Closed 2h 25m
Lobby Hero
Midtown W
82

Lobby Hero NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(411 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
7%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan's ('Manchester by the Sea') 2001 drama comes to Broadway in Second Stage's new production staring Michael Cera ('Juno'), Chris Evans ('Captain America'), and Brian Tyree Henry ('Atlanta').

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Member Reviews (411)

90
Engrossing, Intelligent, Funny, Strong acting, Insightful

See it if you are a Lonergan fan. Outstanding script, filled w great characters & plot twists. All 4 actors shine. Lots to think about afterwards.

Don't see it if you only want to laugh. You will laugh, but there are heavy underpinnings. Not a lavish production, but so what? Lovely re-opened Hayes Th.

91
Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a well written play with four outstanding performances.

Don't see it if You don’t like wordy dramas that ask you to look at our perceptions from different points of view.

Critic Reviews (51)

March 26th, 2018

"The combined wit and non-wisdom of these fallible (i.e. human) beings offers a fascinating reflection on those shaky internal compasses we call moral instincts. As to the ethical quandaries and quagmires in which these people are mired, they feel even more pointedly and sadly relevant than they did when 'Lobby Hero' was first performed...The performances here all so grounded that you never doubt their characters’ authenticity or sincerity."
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March 26th, 2018

"Uses Cera’s ineffectual persona to deft comic effect, even as it smartly explores weighty questions of spinelessness and courage...The social issues that 'Lobby Hero' touches on—sexual harrassment, racial bias in the justice system, the blue wall of silence—are as topical now as when it premiered, but the play's lens is rigorously trained on the personal."
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March 26th, 2018

"A substantial and mostly satisfying revival...The soul of this production belongs to Jeff’s self-help-peddling African-American 'captain' and would-be mentor, William, infused by Brian Tyree Henry with a rawness and flow that completely re-centers the morality play...The play seems to have spent the last seventeen years waiting for the right cast, and this time it gets halfway there...Lonergan writes with warmth, wit and spontaneity, but 'Lobby Hero' is one of his more schematic pieces."
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March 26th, 2018

"'Lobby Hero' is a textured consideration of more or less honest characters dealing with sticky moral questions, its dramatic pulse and its needling humor underscored by a rich vein of melancholy...A very fine production — with strong casting, sensitive direction from Trip Cullman and dynamic physical design by David Rockwell...What makes 'Lobby Hero' so engrossing is that nobody is entirely right or wrong and the moral questions at stake are never simply black or white."
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March 26th, 2018

"'Lobby‘s' talky quartet are knit together by several loose connective threads that draw tighter as the story unfolds...As thinly written as the role reads on the page, Evans makes him more than a swaggering caricature of white male privilege...The stress points of race and sex and power the script touches on are only glancingly resolved. but 'Lobby' is still a smart, thoughtful piece of work, fairy-dusted by the starry presence of its celebrated cast."
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March 26th, 2018

"The play looks both kindly and critically upon the kind of characters Lonergan loves to write: working-class stiffs, generally decent people who are unexpectedly challenged by issues of ethics...Helmer Trip Cullman does his best work with small, tight ensembles like this one, so there’s no slack in the emotional tension and no escape from the sticky web that even nice people get tangled up in when they tell lies – especially the lies they tell themselves."
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March 29th, 2018

"The true star of the show is Mr. Henry, who is calm, solid and touchingly troubled...Mr. Evans is almost as good as the crooked cop, but Mr. Cera is a bit too easily jokey, while Ms. Powley’s broad-brush performance steers near the shoals of caricature...Mr. Lonergan’s play is more than sufficiently well wrought to withstand a moderate amount of miscalculation, whether directorial or otherwise, and Messrs. Henry and Evans are so fine that the flaws hardly matter."
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March 29th, 2018

"No gimmick event, its no-weak-link casting anything but a stunt – strong enough, in fact, to merit serious Tony consideration. A fine and funny drama when it debuted Off Broadway in 2001, the play hasn’t so much aged as grown into itself and the world around it...'Lobby Hero' is mostly talk, and there are passages when plotting demands far too much from conversation, even conversation as clever as the stuff Lonergan concocts...Evans is the revelation here."
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March 26th, 2018

"Evans’s deft performance is one of the pluses of this fine-tuned show...Lonergan specializes in flawed sad sacks and self-sabotagers. He has an all-too-rare gift of perfect pitch when it comes to dialogue. The cast, guided by director Trip Cullman, make the most of the script and skillfully navigate the play’s plot and tonal twists...Cera never pushes for a laugh, they just roll out, like waves. His presence makes the play funnier, sadder and sweeter. He is the show’s MVP — if not its hero."
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March 26th, 2018

"Despite a slow start and an abrupt ending, the play takes on an absorbing quality with the news that William’s brother has been accused of participating in a brutal murder, which brings out the complexities in the four uniformed characters. It also contains many funny moments and themes (harassment, crisis management, social mobility) that are relevant to working professionals."
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March 26th, 2018

"Drama with pointed humor...Lonergan has given each of the characters a particular dilemma to work through...Under Cullman's expert direction, it's fascinating to watch this excellent company tie it all together...Cera is perfect...Evans is wonderful...Powley's spunky performance cuts to the heart of this fine play...'Lobby Hero' is packed with issues that resonate in very big ways today - gender, race, police abuse and the entire criminal justice system."
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March 26th, 2018

"Under the sturdy direction of Trip Cullman, this is a strong inaugural production for Second Stage Theater at its new Broadway home...Even the ethically ironclad will find their moral clarity muddied by Lonergan's thoughtful human drama. 'Lobby Hero' is an unlikely candidate for a Broadway run, but this excellent revival makes a strong argument for its presence."
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March 27th, 2018

"Director Tripp Cullman's terrific mounting of Kenneth Lonergan's touching, funny and streetwise character study from 2001, featuring an excellent ensemble of four...Lonergan's dialogue is sharp and realistically funny, and the question of moral ambiguity when working against structured corruption is intriguingly well-played. 'Lobby Hero' is a play that will inspire a lot of post-theatre debate, but there's no question that this one's a solid dose of good theatre."
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April 11th, 2018

"Part of the pleasure of this comedy is its characters' salty, funny, frequently insolent way with words...In Cullman's first-class revival, their entanglements become the stuff of acutely observed comedy and more than a little suspense...All four cast members are ideally suited to their roles...A much funnier play than it was in its original production...A play that, more and more, is looking like an American classic...The production is well worth a visit."
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March 26th, 2018

“A compelling revival…A play that borrows the trappings of romantic comedy to get at much deeper issues of ethics, morality, loyalty, and the abuse of power. Concerns about all of these suffuse our current social and political climate, which only serves to enhance our appreciation of the playwright's skill in creating credibly complicated situations and individuals…In Ms. Powley's hands, Dawn is a wondrous mix of fear, bravado, naiveté, and intelligence.”
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March 26th, 2018

"Smartly constructed by Lonergan with finely-detailed characters whose talk and conflicts provoke plenty of laughter and suspense...Lonergan develops this story thorough extremely natural-sounding, often humorous, conversations that reveal the characters and their desires...All of the actors invest their characters with gritty naturalness and authentic accents under Trip Cullman’s finely-tuned direction that presents the drama literally from every angle."
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March 26th, 2018

"A chatty, plot-light comedy...Doesn’t anyone actually live in this presumably insanely overpriced apartment building? But let’s not overanalyze this. The action—such as it is—in the 17-year-old 'Lobby Hero' is almost immaterial. For a few very brief moments, a bully gets his comeuppance; a 'f–kin’ bitch' doesn’t have to shut up and be 'very, very nice' to her older, more powerful partner; and a ne’er-do-well night guard grows a bit of a spine. In 2018, that’s a little bit heroic."
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March 31st, 2018

"Hilarious comedy-cum-morality-play...A scrupulously well-acted production...It's the bigger issues mixed throughout Lonergan's deft script that we're really meant to think about...Issues as racism, sexism and the flaws in our legal system...Never feels like Lonergan is hitting us on our heads with a metaphorical sledgehammer...A top-notch troupe of actors...A tad overstretched...It's worth the effort to stretch our attention for a play that both makes us think and guffaw."
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March 26th, 2018

"This taut, intense production, expertly directed by Cullman, is superbly cast...Henry creates an affecting portrayal of a black man struggling to remain true to himself in an impossible situation...Evans is a revelation as the corrupt cop...His concentrated, layered, physically expressive performance is full of surprising switches...As tightly wound as a thriller, it is also a funny play about very big ideas...Lonergan’s characters...offer a compelling road map to traversing the complexities of our times."
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April 28th, 2018

"Kenneth Lonergan's 'Lobby Hero' has stood the test of time, seeming more pertinent today that when it was first seen 17 years ago. Trip Cullman's top-notch cast dig deep into their juicy roles bringing insight and perception. While the early part of the play will seem languid and insubstantial, it is only building towards a plot that ultimately packs quite a punch. The play's moral compass leaves it up to each viewer to decide who the 'lobby hero' is."
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March 27th, 2018

"Cera makes an outstanding Jeff...What makes 'Lobby Hero' so intriguing are its shifting alliances and its subjective interpretations of what passes for truth. It's a tight, taught play that director Cullman keeps that way...This is 2nd Stage’s first presentation at its new Broadway home, and they’ve chosen a rock solid vehicle with which to make their debut. Let’s hope for equally high quality, and perhaps more challenging, productions as it settles in."
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March 29th, 2018

"Thanks to Cullman's firm direction of a top-to-bottom on the mark cast and the top-of-the-line production values, 'Lobby Hero' is an ever engaging and funny addition to the Broadway season...The plot points in this vis-a-vis sexual harassment, bullying, racism, and injustices in the system could have been written yesterday...The few somewhat too long and obviously geared to making a point scenes are hardly cause enough to keep you from seeing this enjoyable stylishly staged revival."
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March 30th, 2018

"Intriguing...Cera gives us the polished, subtle performance that has become his brand...It feels current, dealing as it does with issues of sexual harassment and the inequities of the criminal-justice system...Cullman's challenge is regularly picking fights among his four wildly disparate characters...Then plausibly restoring equilibrium...Four gifted actors well-directed, and a script to die for...I won’t tell you what happens, except to say it is, at best, subtle; at worst, a bit flat."
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April 8th, 2018

"Four intriguing characters make up the square edges in Lonergan's 'Lobby Hero'...Cullman keeps the action of these four pulsing forward...No moments of boredom or lethargy...Lust, power, and attraction are played out impulsively and organically by the brilliant dialogue...as all four bounce off each other in ways that is both surprising and thrilling...Strangely dynamic, hilarious, and crisply fascinating with a strong moral conflict at its center."
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March 27th, 2018

"When Lonergan's work moves to Broadway somehow the carefully balanced sad-funny tone he crafts gets ground down to a brash haha-funny. It denudes the work of its power and all the subtlety of its intentions...Cullman loses control of the production, allowing these performances to skate along on the surface. Lonergan's play is supported by humor but that cannot be the only thing you feel. The humor needs to live in harmony with the reality of the world that surround these characters."
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April 10th, 2018

"'Lobby Hero' raises rich and enduring questions...Under Cullman's discerning and originative direction, the action moves carefully from scene to scene with the tension created by the unfolding conflicts of the characters driving an engaging and carefully developed plot. Rockwell's slowly revolving set allows not only for the passing of time but also discloses the variety of points of view that make Lonergan's script so gripping and transparent. 'Lobby Hero' remains exceedingly relevant."
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March 30th, 2018

"More than just the modest comedy it initially seems to be...Director Trip Cullman delivers an effective production of a play that winds up offering some food for thought...What at first seems like a casual collection of character studies and smart, funny dialogue becomes more pointed...Cera’s man-child persona serves him well in a character trying to grow up, and Brian Tyree Henry makes William’s moral uprightness and his dilemma feel palpable."
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April 5th, 2018

"Lonergan's gift for honest character depiction, colorfully realistic dialogue, suspenseful situations, dramatic conflict, and carefully honed ethical dilemmas gives 'Lobby Hero' the feel of an old-fashioned, well-crafted drama, with few self-consciously artsy or intellectual devices. In no time at all, you find his expository talent tugging you deeply into his people and events…A first-rate ensemble brings each character to stageworthy life…Adds another bright light to the still glowing…season."
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March 26th, 2018

"Lonergan is the best writer of realistic speech working today and if his characters are not always articulate, he never condescends to them. He knows how we talk when we’re frazzled, nervous, outraged, and that’s the gift he gives his actors and his audience...Under Cullman’s direction the acting is mostly extraordinary...Because of the prominence of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, some of the plot points are less knotty and they’re received with less nuance...But mostly it’s aged too well."
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March 27th, 2018

"In this bright, snappy revival, the boundaries between savior and antagonist are ingeniously blurred...Cullman commands a starry ensemble, but the focus stays on Lonergan's sly, winding dialogue...A fine balance between moral debate and observational comedy...Skirts the edge of farce without tumbling in...Bitterly funny...Lonergan writes with such compassion, you never forget that these are real people with genuine flaws and ideals."
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March 26th, 2018

"Lonergan has a wonderful ear for dialogue and the fine cast serves him well. The first act provides a good introduction to the characters and their conflicting goals. The second act is a bit of a letdown as the actions become a bit formulaic. The three supporting actors are excellent...I wish that Cera brought more freshness to the role and that the second act were more satisfying. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy."
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March 26th, 2018

"The role of the insecure security guard Jeff fits Cera as tightly as the blue collar and black tie the character wears...He is very funny, at least, as played by Cera, and in true beta male fashion, he never cracks a joke or delivers a one-liner. His humor is more subliminal,...Trip Cullman’s direction induces the appropriate claustrophobia. What unfortunately lets some oxygen into that situation is Powley’s Dawn. Unlike her co-stars, she’s broadly comic with her saucer eyes and baby-doll delivery."
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April 7th, 2018

"'An important play for our time, and it is getting a superb production with the penetrating direction and the piercing acting by four splendid players. Each of the characters comes vividly alive and believable as they are brought together amid personal challenges...How each reacts and counter-reacts is at the core of the play...What makes the play so effective that the characters become so very life-like that by the end of the evening we feel we really know them."
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April 8th, 2018

"Lonergan skillfully balances humor and pathos, endowing each point of this rectangle with flaws and virtues...But the four players are not equally strong. Evans is appropriately and comically bellicose as the bullying cop, but Cera fails to shade Jeff...Jeff is the center of the play and Cera does not provide a reason for us to care about his actions...Powley...delivers broad caricature. Henry gives an in-depth portrayal of William and the most believable liming of a character's conflict."
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April 18th, 2018

"There are reasons to cheer on this comic tragedy's deep dive into the complexities of power, morality and loyalty...Lonergan has an ear for dialogue and a taste for the ribald...His characters are laugh-out-loud funny...I actually squirmed in my seat as the characters made their choices...Much of the credit for that must go to Cullman who remains surefooted as he walks the tricky path Lonergan has laid out. Cullman is aided by Rockwell's revolving set and by a crackerjack cast."
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March 26th, 2018

"A funny, simple, and engaging play that follows the morally fraught actions of a quartet of uniformed personalities...'Lobby Hero' is by no means Lonergan's finest effort, but there are enough successful moments to keep the play moving...Despite an anti-climactic ending, Michael Cera and Chris Evans give excellent performances and the play, touching on issues like workplace sexual harassment and racial bias in criminal justice, is eminently entertaining."
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March 26th, 2018

"A stilted and tonally bizarre adaptation of Kenneth Lonergan’s 2001 play...Henry’s performance is the most affecting and energetic...Jeff also wants Dawn, and creeps on her in such a way that we are supposed to find funny. It’s not, it’s skin-crawling— yet it’s written and played for laughs...This production feels lost between slacker farce and corruption drama. You’re not really sure how to feel about any of these four characters."
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March 27th, 2018

"High-voltage revival...Lurches up like a shockingly current morality tale - despite being set at the turn of the previous century...Presents a kind of microcosm of law, order, and personal responsibility - under the guise of what seems, on its face, like a workplace sex comedy...Cullman's production, compactly staged...leans into the play's near-sitcom setup, without sacrificing the complexity of its questions about human nature...Henry is a clear standout."
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March 29th, 2018

"Directed by Trip Cullman with a fine balance of humor and tension...Lonergan’s ear for the down-to-earth speech patterns and sarcastic wit of working-class New Yorkers, nimbly delivered by the cast, is both believable and empathetic, even as he examines their flaws and questions their judgments...'Lobby Hero' is a smart and funny examination of morality and motivation."
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April 12th, 2018

"Wrapped in hard-boiled dialogue and more laughs than you'd expect, Lonergan's exploration of sexual and racial discrimination, the legal system, and pondering ideals versus rules are as relevant today...Lonergan writes dialogue as realistic with stress and pitch as if it were overheard on the street. The cast is perfect with Lonergan-talk...There is humor and compassion in these intensely human dilemmas and Cullman directs the four characters like chess pieces."
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March 26th, 2018

"The play delves into issues — racial profiling, the injustices of the justice system, police brutality and the treatment of women in the workplace — that remain painfully unresolved all these years later...The play provides no answers, of course, but when this lobby heroine finally throws it back at her domineering partner with a bold, in-your-face tirade that emphatically puts him in his place, the audience all but stands and carries her out in triumph."
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April 7th, 2018

"The production uses what is basically a series of interlocking conversations to present an ultimately riveting tale...The play makes clear that being unhappy with the way things are is not an excuse to conceal the truth...The entire cast is excellent...Cullman's direction is pitch-perfect here...The true power of 'Lobby Hero' is the penetrating, yet deceptive simplicity of its text. It illustrates the importance of telling the truth, and the painful repercussions doing so may bring."
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March 30th, 2018

"Heady topics, but Lonergan's gift of injecting humor in almost every line makes this a thought-provoking as well as a delightful evening in the theater...As humorous as the lines are at any given moment, it underlines the shortcomings of each character...The show's trump card is the four brilliant performances...Cullman has staged the proceedings in a well-balanced manner, unobtrusively splitting the serious and the humor in equal doses and moves his players with effortless ease."
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March 26th, 2018

"It feels slightly under-nourished on a Broadway stage...The play takes the form of a smart, but only intermittently dramatic dance...Cera is appropriately awkward...Evans has the right sense of swagger as a cop of inflated self-importance, but the discomfort emanating from the character also feels like it is coming from the actor making his Broadway stage debut...More confident are Henry and Powley, who bring more complex, nuanced unease to their performances."
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March 29th, 2018

"Thanks to Lonergan’s marvelous writing and Trip Cullman’s spot-on direction, those four types are anything but. They are fully, painfully human...Near-perfect revival...Evans makes a terrific Broadway debut...And then there’s Michael Cera, who was born to speak Lonergan’s language...When characters are this well drawn, this intensely human, and the performances are this well crafted, it’s worth every minute you spend in the company of these wonderful less-than-heroes."
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April 15th, 2018

"Nothing about the piece feels dated. In fact, this revival proves how little has changed...The issues feel somehow more relevant now...Longeran merges serious issues and biting comedy; he crafts quirky characters that are somehow annoying and yet deeply human and relatable...The text of the play does most of the work in making this production a success...The blocking often felt very forced and stagey, with actors looking uncomfortable and unnatural...The cast was certainly endearing."
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March 26th, 2018

“Jeff (a miscast Michael Cera) is the omnipresent lackey "security guard." He's also the source of levity to this social drama/comedy. Jeff's hapless, pathetic life becomes paltry in comparison to the complications...that soon overpower the other three characters. The other 3 self-righteous characters' hypocritical hearsay says a lot about social injustice, harassment & abuse of authority. Basically this amusing play seems to say: lie and deny.”
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April 5th, 2018

"As humorous and unpretentious as 'Lobby Hero' is...it’s a delving piece of theater, about the stories we tell ourselves, and others...The complexities of urban life, issues of civic responsibility, the law, crime, romance, and morality ricochet throughout the play...Cullman deftly mines the humor and absurdity of these situations. Still, it’s the vulnerability of Lonergan’s characters that makes for a mesmerizing stage play...Especially thrilling, as it is such a simple and charming work."
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March 31st, 2018

"Though there is plenty of marquee value in Cera and Evans’s names, the most enjoyable performance of the night came from Brian Tyree Henry, who was superb...He captures the real world humor that Lonergan excels at writing — feeding sweet comedy to the audience with one hand, while dealing out bitter truth with the other...'Lobby Hero' is overall a delightful play and is mostly well performed...Be ready to be impressed with Henry. He’s the real hero of the show."
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April 7th, 2018

"Lonergan's dialogue is fast, funny, and makes you think...Cullman does a fantastic job of keeping the ensemble of actors tightly woven together while making the themes of the play come alive...Each of them found the balance between comedy and gravitas. It is a testament to their work that, as an audience, you both want them to keep their secrets for their own sakes and expose them for the greater good...A well-executed, well-acted, and well-written production that is not to be missed."
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April 2nd, 2018

"Lonergan does a fine job of drawing all four of the characters...The problem with this revival is that Cullman doesn't seem to know what the hell he's doing. He doesn't shape the scenes...doesn't bother staging the actors most of the time, so they're stuck hanging out, usually in the same positions...Henry and Evans, who has excellent stage instincts...both give splendid performances. Powley is delightful, but she and Cera both look awkward much of the time - especially Cera."
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