Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W

Marvin's Room

From 445 member  reviews
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. More…

Lee (Garofalo) is a single mother who's been busy raising her troubled teenage son, Hank. Her estranged sister Bessie (Taylor) has her hands full with their elderly father, his soap opera-obsessed sister, and a brand-new life-or-death diagnosis. Now the siblings are about to reunite for the first time in 18 years. Are Lee’s good intentions and makeover skills enough to make up for her long absence? Can Bessie help Hank finally feel at home somewhere… or at least keep him from burning her house down? Can these almost-strangers become a family in time to make plans, make amends, and maybe make a trip to Disney World?

2h 15m | Already closed | American Airlines Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (445)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Funny
73
Avg Score

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.

Also Garofalo's character is really not well explored. Many missed opportun... Read more Read less

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.

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.

70
Clever, Disappointing, Intelligent, Slow

See it if Acting by L Taylor and Garofalo superb. Also the young actor who plays the teenager.

Don't see it if First 2 rows in Orch. below the stage. Beyond Row G, Roundabout needs a better sound system. Set too spread out.

75
Intimate, Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in a slow-paced drama that you can sit in and that asks a lot of questions but maybe doesn't answer any of them.

Don't see it if you're looking for lighter fare or a more plot-driven play.

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

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

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

Also This was the late Scott McPherson's second and last play. As he was st... Read more Read less

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

84
Funny, Great acting, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you like family dramas or a moving and funny character study with depth. All the performers elevate each other. Terrific acting.

Don't see it if you're turned off by themes of sickness and dying.

67
Cliched, Slow, Thought-provoking, Good acting but play somewhat boring

See it if You are want to see these actors, That was fun. But play was long and depressing. But certainly all the actors gave good performanceS.

Don't see it if You want to see something cheerful. Although there are some good laughs I'll admit. But overall it is depressing. And long and slow.

Also The incredibly large stage was distracting. Too big for the play. Acto... Read more Read less

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.

78
Great acting, Funny, Sad, Enjoy life

See it if Parts were funny and some were very moving. Its a very touching play about relationship

Don't see it if If you want want to cry. No sing or dancing.

20
Slow, Boring, Excruciating, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a very good performance from Jack DiFalco.

Don't see it if you saw the original or if you can see the film version, which is not good, but so much better than this production.

Also Putting a play like "Marvin's Room" in a large theatre with a large st... Read more Read less

82
Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like plays about the difficulties of caregiving of elderly parents, while dealing with your own everyday challenges and needs.

Don't see it if You are unable to understand caregiving as a sometimes humorous situation. Dislike plays about mental illness and family detachment.

Also Marvin's Room is a timeless play that has been revived in a time when ... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Quirky

See it if you want to see fine acting in a revival of an acclaimed 1990 play that is both very funny and very sad.

Don't see it if you don't like absurdist comedy mixed with tragic circumstances.

Also Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofolo are excellent. Jack DiFalco needs to ... Read more Read less

73
Great acting, Slow, Funny, Dark, Sad

See it if you're interested in an exploration of death, illness, and dysfunctional family dynamics—a dark comedy with a good cast and direction.

Don't see it if you're not in the mood to be confronted by themes of death and sickness or don't like a play that shifts between funny and sad throughout

Also This is a good production, but some flaws with the script.

49
Dated, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you have always wanted to see this play but I wouldn't pay the money to see this one on Broadway

Don't see it if If you are looking for the sad and emotional play I was hoping for

Also Nothing about this was great. I have been wanted to see this for a lon... Read more Read less

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see terrific acting in a play that is honest and real.Characters are mildly exaggerated but still believable.Very interesting

Don't see it if you want froth.This is a story about strong women doing what they have to in order to be true to themselves.

72
Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent, Intrusive staging and sets, Disappointing

See it if I never wanted to leave despite its excruciatingly slow pace. Well acted. Martyr vs Clueless but growth happens and change is possible.

Don't see it if You are not interested in intimate family conflict vis a vis responsibility and death and dying. If you want laughter or fluff. It's work

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a play that centers around three great actors and a supporting cast, well written, timely and well staged

Don't see it if seeing a show about serious illness punches too many unhappy buttons for you

73
Disappointing, Great acting, Bad staging, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you would want a play about serious illnesses, & dysfunctional family issues & having these presented on a large non-intimate stage

Don't see it if empathy would be affected by annoying staging-many decorative cinder blocks; many stage hands visibly moving props around; weird Disneyworld

Also 1. I don't think these staging issues would be a problem in a smaller ... Read more Read less

82
Resonant, Relevant, Slow, Great staging, Affecting

See it if you relate to the challenges of caring for a declining parent, forgetting to care for yourself in the process. Jack DiFalco shines as Hank.

Don't see it if you need a clear, conclusive end in a play. This is like walking into someone's living room to watch their lives for awhile, then leaving.

80
Great acting, Resonant, Poignant, Humor, Pathos

See it if Well acted, poignant story of family illness & caregiving. That caregiving can be a chance for love & connection. Elements of dark humor.

Don't see it if If stories about illness & dysfunctional families is not your cup of tea. The humor helps alleviate the dark subject matter.

76
Great acting, Resonant, Uneven

See it if Want a touching story about the challenges of aging parents, and the heartbreak of a troubled teen.

Don't see it if The first scene seems to be from a different show. It goes from farce to a slower, drama. Excellent acting makes it worthwhile.


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 ...
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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 p...
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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. T...
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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 direc...
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Cast & Creatives (15)