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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
Avg Score

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you read the business pages of your favorite paper. See it if you know what junk bonds are. See it for the intense acting.

Don't see it if Wall Street does not interest you, or you like a play that does not make you think or concentrate on the dialogue.

Also The almost two dozen actors are all pitch perfect. Pasquale is perfect... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You have a real interest in the machinations of Wall St. and how the cheaters and con men operate. Thought provoking and challenging.

Don't see it if Rapid-fire delivery freezes your brain. Or, if full-length dramas tire you out.

Also Great set, lighting, staging, and wardrobe. Highly theatrical.

Great staging, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if You like films like Wall Street and the Big Short and are looking for a theater version. Staging was great and most of the acting was good.

Don't see it if You don't want to sit in on a finance lecture. Characters aren't well developed. Felt like more of the same with these greedy finance topics

Disappointing, Dull

See it if you are OBSESSED with business and the stock market

Don't see it if you want to care about the characters or story

Great acting, Must see, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You want to be in a whirlwind of an evening. Very fast paced and so smartly done.!Acting is great. You won’t be bored!!!

Don't see it if Just see it! You won’t be disappointed.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Intelligent, Overrated, Relevant

See it if you want to see the Wall Street of the 80s and 90s replayed once more

Don't see it if you are looking for drama in the telling

Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You like learning about real life events. Like fast paced plays. You are interested in finance.

Don't see it if You can't understand finance. You don't understand financial markets.


See it if Very well staged. The decade of greed is your cup of tea.

Don't see it if First Act is a lot of set up, Second Act is much richer.

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You have an interest in the market and how hostile takeovers work.

Don't see it if You're looking for something light or something surprising.

Also I felt like the actors really made this show. The performances were in... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if for a brisk portrayal of the manipulations, moralizings and principles of the financial world

Don't see it if seeking a more in-depth study of the mechanics is expected

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like a well acted portrayal of events that were typical of those during the unregulated junk bond era. Thought provoking

Don't see it if You prefer to see a musical

Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if a recap of history during the junk bond area of the 80's is of interest. Steve Pasquale is stellar is the lead. LCT is one of the best.

Don't see it if you have no interest in plays that talk about history but the characters are changed a bit to make them frictional

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You're into the subject matter (finance and ethics) and don't think the Michael Lewis movies said it all.

Don't see it if You are expecting a traditional set or startlingly new ground. It's entertaining and the dialogue is sharp.

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.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you want to see a fantastic set with non stop action. This show reveals the underbelly of all that was/is wrong wth Wall St.

Don't see it if you do not like a fast paced show that can feel overwhelming at times.

Absorbing, Riveting, Relevant, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Fast paced drama about contemporary financial issues.

Don't see it if Not interested in plays about finance. Are sensitive about how Jews are portrayed .

Also Pleasantly surprised after some lukewarm word of mouth reviews

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You enjoyed movies/plays of the Wall Street type. You believe “greed is good” to quote Michael Douglas.

Don't see it if Financial gains or creation of wealth are difficult concepts for you to understand.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if Wow! Mr Akhtar does it again! Another well written play with complex characters & great direction.

Don't see it if If the story of Junk bonds and the disturbing distruction of US company's.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy great acting in a superb and wonderfully designed and directed show.

Don't see it if you prefer simple shows

Clever, Great staging

See it if you want to see several good performances in a play that moves along so quickly you won't be bored even if you can't follow everything.

Don't see it if you care more about substance than slickness. The ride was fun, but I'm not sure it ultimately went anywhere.

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

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you’re interested in what our major playwrights want to tackle and want to be amused and entertained

Don't see it if you expect groundbreaking answers to life’s major questions

Also This was an excellent play, beautifully staged and acted (Michael Sibe... Read more Read less

Cliched, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting, Ambitious

See it if you love high-tension fast-paced stories about Wall Street Finance shenanigans well-directed and well-acted in a full Broadway production

Don't see it if you need character depth and nuance -- the playwright sacrifices all that to keep this complex plot on track.

Also A great deal of money went into this show about money -- the cast is h... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You are happy to see ashow that employs a lot of actors.

Don't see it if You are not paricularly interested in stock manipulation 20 years ago.

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You missed Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short at the movies and need a repeat production done on stage.

Don't see it if You have something more entertaining to see or can’t get a great deal.

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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