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

Great acting, Riveting, Insightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Fast paced drama, well acted, thoughtful, engaging and insightful.

Don't see it if Not interested in drama or complicated plays.

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, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if Really good writing staging and acting expalining the junk bond phenomenon and greed.

Don't see it if You're looking for light song and dance or usual broadway fluff

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

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You have even the slightest interest in the stock market and love really great theater.

Don't see it if You think you will have trouble connecting the dots in a very intelligent play

Also The revelations come at you like cannon balls and have tremendous impa... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Fast paced, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in the financial world of the 1980's and its affect on today's economy The play is intelligent and sharp.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy a sharp, quick pace with scenes that change in minutes. Or if finance is not a topic you chose to learn more about.

Also It reveals how the end game is that money matters most with no rules b... Read more Read less

Great staging, Intelligent, Resonant, Great acting

See it if you are interested in the stock market scandals in the 80s. It’s a great production and beautifully acted, easy to follow.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the stock market.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if you enjoy a well acted drama -if you want to be in the know read up on Miliken and the junk bond market

Don't see it if if talky plays are not your thing

Ambitious, Edgy, Great writing

See it if You want to see something tinged with political depth but not quite taking on today's political climate.

Don't see it if You don't know much about money or how money exchanges hands.

Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You want to see great acting and staging. If you want to get more insight into the funk bond fiasco

Don't see it if You are expecting lush scenery. If you have no interest in real life drama

Cliched, Banal, Great staging, Great acting, Insipid

See it if Interested in a story about greed, opportunism, and finance run amok. Well staged and some great performances

Don't see it if You know this story already. It's been told many many times before, and it doesn't bring anything new to the table.

Great writing, Intelligent, Funny

See it if you like well-written shows that have something to say

Don't see it if you are looking for something that's going to make you emotional

Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if You want a smart, sophisticated, fast-paced surface-level drama

Don't see it if You want emotionally sophisticated drama

Also Very entertaining, but rather slick. Helps to have some basic knowledg... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You like contemporary drama, brilliantly staged about our recent history.

Don't see it if You don't want to listen carefully

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

See it if you want a history of junk bonds and want to see some great acting. Although the play is quite long, it is very entertaining.

Don't see it if you are not interested in finance or cannot maintain attention for long periods of time. You need to pay attention to the details.

So predictable without drama

See it if You want to see an abridged history lesson of Junk Bonds

Don't see it if You want to see a tight script. Even the few sympathetic characters do not garner much sympathy

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if You like really intelligent plays you have to focus on, and aren't bored by the financial sector.

Don't see it if You don't want to focus carefully on the action and are really bored by anything having to do with finance.

Also Reminded me of "The Big Short". A cautionary tale for our time about g... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you think you might like to revisit the spectacular fall from grace of trader Michael Milken, in a spirited and cogent theatrical format.

Don't see it if you struggle to care about the impact of financial transgressors, or if you have trouble following slightly disjointed storytelling.

Overrated, Indulgent, Great acting, Slow

See it if If you’re a fan of shows that deal with corporate greed.

Don't see it if Definitely not one for the family or people who don’t enjoy financial takedown stories.

Also While I generally like stories about the take down of Wall Street, the... Read more Read less


See it if You want to rehash the rising tide of greed in America with all its cliches

Don't see it if You are outraged by the present state of affairs in America. It will only add to your stomach acid.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You have an interest and some knowledge of Wall Street activities. You're attuned to fast paced, intelligent, dialogue and unique staging.

Don't see it if You are seeking a fun-holiday play for friends/family. This is play is best for an avid theater goer who likes more challenging material.

Also I thought lead Stephen Pasquale and all the cast superb!

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in theater that explores social challenges & dynamics & probes the motivations of people to ultimately self-destruct.

Don't see it if You want characters who are realistically portrayed (they were cardboard to me).

Also Junk tells an important story - one even more relevant because of the ... Read more Read less

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

See it if you enjoy fast-paced historically-based (1980s) dramas.

Don't see it if do not like watching stories where characters have compromised integrity and morality for money, power and greed.

Confusing, Great writing, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you understand and are interested in the US economy, stocks, etc. It's very similar to The Big Short...

Don't see it if you can't handle money talk and get bored by it easily

Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if you're interested in the pitfalls of a capitalist economy.

Don't see it if you're looking for something that doesn't require a significant amount of thought or focus and rather just be entertained.

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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more

Related content