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Oslo

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant
85
Critics
83
74 reviews
Members
86
789 reviews
 

J.T. Rogers' drama chronicles the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that led to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Winner of two 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Play.

... Read more

It’s 1993 and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat are standing together in the White House Rose Garden, signing the first-ever peace agreement between Israel and the PLO. How were the negotiations kept secret? And who are these mysterious negotiators? Featuring dozens of characters and set in locations across the globe, 'Oslo' is both a political thriller and the personal story of a small band of women and men struggling together—and fighting each other—as they seek to change the world. Directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher, and starring Tony winners Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle.

 

Cast & Creatives (22)



Reviews (863)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
83
Avg Score

95
The New York Times

"This rich drama of quixotic politics fills to the bursting point its capacious new home...'Oslo' has now become the colossus it was always meant to be, while giving an even sharper focus to the urgent behind-the-scenes intimacy at its fast-beating heart...A marvel of both expository efficiency and exciting showmanship...'Oslo' features a vast cast of characters...Yet somehow, by the end, this production’s vital ensemble makes you feel you have come to know every single one of them." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"Gripping and insightful theater that is bound to make even the most die-hard partisans in the seemingly never-ending conflict between Israel and Palestine reevaluate everything they think they know...Director Bartlett Sher brings an austere touch to this production that keeps the show flying along at a cinematic clip...While the negotiation scenes are nail-biting, Rogers, Sher, and the cast create a genuine sense of camaraderie." Full Review

85
BroadwayWorld

"Extremely touching and realistically funny...Helping to make the play so entertaining and clever, without undercutting the seriousness of the subject, is that the premise of the fact-based piece begins as a somewhat naïve attempt at a social experiment...Despite numerous locales and characters, the three-hour-long, three-act play never sags. The play is abundantly talky, but it's the kind of crisp, clever talk that continually stimulates." Full Review

95
Variety

“Unequivocally fascinating...Rogers’clever dialogue really is that witty. You get the facts, but you get them delivered with intelligence and humor by this dream of a cast. It’s the petty stuff—the pseudonyms, the clandestine phone calls, the drinking competitions, and all the other trappings of macho bravado—that makes these intimidating characters so human. And so funny...This is what we call drama, and it’s what we live for.” Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"A testament to the potential value of diplomacy, cooperation, mutual recognition of opponents’ humanity and—contra the now-trending WikiLeaks ethos—backroom secrecy...Distinguished ensemble cast...Nearly three hours long, the play demands attentiveness and works hard to achieve it. In its bittersweet final swell of hopefulness and humanity, it rewards one of our most endangered virtues, in theater as well as in politics: patience." Full Review

95
The Huffington Post

"The most engrossing new drama on Broadway. Director Bartlett Sher and his excellent cast have ramped up the tension, resulting in an altogether riveting evening. Let us add, a riveting three-hour evening which breathlessly speeds by...It is near miraculous that playwright Rogers has turned what might have been dryly dusty history into spellbinding, edge-of-your-seat drama...'Oslo' is quite an achievement, and quite a play, and quite an evening of high-stakes theatricality." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"'Oslo' turns the negotiations that led to the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord of 1993 into gripping human drama. To the extent that it does so by making diplomacy not just interesting but moving, it’s a wonder of savvy stagecraft and wily performance. It’s also, quite possibly, a lie...A large cast in which nearly everyone is a knockout...The history books will have to decide whether 'Oslo' is great drama or just—just!—a great evening of theater." Full Review

85
New York Theater

"A fascinating if talky play…The three-hour running time went by relatively swiftly for me. The creative team invests the principal characters with personalities…It helps that the adversaries are played so credibly…'Oslo' gives us not only a lucid refresher course on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and provides us entertainment that is both surprisingly funny and suspenseful. It also leaves us with a sense that maybe even the world’s most unsettling situations can someday be settled." Full Review

80
Broadway Blog

“'Oslo,' J.T. Rogers' stimulating envisioning of the secret talks that led to the Oslo Peace Accords…A vigorous, if not particularly subtle, performance…Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle carry their roles with marvelous dignity and aplomb…We not only get some funny jokes that were probably never told but hear countless ‘F-word’ missiles being launched…Enough angry steam is blown off to crumble the walls of Jericho; there's so much SHOUTING it's a wonder anything gets done at all.” Full Review

80
AM New York

"The play is long and talky and jam-packed with names, dates and historical exposition, but also well-crafted and nuanced, with interesting characters and even humor every now and then. The subject matter is also increasingly vital at this time of heightened instability throughout the Middle East. Under the direction of Bartlett Sher, it is presented with as much clarity and personality as possible." Full Review

60
Talkin' Broadway

"If it's not easy to fall for 'Oslo' wholeheartedly, if it won't change your life or perspective on pretty much anything, Rogers is skillful enough to ensure that you have plenty to enjoy along the way...Mays and Ehle give bold, funny performances...Too bad Rogers hasn't solved the problem of, well, not solving the problem; a work that thinks as big as this one does and exhibits so much ambition needs to more emphatically own what it can do and what it can't." Full Review

85
Front Row Center

"Rogers gives us a frame for the play: Can gradualism succeed where traditional negotiations have demonstrably failed? As in Frayn’s 'Copenhagen,' the pursuit of the big idea, however worthy, can get tiresome, if not relieved by credible characters, witty exchanges, deft direction, and fine performances. 'Oslo' offers all of that...Mays manages to give Terje a credible enthusiasm for the task at hand as well as a humanizing vulnerability." Full Review

80
Times Square Chronicles

"For close to three hours, we watch as Israel and the PLO struggle to form some kind of truce that will lead to less bloodshed. In the end as the main character offers hope, the audience is left feeling that peace will come when pigs fly...'Oslo' is well directed by Bartlett Sher, who engages the space. 15 actors tell the story of the historic turning point in Arab-Israeli relations…Ehle gives a wonderfully underrated performance while Mays allows us to see the flaws in men’s characters." Full Review

90
New York Daily News

"Smart, touching and spiked with spy-novel tension and wry humor...Everything clicks in director Bartlett Sher’s elegant and evocative production...This show flows in near-cinematic fashion and pulls you in so tight that time recedes. That’s no small feat, since the play runs nearly three hours...It helps to have an impeccable cast...Peacemaking is complex. So is 'Oslo.' Broadway is all the richer for it." Full Review

90
Deadline

"The extraordinary 'Oslo,' Rogers’ riveting dramatization of a complex political tarantella...It’s even better the second time around...This all sounds talk-talky, and it is—which is what makes Sher’s accomplishment with the text so compelling...Rogers and Sher take the players in this comedy of terrors at face value, refusing to douse it in cynicism or the certainty of hindsight...For an all too brief moment, we can look back to that handshake and recall how thrilling hope can be." Full Review

100
CurtainUp

"A deserving and likely candidate for the Best Play Tony award...All the actors in the cast are once again in top form and the production is gripping as ever...A fact-based but highly original drama that's as entertaining and suspenseful as it is informative and thought-provoking. Sure it's talky and long, but as written by Mr. Rogers, staged with dynamic simplicity by Bartlett Sher and with 14 top-drawer actors to bring 21 historic characters to vivid life, the three hours simply fly by." Full Review

85
Front Mezz Junkies

"A magnificent new play...The information flies at us rapidly but, as written by the astonishing J. T. Rogers, we follow every detail and every introduction. Meticulously constructed...What an amazing act of tightrope walking we are witness to as directed with the utmost skill and intelligence by Bartlett Sher...I didn’t know peace accords could be so thrilling, so much so that I found myself tearing up at moments when the future of the accord looked dark and foreboding." Full Review

70
The Wrap

"Sound dry? Hardly. Rogers packs enough suspense, duplicity, and paranoia to recall the very best work of Alan J. Pakula...Rogers and director Bartlett Sher are good at telling a complicated story, creating suspense, and keeping over 20 characters from merging into one another. But to achieve these not inconsiderable ends, 'Oslo' sometimes stoops to the level of boulevard theater despite its mighty political themes. Too many of the characters are emerge only as broad types." Full Review

85
CitiTour

"Under the sterling direction of Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, this production sets the bar for 2017...Undeniably thrilling...As much as we know the outcome of these talks before the play begins, Rogers makes us feel like the game onstage could be over any second...The move to the larger Beaumont proves to be both a blessing and a curse...The set is given more room to breathe...However, some of the play’s intimacy disappears in its new home." Full Review

90
NY1

"Rogers's densely packed, fact-based drama gives us a fascinating fly-on-the-wall view of those painstakingly delicate talks...Under Bartlett Sher's taut direction, the wise and witty three-hour drama unfolds like a political thriller. Complex yes, but Sher's superlative production immerses us in the suspenseful twists and turns that yielded the unimaginable: mortal enemies becoming friends...Besides turning a historic event into high-brow entertainment, 'Oslo' is impressively even-handed." Full Review

75
The Wall Street Journal

"The play is generally so smartly written...and the direction of Sher so taut that you are drawn in...If 'Oslo' means for us to recognize how important negotiations and close human contact are, I found myself agreeing but noting that they can also seduce and distort and that the arrogance of believing that you can venture out on your own and gamble with the lives of others is something not particularly deserving of praise. Aside from that though, the play fascinates." Full Review

90
Act Three - The Reviews

"A bold, crackling, and humorous new play about the back-channel peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis in the early 1990's told with humor, charm, heart, and brutal honesty...At times tense, at others humorous, the play effortlessly glides between the two states often and sometimes unexpectedly...A hit that will inform, entertain, and remind us all just how far we've come and how much work is yet ahead." Full Review

35
DC Metro Theater Arts

"I learned a lot by seeing it, but as a theatre work I found it cumbersome and interesting only as a history lesson...Speeches that would effectively end with passionate outbursts, now begin with them and remain at fever pitch throughout often making them unintelligible...Mr. Mays and Ms. Ehle lead with authority and even charm. They bring to the Norwegian couple maturity and an attractive sense of balance which seems to be currently lacking in almost everyone else on stage." Full Review

95
The Washington Post

"Hands down the best new play of the season. Creating riveting drama out of the intransigence of implacable enemies is no modest trick, but darned if playwright J.T. Rogers doesn’t pull it off, and grandly. This story of a three-dimensional geopolitical chess match, told as if each player were a complete human being capable of passion, error, humor and honor, reveals the keen eye and ear of a writer working in veritable mind-melding harmony with a superb director, Bartlett Sher." Full Review

85
Entertainment Weekly

"Bracing and absorbing...The production seems in constant, almost frantic, motion...Bits of dialogue teeter into speechifying here and there, but you’ll barely notice; the balance of passion, discipline, and suspense is organically, thrillingly theatrical...High stakes and hard choices tend to produce uncomfortable moments, but as this muscular, moving production reminds us, progress isn’t easy—even when it’s incomplete." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
86
Avg Score

87
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Educational

See it if you are interested in learning more about the Israel/Middle East. The show is very accessible to people who do not already know about it.

Don't see it if you do not like long plays. It is 3 hours.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you want to peek behind the curtain of one of the longest running conflicts in the world

Don't see it if you can't sit for long shows

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Epic, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a political drama told in very human and emotional terms. What could have been boring is riveting, even suspenseful.

Don't see it if you don't want to use your intellect, don't like political theatre, don't like large casts and epic themes.

82
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Overlong

See it if you'd enjoy a political drama on the story behind the famous Rabin-Arafat handshake, w/a stellar cast (Azizi, Ehle, Mays, Schnetzer, etc.)

Don't see it if you can't abide slow-moving plays or will be salty this took the Tony over the superior A Doll's House, Part 2.

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to see an ambitious play about what led up to an important historical moment.

Don't see it if seeing a three-hour historical play doesn't interest you.

75
Absorbing, Intense, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You enjoyed The Audience or other fictionalized accounts of recent history.

Don't see it if You want something fast-paced, with energy. You struggle with dialects or keeping names straight.

75
Ambitious, Epic, Relevant

See it if You are a history buff

Don't see it if You want something light

79
Ambitious, Intelligent, Confusing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you're well versed in politics and you have a solid attention span.

Don't see it if your ideal night at the theater is 90 minutes and no intermission

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Masterful

See it if you are ready for a powerful , absorbing drama, based on history.

Don't see it if you are looking for light entertainment.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Great writing

See it if You like compelling, political stories that take you into the conflicting points of view in the world. Very timely.

Don't see it if This is a deep, multi layered play. if you don't have the patience for a 3 hour play...see something else.

78
Absorbing, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if Brilliant staging of very static material

Don't see it if You are aware that nothing has come of the OSLO accords

94
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Fascinating

See it if you want to see the perfect symmetry of a brilliant collaborative creative team portraying an historic collaborative effort to forge peace.

Don't see it if you have no interest whatsoever in international politics. [Tho even if you don't, you'll still be riveted by the well-written, taut drama.]

82
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see the play that beat the incredible Indecent, Sweat and A Doll's House, Part 2 for the Tony Award!

Don't see it if you are impatient and uninterested in modern history

Also I found it gripping, my friend couldn't get into it. Go figure! Not fo... Read more Read less

85
Exceptionally well done history

See it if you want to see a superbly done history which makes the time fly.

Don't see it if ...three hours of mid-east peace talks.

96
Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want theater that speaks to your heart and soul. A brilliant script paired with superb actors - every moment a masterstroke! A must see!

Don't see it if You're looking for frivolity and happy ever-afters.

75
Great acting, Banal, Confusing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you have a decent understanding of the Oslo Accord and patience to sit through a very long play.

Don't see it if you don't like long plays and don't follow historical event

87
Absorbing, Relevant, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you'd like a well written play. One of the best in recent years.

Don't see it if you dislike theatre.

90
Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you have any interest in the political process, history, negotiations, international relations, or a darn good story told superbly.

Don't see it if you can't sit through a three-hour play. It doesn't feel that long, but if it would be an endurance contest for you, better pass.

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if You want a stimulating, absorbing, evening at the theater. With ideas and issues that concern mankind. If the idea of peace interests you.

Don't see it if You're looking for an entertainment that requires minimal mental work on your part. Or you want a love story, or family drama.

93
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Resonant

See it if You like historical dramas. Excellent writing and acting. Was 100% engrossed the entire three hours! This is storytelling at its best

Don't see it if Don't like history, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or can't sit still for three hours.

Also Probably the best Play I've ever seen!! ... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you enjoy history, politics, and thought-provoking plays.

Don't see it if you're not the type to sit through an almost 3-hour play.

Also The performances in "Oslo" are incredible, and the piece moves quickly... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You like historical productions, political dramas, or want to experience amazing acting.

Don't see it if You prefer lighter plays or have trouble following complicated plots.

85
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Long, Fantastic acting

See it if you enjoy intense, well acted drama based on actual events in recent history - that I really was very ignorant about. Whole cast was amazing

Don't see it if you don't like shows where you cant enjoy the build up of tension cause you already know the ending. It is 3 hours with one intermission

74
Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you are interested in a well-acted modern historical drama/if you have interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Don't see it if you do not like very wordy pieces/modern history does not interest you

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Resonant

See it if you want a really smart play with stellar actors that will hold your attention (yes, it's 3 hours but goes SO quickly) and make you think.

Don't see it if you don't care for political plays (though no prior knowledge of the Oslo Accords is even needed).