Marvin's Room
Closed 2h 15m
Marvin's Room
73

Marvin's Room NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(444 Reviews)
Positive
72%
Mixed
22%
Negative
6%
Members say
Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Funny

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the Broadway premiere of Scott McPherson’s award-winning play about the laughter that can shine through life’s darkest moments. Starring Janeane Garofalo and Lili Taylor.

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Member Reviews (444)

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876 Reviews | 906 Followers
83
Great writing, Great acting, Bad staging, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if Great writing. Well paced. Great performances. Absorbing with believable characters. Moving.

Don't see it if Issues of illness and family resentments are not for you. The sets are really subpar to the point of distracting from the story. Read more

983 Reviews | 229 Followers
84
Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great writing

See it if you like a good story that is funny and poignant.

Don't see it if you don't like a story that turns from humor to very serious at the end.

811 Reviews | 221 Followers
85
Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a first-rate cast bringing the pain and joy of family relationships to light with multiple messages.

Don't see it if you cannot enjoy a lot of back and forth between estranged siblings and among other family members.

539 Reviews | 1877 Followers
85
Absorbing, Relevant, Well-acted

See it if Quality production of a resonant work about illnes and aging. Funny moments and solid acting especially from Lili Taylor.

Don't see it if A story about illness and aging doesn't appeal to you. Or if you don't like Janeane Garofalo or Lili Taylor.

692 Reviews | 152 Followers
76
Absorbing, Ambitious, Cliched, Slow, Fluffy

See it if you're a fan of the leads, enjoy comedies tinged with seriousness, like family dramas, coming of age stories, & family reconcilitions

Don't see it if you don't like comedy along with your drama, another play in a Florida retirement home, plays with fatal illnesses or teenagers acting out Read more

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
60
Meh

See it if you have a particular interest in the actors (all of whom are fine) or the play itself (also fine, but better suited for regional theatre).

Don't see it if you're expecting explosive theatre, mind-blowing acting or thought-provoking drama. There's nothing to hate here, but really nothing to like

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
70
Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Quirky, Well acted

See it if Clunky revival of McPherson's drama about caregiving & receiving Good ensemble (esp Taylor & DiFalco) can't get play on track to inspirit us

Don't see it if Huge, ill conceived set dwarfs any emotional connection to drama with little help from Kauffman's tepid direction Humor veers into sit-com

618 Reviews | 274 Followers
77
Unfocused story of family beset by devastating physical/mental problems brought to life by transcendent performance by lilli taylor

See it if awful problems leavened by cathartic humor, fine acting ensemble, Taylor's memorable beatific but gritty performance

Don't see it if play meanders with many unfocused scenes, large antiseptic set not help, this revival does not pack same punch as original

Critic Reviews (49)

The New York Times
June 29th, 2017

"Thoughtfully directed by Kauffman; keenly performed by Taylor, Garofalo and especially Weston; a pleasure to watch throughout...But it is somehow, also, fatally mild. How can this be when nothing has been altered?...Without that heightened and emotional context some of the play’s flaws are more evident now...This production of 'Marvin’s Room' languishes in the gap between the powerful, absurdist comedy Mr. Rich saw and the histrionic excess of the three-hanky film."
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Time Out New York
June 29th, 2017

"Anne Kauffman’s luminous revival for the Roundabout tends to McPherson’s legacy with grace. She plays down the wildness of the humor, and the first act leans toward placidity. This strategy pays off later, however, as Taylor’s performance—gently weird, shadowed with defeat—takes bloom. Without pushing its virtue too hard, the play movingly depicts a world in which loving others is, as it often has to be, its own reward."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 29th, 2017

"The actual interplay between the siblings should be, and is, timeless. But something a little hard to quantify has, in the intervening 25 years, flattened and attenuated this play’s power...Especially in the first act, the play’s emotional grip repeatedly slips away while the banter plays out. The actors are doing a hell of a job trying to hang onto it, though...Even when the jokes go on too long, Taylor, Garofalo, and Celia Weston, as their goofy aunt, absolutely know how to deliver them."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 29th, 2017

"Yesterday's clear-eyed reflection on life's blessings and blights can be today's sentimental Lifetime movie manqué in the wrong hands. And director Kauffman's are definitely the wrong hands...'Marvin's Room,' for all its warmly humanistic strengths, is very much a work of its time, and the director seems unable to connect with its particular wavelength, or to navigate its relatively straightforward blueprint...The revival does eventually muster some poignancy...The cast is generally solid."
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Entertainment Weekly
June 29th, 2017

"Unfortunately, this first Broadway production of 'Marvin’s Room' never quite justifies its trip back to the early ’90s. While not a conspicuous period piece, it resists updating, and yet lacks the emotional power and resonance to move us from its long-ago vantage...While director Anne Kauffman’s take on 'Marvin’s Room' is frequently funny, it is merely serious when you wish it would be moving."
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Variety
June 29th, 2017

"It’s a good play. Honestly, it’s a good play. This mantra is necessary to keep your faith in 'Marvin’s Room'...Despite decent performances, this lugubrious Broadway revival does his dark comedy no favors...This is an intimate play full of quiet moments that cry out for privacy — or at least a little directorial sensitivity. Exposing its modest scenes on the massive stage of the American Airlines Theater is like tossing a puppy into the ocean and expecting it to swim for its life."
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The Wall Street Journal
June 29th, 2017

"Lots of laughs, lots of jerked tears, very little reality. Anne Kauffman, the director, stages the handful of serious scenes in 'Marvin’s Room' with sensitive simplicity and makes the others seem at least possible, if not truly believable...'Marvin’s Room' is a thickly sugared pill, glib and sentimental to a fault...Ms. Garofalo, who is new to the stage, proves to be fully at ease there, enough so that I hope to see her try her hand at a more challenging role."
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Deadline
June 29th, 2017

"It’s a comedy, of course, and a very funny one...'Marvin’s Room,' exquisitely human and tenderly compassionate, doused with anarchic humor, lives, vibrant as ever, in Anne Kauffman’s wonderful revival...It’s to the credit of everyone involved–these committed actors, the sensitive director and most of all McPherson–that the connections slow to take hold are soldered like emotional strands that throw off sparks as they finally fuse."
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