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

Cliched, Great acting

See it if you would like to see a theatre version of Wall Street (the movie) on stage. The actors are great, though.

Don't see it if you dislike verbose plays with little theatrical value

Ambitious, Long, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if A smart show about the 80's financial world. Talented cast but interesting perspective on a complicated topic. Still relevant today.

Don't see it if Speeches were preachy, the language didn't sound like real people. Could have been trimmed by a half hour.

Overrated, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you like to see the plays that get a lot of buzz.

Don't see it if you care about great dialogue and great acting.

Also There is very little emphasis on characterization in this show. The ac... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great staging, Overrated

See it if You get a discounted seat and want some decent but not great, entertainment.

Don't see it if If you happen to like big, flashy shows with no real substance...

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if a thought provoking exploration of the origins of the junk bond era of finance and its real life effects on people, industry & the economy.

Don't see it if this is not light entertainment. The play is at times a bit dense with talk of finance & business practice.

Interesting, overlong, diffuse

See it if you like ambitious plays, and are forgiving if they fall far short of their goals.

Don't see it if you bore easily.

Also A very long play, with too many characters, JUNK ends with no clear po... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great acting, Confusing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you're fascinated by finance, Wall Street, economics, corporate intrigue, hostile takeovers, money, greed, prejudice, or business.

Don't see it if you want to see something happy and uplifting. This play will be incomprehensible if you don't understand finance or Wall Street.

Confusing, Edgy, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You like topical theatre with a political edge.

Don't see it if You're idea of a great night at the theatre is something that makes you forget the woes of the world.

Also I find the world of high finance confusing and admit to being confused... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if Your interested in the stock market, like great acting and great staging, like relevant theater.

Don't see it if you're not at all interested in business or the stock market.

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

See it if Wall Street, money, business dealing, and shady deals are your thing. Set in 1985, JUNK gives a bird's eye view of a deal as it unravels.

Don't see it if You are looking for light entertainment, don't like talking plays, and find the entire business world to be a bore.

Surprisingly entertaining with great production values

See it if you love the excitement (as I do!) of a large ensemble cast in a slick, entertaining production

Don't see it if you're looking for a new or particularly deep take on our financial system

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you have an interest in the Michael Milliken/Drexal Burnham junk bond fiasco. Well done theater with entertaining staging and performances.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the historical aspects of financial malfeasance.

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

See it if You appreciate excellent acting , writing, and directing. A serious play with a few ironies

Don't see it if You prefer musicals and lighthearted comedies

Ambitious, Informative, Clinical

See it if You are interested in being schooled on insider trading.

Don't see it if You are looking for an emotionally rich play with sympathetic characters.

Also Visually appealing, fast paced and generally well-acted, this play fee... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Clever

See it if You want a quick, yet thorough lesson about the junk bond crisis of the 1980's. You want to see a well-acted, fast-paced drama.

Don't see it if You have no interest in past or current financial crises or in recent history.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you understand the financial world. Like to see evil and greed keep their ethical outlook.

Don't see it if you can't pay attention and follow a complex story. Or you are unable to laugh at horrible people doing horrible things.

Also Steven Pasquale was miscast and couldn't really hold down the lead of ... Read more Read less

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

See it if You enjoy fast-moving, intelligent plays that are well-produced.

Don't see it if Wall Street history bores you.

Confusing, Dizzying, Interesting

See it if you know about finance. has good acting though

Don't see it if you want a great play. staging was kind of boring as well.

Ambitious, Delightful, Profound

See it if you hate wallstreet

Don't see it if you think finance people are genius

Great staging, Disappointing, Slow

See it if This is a very skillfully written and performed history of the Michael Milken junk bond era, with very slick staging.

Don't see it if It's entirely superficial -- there's no attempt to understand the decisions made by the key players, so it's fine exposition but no analysis

Entertaining, Cliched, Well written

See it if the subject is of interest

Don't see it if uneven acting bothers you

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like fast paced, thought-provoking cerebral dramas based on real life events and people.

Don't see it if you don't care about the financial crisis and what caused it and don't like wordy dramas.

Great acting, Slightly esoteric, Ambitious, Specific

See it if you have an interest in financial matters/inside trading, or stories about double-crossing investigations.

Don't see it if you don't want a couple of intense hours with a lot of power plays.

Also The acting was great! Personally, I love that this was a show that cou... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you enjoy anything about wall street in the 80'sthat's relevant, well written and acted.

Don't see it if you're looking for the excitement of The Big Short.

Absorbing, Great staging, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you like a cleverly staged show on how easy it is to be ambitious, greedy and prejudice and, thereby, corrupted and exploited.

Don't see it if you do not like seeing how corrupt, greedy, prejudiced and self-indulgent people can be - especially - by money. ambition and power.

Also The show is screaming out to become a musical. I hope they do so.

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