Members say: Great acting, Funny, Great writing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

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').

... Read more

What happens when emotions come in conflict with principles, and how do choices under pressure define who we really are? The lobby of a Manhattan apartment building is much more than a waiting area for four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation. It’s a testing ground for what happens when personal and professional personas find themselves at odds. In 'Lobby Hero' a young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop, and her unpredictable partner.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

90
Lighting & Sound America

"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." Full Review

90
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"'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." Full Review

90
Theater Life

"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." Full Review

90
ZEALnyc

"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." Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

"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." Full Review

90
Broadway News

"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... Full Review

90
NY1

"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." Full Review

90
Epoch Times

"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." Full Review

90
Pop Culturalist

"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." Full Review

85
The New York Times

"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." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

85
Towleroad

"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." Full Review

85
Village Voice

"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." Full Review

85
Broadway Blog

"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…seas... Full Review

85
Theater News Online

"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." Full Review

85
StageZine

"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." Full Review

85
Deadline

"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." Full Review

85
DC Metro Theater Arts

"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." Full Review

85
The Hollywood Reporter

"'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." Full Review

85
New York Daily News

"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." Full Review

85
New York Stage Review

"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." Full Review

85
Gotham Playgoer

"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." Full Review

82
City Cabaret

"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." Full Review

81
Front Mezz Junkies

"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." Full Review

80
Theatre Reviews Limited

"'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." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

85
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to see a character driven play

Don't see it if You have long legs (The mezzanine seats are exceptionally tight.)

56
Funny, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to see Michael Cera and/or Chris Evans.

Don't see it if You are interested in a plot driven show that will leave you wanting more - i was ready to bolt.

81
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a thoughtful, well-acted production about personal responsibility and the choices that we make.

Don't see it if you want a show that's more action-packed; this is four characters and one set and driven by dialogue rather than action.

68
Cliched, Ambitious, Overrated, Funny, Disappointing

See it if You like dramatic comedies

Don't see it if You are tired of seeing shows about sexual harassment, racial prejudice and bad cops. This is what we see everyday on the news.

Also I want to be entertained and left feeling uplifted when I leave the th... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Smart

See it if you want a well-paced, humor-filled play with great acting and writing. The points it hits on are interesting & weave together seamlessly.

Don't see it if you don't like open-ended conclusions. It touches on interesting topics without making significant conclusions. The ending falls a bit short

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you are interested in our important playwrights, you love great acting or you're just a huge Lonergan fan like me

Don't see it if you don't want to be engrossed in a fascinating character examination

Also All four actors were absolutely brilliant. This play was an absolute p... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Relevant, Disappointing, Cliched, Slow

See it if You want to see some good acting that addresses current issues, albeit in a 'cliched' manner

Don't see it if You don't like straight plays with a social message. Unfortunately, there are better plays with more impact.

80
Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you haven't been inside Second Stage's new Broadway home! This play is so promising for what they plan to deliver with future shows.

Don't see it if The performances are solid and the play is really enjoyable, but I didn't feel blown away by what I saw.

89
Funny, Absorbing, Perfect role for cera, Evans surprisingly good, Lonergan explores ethical dilemmas

See it if You enjoy Lonergan's writing and good ensemble acting. If you know Tyree Henry only from Atlanta this will be revelatory. Evans is very good

Don't see it if You don't like Michael Cera or plays by Kenneth Lonergan or watching characters struggle with ethical dilemmas. You have virgin ears.

87
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great writing

See it if You want a solid slab of funny, touching entertainment, with a STANDOUT performance from Brian Tyree Henry.

Don't see it if you hate black people or cops, I guess?

75
Great acting, Dated, Entertaining

See it if you want to see actors taking chance at theater, this is a great casting.

Don't see it if their dated narrative can be quite tiresome along the ride

80
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Relevant

See it if Want to discuss how people can quickly change their moral compass when it comes to making decisions that will affect them.

Don't see it if You need a lot of action.

90
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy the exploration of complex, moral quandaries within our criminal justice system

Don't see it if You are looking for spectacle or for something light

84
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you are interested in seeing everyday people deal with moral dilemmas.

Don't see it if you want a more action packed or flashy show. Also the sound projection wasn't great.

85
Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you enjoy a well written play that takes on contemporary themes successfully

Don't see it if you don't enjoy lengthy exposition

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like straight plays with fully developed characters, interesting plots, terrific acting, good directing.Holds your interest.

Don't see it if you want something light and fluffy.While it has movie stars, they are there to act, not to have you swoon.Terrific story. Worth seeing.

72
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Excruciating, Dated, Hilarious

See it if you want to see Chris Evans pull off a thunderously good portrayal of a sleazy cop. You enjoy considering moral quandaries like 'good' lies.

Don't see it if You're expecting a Michael Cera comedy, or a cinematic script. The language is plain, the setup is obvious; the interest is in the fallout.

Also I wanted to like this more than I did, at pretty much every turn, but ... Read more Read less

90
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you love kenneth lonnergan

Don't see it if you don't like one set plays or something or if you don't like theatre

88
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if 4 great actors including Michael Cera and Chris Evans. Simple effective staging. Welcome H. Hayes Theater.

Don't see it if Looking for slapstick, ineffective comedy

79
Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Adequate

See it if You enjoy adequate stories and decent acting. You are a fan of any of the four actors in the piece, or like shows that make you think

Don't see it if You prefer plays that wow you and make you feel something on a deeper level. You don’t when enjoy shows only make you think on surface level

Also Bottom line: overall enjoyable play, with solid, but not excellent per... Read more Read less

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if A play that examines issues regarding morality, entitlement and integrity is always worth seeing.

Don't see it if If you are going to see the Captain America guy. A very good actor took his place😉

75
Funny, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you want to laugh. Michael Cera is quite funny in his usual quirkiness. Chris Evans is also surprisingly funny.

Don't see it if you don't like foul language or if you can't sit in tight places. The new remodel at the Hayes appears to have shrunk the seats.

90
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if you want to see a well written play with Pop Culture stars, Chris Evans and Michael Cera. Does not fail to impress as good entertainment.

Don't see it if you dislike "star casting" on Broadway or have a thin skin for jokes about fairly serious topics

Also A brilliant four hander in a nice, intimate theatre. Kenneth Lonergan'... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if It is as good as the original. The use of the rotating set works. 2nd Stage joins the big time.The smallest Broadway house works.

Don't see it if Not sure if the female cop is too young for the role?? Think that the sound overall can be improved.

81
Funny, Relevant, Entertaining, So-so, Ok acting

See it if You want to see some Movie stars try to stage act or a fan of playwright Kenneth Lonergan

Don't see it if You are looking for a strong fully realized script or strong Broadway actors

Also This play was better than I expected! Funny, poignant and certainly to... Read more Read less



Cast & Creatives (11)