Already closed | 2h 30m | Upper W Side


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

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.

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you're a Ayad Akhtar fan, Lincoln center subscriber or like financial industry/ junk bond themed shows

Don't see it if you want light entertainment or don't like financial market theatre. Decent acting an alot of dialogue

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

See it if you liked The Big Short, and can deal with a quick moving issues play. At 2.5 hours, it never dragged once!) Simple but glitzy staging.

Don't see it if You want a character driven drama -- this is an issues -- and economic one at that -- play.

Great staging, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You understand how the stock market and financial world works. This play is very well written and acted.

Don't see it if You don't know a little about the topic. Personally I don't understand the financial world and had a hard time "keeping up."

Interesting, Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in plays about financial related topics that are adequately acted and sparsely staged; you’re not bored by business ploys

Don't see it if You are easily bored or confused by topics related to finances and insider trading, you like to blown away by acting, or like a full set.

Also The show was entertaining but nothing special. There was a subplot wit... Read more Read less

Interesting, Entertaining

See it if You're interested in plays that take place in the 80s and deal with that whole culture, including stories based on real events of that time.

Don't see it if You cannot follow or do not have any interest in financial terms. You don't want to see a show with a bunch of men standing around talking.

Intelligent, Relevant, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Well-written

See it if u want to a good (necessarily simplified) view into how the mortgage crisis happened & (more broadly) how Wall Street controls all our lives

Don't see it if you want to turn your brain off, you've got to pay attention to follow along. You don't want a reminder how the rich play by different rules

Also Without giving much away, near the end a steel factory worker scolds h... Read more Read less

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

See it if You enjoy electrifying and timely drama and if your eyes don’t glaze over when the topic is finance. Beautifully staged, a dynamite cast.

Don't see it if You believe the 1% earned their wealth through honest work (and don’t want that opinion challenged).

Banal, Same old same old, weak work of the author

See it if you just have to see a bashing that isn't offering anything new

Don't see it if you aren't seated dead center, the side seats which are usually fine in this theater don't let you see the projections

Also due to a stupid configuration of the set many in the audience won't se... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if if you like thought provoking theater. Stephen Pasquale is excellent.

Don't see it if you hate Wall Street dramas.

Absorbing, Masterful, Profound, Relevant

See it if you like an engrossing story, well written with good acting

Don't see it if you are not interested in the behind the scenes activities of the business world

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you want to see a fast-paced, informative play on greed, corruption, and the manipulation of the financial markets.Great acting and staging.

Don't see it if you don't want a realistic education about market manipulation, hostile takeovers, corruption, etc. or just prefer not to think at a show.

Also Having been a Vice President and Department Manager in real time tradi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Resonant, Great acting

See it if You are curious about economics and want to see a Michael Lewis book come to life on stage (not really his book but feels like it)

Don't see it if You are depressed by financial issues.

Dated, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you are a finance $$ person and LOVE shows about that but I have seen it done so much better on stage and in film.

Don't see it if you value your time. Bloodless. You care for no one or anything. Too slick/fast like maybe if they zip thru no one will notice play

Absorbing, Ambitious, Dense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested what was behind 80’s market scandals. Beautifully staged and well-acted. If you enjoyed the Big Short or Madoff stories.

Don't see it if Money manipulation is of no interest. If you don’t want to concentrate hard to follow the dense dialogue and plot with supporting concepts.

Also Set in the 1980’s this play is, unfortunately, very relevant today. Th... Read more Read less

Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You’re interested in the Junk bond culture of the 80s.

Don't see it if You have no interest in Junk bonds and hostile takeovers.

One of best plays of the year

See it if you like excellent, brainy play with great acting, great writing, great staging and fast pace. This one hit it out of ballpark!

Don't see it if na

Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You’re interested in dramas recounting the financial crises of the 80’s. You like innovative sets/lighting & great ensemble acting.

Don't see it if A lot of financial jargon makes your head spin. Also if you like shorter works. Act II moves more quickly with more suspenseful action.

Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense

See it if You’d like a detailed primer on how the junk bond craze flourished and then failed. This passion for making money is always fascinating.

Don't see it if You find the financial world confusing or dislike a talky show. Also don’t go if you have bad memories of such times

Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if Well written, well performed drama, like to compare insider trader issues of 80s to more recent times

Don't see it if You have no interest in money or wall street level problems

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like financial drama and social commentary in theatre.

Don't see it if You need subtlety and ambiguity.

Also The acting and writing are impressive. The storyline is engaging throu... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great staging, Indulgent

See it if you are interested in the Mike Milken area on wall street and what happened, how it happened, explained in a simple way. good acting

Don't see it if I love Ayad Akhtar's plays but this is not written as well and the others. Disappointed. acting was great. interesting staging but play not

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You are interested in some fairley recent history of the wheeling and dealing in the stock market and how the Junk Bond scam toppled.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in LOTS of talk about money and not much action.

Also I enjoyed the piece, done up in grand style, as only Lincoln Center ca... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Banal, Overrated

See it if you are interested in a glitzy set, want to see a good lead actor, and won't mind a very uncompelling script with a mundane message

Don't see it if you are not interested in bland junk bond explanations in a vehicle that lacks character development and desperately needs editing.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you remember or want to know more about the Michael Milken era in greed or greed in the US in general and be entertained as well

Don't see it if you have little or no interest in how US financial markets and business work

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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