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From 449 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

About the show

Lincoln Center Theater presents Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar's new drama about an '80s junk bond king out to change the rules of the financial world. Starring Steven Pasquale as Robert Merkin. More…

It’s 1985. Robert Merkin, the resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell, has just landed on the cover of "Time Magazine." Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to dizzying heights. Zealously promoting his belief in the near-sacred infallibility of markets, he is trying to re-shape the world. What Merkin sets in motion is nothing less than a financial civil war, pitting magnates against workers, lawyers against journalists, and, ultimately, everyone against themselves. Set over 30 years ago, this is a play about how, while most of us weren't watching, money became the only thing of real value. Directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes.

Member Reviews (449)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Poor acting

See it if You want to see any play by Ayad Ahktar regardless of quality.

Don't see it if You prefer plays well written and acted.

Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you like stories like The Wolf of Wall Street, but with less action.

Don't see it if you have no interest in Wall Street, or the 1980's.

Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You don't mind overwritten plays that need editing and shortening. Despite a stellar cast, this play is an unfocussed snoozefest.

Don't see it if You like to stay awake in the theatre. You like to care about a character on the stage. You have to sit in the side sections.

Also This was done a hell of a lot better in the 80's with Other People's M... Read more Read less

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like very explainery shows. The topic is dense and they spend a lot of time on basic exposition.

Don't see it if You do not like exposition. And lots of it. And bland staging.

Tepid, Uninspired

See it if it's mandatory for some reason for you.

Don't see it if you prefer the exposition content of your drama to be south of 90%.

Also Paint-by-numbers script and get-me-over acting for a surface-level-top... Read more Read less


See it if You don't care where you see it

Don't see it if care about the venue

Dated, Cliched, Banal

See it if You've been asleep for the last 20 years.

Don't see it if You have even a high school understanding of the junk bond era

Cliched, Banal, Dated, Insipid, Overrated

See it if You get excited by callous, selfish characters and do not need any redemption or hope in your narrative. Obvious commentary doesn't bother.

Don't see it if You need an emotional connection to any character in a play, are bored to tears by finance on stage, you hated Wall Street or the Wolf of ..

Also I general like Akhtar's work and was surprised at how slap dash this f... Read more Read less

Slow, Confusing, Excruciating

See it if You're tired and need a nice nap in the dark.

Don't see it if You're expecting to be entertained by learning about the vagaries of the junk bond market. This piece is not entertaining nor edifying.

Also Enron was a gazillion times better.

During previews
Baffling, Overrated, Indulgent, Tedious, Disappointing

See it if want to watch a lecture on HOW a particular event in financial history occurred and be in the dark about WHO the people involved really were

Don't see it if you want to go to the theater and relate to at least one character. This was as dry as a podcast by a boring teacher.

Also This had by far one of the most non-existent character development of ... Read more Read less

During previews
Excruciating, Dull, Dry, Boring, Slow

See it if You want to hear a dry lecture on the financial world. The show lives up to it's name.

Don't see it if Void of feelings or personality, this show is DRY. Uninteresting story, dull characters & bland performances.

Also When I go to the theater I expect to be somewhat entertained, this has... Read more Read less

During previews
Predicable, poorly written

See it if you will tolerate anything to see Steven Pasquale and a good cast struggling with bad writing and an offensive story. Good lighting design.

Don't see it if greed, avarice, dishonesty, and an obsession with wealth at all costs upsets you - not to mention stereotyped characters.

Also If #45 offends you, this will too. If you think Jewish stereotypes are... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You are a fan of financial themed documentaries with zero character development

Don't see it if You don't like "Junk"

Also very disappointing, slow, show that in my opinion should not be presen... Read more Read less

During previews
Excruciating, Cliched

See it if You wonder what could be more boring than say, a play about dentistry. Or if you’re a finance junkie.

Don't see it if If you’ve seen Wolf of Wall Street or Wall Street, you’ve seen this play. But those movies were (of course) vastly superior.

Also There was absolutely nothing new explored in this play. Same old clich... Read more Read less

During previews
Slow, Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You want to listen to expositions on the market.

Don't see it if You want to enjoy a good night of theater.

November 2nd, 2017
"Almost numbingly safe...'Junk' follows a labyrinthine, economically dense plot with remarkable briskness, efficiency and accessibility. Still, these assets never quite erase the feeling that what we’re watching is a tale we’ve frequently been entertained and alarmed by during the past three deca...
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November 2nd, 2017
“Akhtar spends much of the play briefing the audience on hostile takeovers and insider trading. But the details don’t feel sweaty…‘Junk’ melds a breadth of genres—crime story, tragedy, issue play, cautionary tale—into a fast-moving, broad-ranging social thriller…In Akhtar’s telling, this story is...
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November 2nd, 2017
"'Junk’s' driving tempo, cinematic smash-cuts, and clarity of underlying action undoubtedly hold our attention...It’s a credit to Akhtar, Hughes, and Pasquale’s uncompromising Merkin that 'Junk' doesn’t play as a blanket condemnation of Wall Street and a nostalgic eulogy for Main Street...Accordi...
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November 2nd, 2017
"Akhtar is a perceptive writer with an ear for pithy dialogue, so he keeps it engrossing...What he can't do is make us care about these characters, which somewhat limits 'Junk' to the sphere of glossy info-tainment...'Junk' isn't lacking in food for thought, but as drama it's a little dry and unr...
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