Ends Jun 18

Oslo

Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant
85
Critics
84
66 reviews
Members
85
385 reviews
 

After a hit run last summer at Lincoln Center Theater's Off-Broadway house, J.T. Rogers' world premiere drama about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that led to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords transfers to Broadway.

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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.

 
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Reviews (451)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

85
Out Magazine

“A sprawling 3 hours, the play is talky but full of history, observation, and entertainment…Tony winners Ehle and Mays are terrific as the Norwegian couple, and in the showiest role—Israeli diplomat Uri Savir—Michael Aronov is sexy, angry and full of sass. Bartlett Sher’s direction is lively…An imposing door looms symbolically, and projections and films are flashed onto the wall, but for once, this sort of thing seems inventive and apt, not purposely scaled down.” Full Review

70
Reviewing The Drama

"The reviews regarding the efficacy of the Oslo Accords are mixed; the play's coda, though hopeful, admits as much. There is still work to be done. Which is what makes this both so intriguing and cringe-inducing...As far as the production is concerned, I appreciated that Rogers took care to let us get to know these characters, and he's aided by Bartlett Sher's direction...Sher incorporates a lot of movement, serving as momentum to keep the talks (and the play) going." Full Review

85
StageZine

"J. T. Rogers has masterminded an epic journey of the events that took place and keeps us riveted throughout. Director Bartlett Sher and projectionists 59 Productions take us through this fraught journey of foreign lands and intrigue as if it were an espionage movie. The story line unfolds both mysteriously and vividly...The cast works magnificently as an ensemble...'Oslo' valiantly shows the lengths people are willing to go through for Middle East peace." Full Review

90
ZEALnyc

"Who would ever have thought that history presented on stage could be so compelling?...Brilliant...A taut three hours that hold us breathless and leave us both thinking and weeping...The entire cast is uniformly captivating, particularly Aronov as a rock-star flashy Israeli diplomat, and Oreskes and Jenkins as a duo of can’t-believe-we’re-here academics from Haifa...'Oslo' is not educational, it’s enlightening. And it’s crackling damn good theater too. Full Review

80
Village Voice

"Powerful and haunting...At its most fraught moments, 'Oslo' can seem like a shouting quartet...But under the vociferation, something meaningful is being built...Rogers has tidily stitched the history that preceded the negotiations into the text; the Middle East tensions that surround them come to life in vivid projections on the back wall of Michael Yeargan's largely bare setting. Sher achieves a gallery of first-rate performances." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

90
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Profound, Great writing

See it if you like true stories, world politics, or heavy dramas.

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something light or are turned off by political themes.

80
Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a serious topic get played out with humor without losing the importance of the subject.

Don't see it if you dislike historical dramas or middle eastern politics.

Also I was pleasantly surprised by the dry humor in this play, and how a po... Read more Read less

81
Funny, Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense

See it if Like Intelligent historical dramas. Surprised at the humor.

Don't see it if Do not like Very long, talky plays wilh lots of shouting. Sure lot of yelling/shouting at talks but here realism should have been tempered

95
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you love a well-crafted play with excellent dialogue and outstanding acting.

Don't see it if politics isn't your thing

78
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You are a history buff. If you enjoy learning about some of what went on behind the scenes.

Don't see it if You don't like long plays.

81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Loooooong but fascinating, Vivid characters

See it if you're interested in the Oslo peace accord and like straight plays with lots of exposition and a historical bent.

Don't see it if you have a problem with a three hour show, or with the sad reality that most of the Oslo gains have now gone by the wayside.

89
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Moving, Great staging

See it if you love Bartlett Sher's direction and the type of play that makes history that may seem boring human and facinating

Don't see it if you hate straight plays

95
Great acting, Loved it!, Amazing production, Bartlett scher's direction is brilliant.

See it if you enjoy watching a brilliant cast bring the events of the '90s to vivid life. Great production!

Don't see it if it's flu season. Woman next to me sneezed most of the show. Had to give her some tissues. Also, it's a long show, almost 3 hours, but it'

Also brilliant and I truly enjoyed it.

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing, Smart

See it if You enjoy learning whilst watching theatre, or want to know more about the US's contribution to the Israeli/Palestinian peace accords.

Don't see it if You prefer fictional story lines. Highly recommend seeing this show as it's resonant with current Middle Eastern relations. Fantastic acting

79
Ambitious, Intense

See it if you like great performances and Middle East history. Long, detailed play gives historical perspective to the Oslo accords.

Don't see it if you don't like historical dramas. The meat of the play is in the character interactions. Best like this type of play.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if f you want to see a thought-provoking play dealing with the complex issues that divide the Israelis and Palestinians.

Don't see it if if you have no interest in middle-east politics or have a point of view that you don’t want challenged

Also This play embraced humanity as it defined the process for those who pa... Read more Read less

70
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Too long

See it if If you like political drama. There are some light moments. The show moved fast.

Don't see it if You don't like political dramas. Yoou are not interested in the PLO-Israeli issue.

Also I found the show interesting. It moved fast, but was way too long. Tha... Read more Read less

76
Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if Your interested in international political history and realize that this three hour play is very wordy which you may like hearing.

Don't see it if Your attention span is unable to listen to the endless conflict between Palestinian and Israeli politicians. Not into talkie plays 3 hrs.

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you're looking for a smart play dealing with political conflict resolution. Outstanding acting. Even some great humor added to serious topic

Don't see it if you had a long day and are not prepared for a mentally challenging 3 hour play, you have no interest in politics or diplomacy

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Provides a rare glimpse into the intricacies of diplomatic relations and sadly the vagaries of achieving piece in the Middle East

Don't see it if If you are fanatically against the two independent state solution, among Israeli and Palestinians

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Confusing

See it if You enjoy historical dramas; you like plays involving middle east tensions

Don't see it if You can't sit through a 3 hour production with 1 intermission; you only like fun plays

87
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you've wondered why it is so difficult for the Israelis and Palestinians to make peace with each other. You like thought provoking drama.

Don't see it if you have no interest in great theater or middle east politics. You've made your mind up about the situation in the middle east.

Also It is infinitely more difficult to spend 3 hours watching Middle East ... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to see the other side to the history you may think you know. It raises many questions & issues we should all discuss w/ each other

Don't see it if If you don't like long three hour plays with a lot of information you may not know a lot about

86
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy well written, well acted historical pieces.

Don't see it if If you can not sit for 3 hours.

82
Intelligent, Relevant, Historical, Long, Educational

See it if You have a strong interest in Middle Eastern polical affairs and peace prospects.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy a three hour dialog between factions that are beginning to hear and understand the position of each other.

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you like plays about political intrigue, are interested in Middle East politics, don't mind sitting through a 3-hour dramedy.

Don't see it if you cannot sit through a 3-hour play, dislike politics, are offended by a presumptuous theme of moral equivalency no matter how well acted,

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

See it if You enjoy politically-based dramas centering on the Middle East conflicts, manipulations, and negotiations. Superbly acted and executed.

Don't see it if Politics or polical plays bore you, or if you have no interest in the Middle East peace talks of the early 1990s. I truly enjoyed this gem

96
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant

See it if Riveting true account of secret Palestine/Israeli peace negotiations in 1993. The acting is masterful & really makes this story come alive.

Don't see it if The play is 3 hours long; I thought I might struggle w/the wordiness & political subject matter, but instead was absolutely riveted. Bravo!

Also I can't stress enough how fantastic the acting was. Every actor, even ... Read more Read less

83
Slow, Entertaining, Long, Surpringly-funny

See it if For the history buffs and those interested in foreign affairs, this is an interesting look at one chapter of the middle-east peace process

Don't see it if Though I largely enjoyed, I can see others bored, and it's often difficult to keep up with every plot point and the multitude of characters

Also Unlike seeing a musical at the Beaumont with the deeper stage utilized... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Masterful

See it if you're a fan of great theatre and/or you're interested in the process leading to the Oslo peace accords.

Don't see it if you have no interest in the subject.