveting performance…Vogel and Taichman have created a compelling story about the power of innovation…Taichman directs with a sensitive precision…A compelling piece of theatre that raises deep, enduring questions about the future of a society that refuses to accept differences.” Full Review

85
The Wrap

"It’s the Jewish 'Shuffle Along'...Vogel tells her complicated, sprawling story with urgent economy...With a title like 'The God of Vengeance,' you might think you’re in for a real night of penance at the theater. On the contrary. Under Rebecca Taichman’s dazzling direction, much humor is exposed, especially with the repeated hurling of that Torah. Also, Vogel nicely details the personalities within the Yiddish troupe." Full Review

93
Front Mezz Junkies

“A must-see, and maybe the best play I’ve seen this year…A magnificently powerful piece of theatre. To call it a play within a play seems to belittle what transpires in this 90-minute creation. Thanks to the impeccable direction of Taichman, it’s a much grander and yet, simple and meaningful engagement of all our senses…It’s meaningful and poetic, while heart-wrenchingly sad and disturbing, in a style and structure that can only be achieved live on a theatre stage.” Full Review

90
CitiTour

"Its examinations of censorship, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are both brilliant and painfully timely. One can also simply appreciate this piece for the searing intelligence and gorgeous poetry of Vogel’s writing, the stunning visual imagination of co-creator and director Rebecca Taichman, and the exemplary work of its cast...For all of Vogel and Taichman’s skill, the unwavering commitment and facility of this acting troupe is the largest part of the equation for the production’s success." Full Review

85
Woman Around Town

"Though it’s passionate, 'Indecent' is not a polemic. The eloquent book is peppered with songs and dances...These can lighten proceedings or darken them with sharp juxtaposition to events. Failings and accomplishments are depicted through specific human characters, not ideas. 'Indecent' is both immensely moving and entertaining...The outstanding cast can act, sing, and dance...Director Rebecca Taichman has illuminated a complicated story in accessible, affecting manner." Full Review

75
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Although it could use some serious trimming, Vogel’s play with music is excitingly staged under Rebecca Taichman’s direction, and it makes the most of elements in ‘God of Vengeance’…Once the production gets going all is redeemed by the excellent performances...The situation cries out for a double bill with 'God of Vengeance' staged in all its ahead-of-its-time emotional drama, and then followed by Vogel’s take on its creation. It would make for a grand if lengthy combination.” Full Review

80
Financial Times (UK)

"'Indecent' blends original scenes from 'The God of Vengeance' with an account of the play’s own turbulent production history, from its acclaimed premiere...to doom-laden clandestine performances in the Łódź ghetto...That sense of looming world-historical catastrophe is sensitively conveyed by Taichman’s sombre, stripped-down staging, which also provides an appropriate frame for Vogel’s occasionally repetitive story of backstage wrangling and controversy-stalked 'playmaking.'" Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
86
Avg Score

90
Profound, Riveting, Magnificent, Gut-wrenching, Excellent staging

See it if the history of THEATER & the arts means anything to you. "Lemml" would be the ideal theater-going partner forever. Thank you, Richard Topol.

Don't see it if you bleed water. You don't have to be Jewish for your brain to understand & for your soul to deeply feel tragedy, presented so eloquently.

76
Clever, Edgy, Great writing, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You want to see a show about Yiddish theatre history, great cast, great staging and really good singing.

Don't see it if You can't sit for a long period of time without a break, if you are not into Jewish history, need something lighter.

Also I've got to say, when the show was done I walked away confused. There ... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging

See it if A thought provoking play with a sense of history. Although written in early 1900's it's still relevant, especially today in Trump's world.

Don't see it if You don't like dramas that deal with the history of Yiddish theatre, censorship, lesbian love and the celebration of theatrical power.

100
Masterful, Must see, Profound, Funny & sad, Exceptionally clever & creative

See it if if you want to see a very clever play about the history and love of theater, freedom of expression, Yiddish culture, suffering of Jews.

Don't see it if if you want something light that won’t touch you emotionally; don’t like actors playing multiple roles, uncomfortable with sexual references

Also I loved this show. The script was fantastic. The moments of “a blink i... Read more Read less

91
Ambitious, Exquisite, Great acting, Profound, Great writing

See it if you want to see drama at its best on Broadway. Easily Ms. Vogel's most ambitious and beautiful play. Gorgeous staging.

Don't see it if you don't like serious drama. This is a play that will break your heart.

79
Refreshing

See it if you're at all intrigued by Yiddish theatre history or the concept of censorship.

Don't see it if it sounds offensive to you after reading a plot synopsis.

Also Taichman's direction is the MVP here. Stunning images provide the play... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like to know how theater works about 100 yrs ago on Broadway. Very uncommon staging and narrative pace.

Don't see it if You are homophobic or anti-Semitic. You prefer traditional Broadway plays, not all of them make sense to me.

79
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Unique

See it if You are up for something boldly different, that makes statements about sexuality, censorship in the arts, & religion in a captivating format

Don't see it if You will be easily offended by a play that may not portray the Jewish faith in a favorable light, & are looking forward to the usual fluff.

82
Intelligent, Profound, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Jewish history or have an interest in kiddish theater. This play is also important for anyone who dedicates their life to theater.

Don't see it if you don't have an interest in Jewish theater history or if you prefer fluffy comedies.

87
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Profound, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you want to see a powerful , thoughtful play with beautiful direction. the acting is great across the board! you enjoy influential theater

Don't see it if you are in the mood for something light-hearted or fluffy. you are offended by homosexuality

89
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you want theater with thoughtfulness and serious themes. While the subject is very sober, it is not ponderous to watch.

Don't see it if you want fluffy theater. Not for anyone in a frivolous mood.

96
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if This is a must see no matter what kind of theatre that you enjoy. Moving and a story that needed to be told.

Don't see it if i can't see a reason not to see it.

52
Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Long

See it if you are totally into Jewish history and need to see every show on the topic. It's long and pretentious, but doesn't deliver anything new.

Don't see it if you don't want to be bored for 1hr 45min with no intermission. The scenes are repetitive. The singing and instrument playing unprofessional.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see how great a total theater experience can be when expertly put together and executed.

Don't see it if you are looking for light fluff.

94
Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Profound, Great writing

See it if you want to be challenged by deep thinking as well as entertained

Don't see it if you're not good at keeping track of multiple threads, and/or actors playing multiple characters

95
Absorbing, Intense, Profound, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You want to see a show that is cleverly and beautifully staged. It does the near impossible-inform without preaching, teach w/out lecturing.

Don't see it if If you are anti Semitic or don't have a love for art. This play, I believe, grasps the pure essence of the struggles some artists endure.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you enjoy well written, well played historical dramas. Story flows nicely, cast is superb.

Don't see it if do not enjoy historical dramas or are looking for a lighthearted play or musical.

78
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Great staging

See it if You are interested in early Yiddish theatre..it's edgy and provocative especially in the 1920s New York. Beautifully staged.

Don't see it if You have no interest in Yiddish theatre.

84
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you want to see an exquisite example of a great ensemble staging. A thought provoking piece of theatre with great music and accents.

Don't see it if you don't like plays.

Also Not a perfect play but so well done. Has almost too much too say but d... Read more Read less

76
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great staging

See it if You love dramatic pieces that leave you thinking

Don't see it if You prefer escapism, though this show will make you think about your preference in that case

78
Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you would like to see what type of plays were being staged in the early 1930's by a yiddish theater troop

Don't see it if You want to see a modern play

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you are interested in the history and the life of a play and individuals, executed passionately and superbly

Don't see it if it's too good not to see

93
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see something that breaks the mold a little bit and examines the subject of Yiddish theater. Quirky but mesmerizing. Resonant.

Don't see it if You're looking for something simple and straightforward. This is not a boy meets girl, happily ever after show. Requires thought and emotion

78
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Great staging

See it if you're intrigued by dramatized history, want to see gorgeous & inventive staging, love theatre with music, are curious about the story.

Don't see it if you have no tolerance for slow moving theatre (this show is beautiful but also sprawling). It's history-driven rather than character-driven.

87
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you have an interest in history, the relevance of freedom versus prejudice, and the importance of passion un wat we do

Don't see it if you are only looking for "entertainment" or something light. This is profoundly moving and dark in its implications for today