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Oslo (Broadway)

From 74 critic and 818 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the show

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. 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.


"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

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


“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

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

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

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


"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

Daily Beast

"Even if you have little or fleeting interest in the Middle East peace process or diplomatic intrigue, you will find J.T. Rogers’s carefully researched play supremely riveting. Every aspect of it—the writing, the direction by Bartlett Sher, the fine performances—is pretty near immaculate...Sher’s direction is as smooth and clever as Rogers’s writing...'Oslo' is, most surprisingly, a bracing examination of human fortitude and effort against improbable odds." Full Review


"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


“The clarity of this new play by J.T. Rogers does not only rely on the smart yet surefire way it's written, but also on the masterful staging by Bartlett Sher, who, after recent productions of both ‘South Pacific’ and ‘The King and I,’ is no stranger to directing gargantuan shows at Lincoln Center. Given its subject--the Oslo Accord or peace treaty between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) in 1993--’Oslo’ is ultimately an enormous play, but it is told in intimate terms.” Full Review

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

Theater Pizzazz

“J. T. Rogers’ riveting historical drama feels right where it belongs–on a world stage. Risk taking is what this thrilling story is all about…The mesmerizing plot involves 21 characters, multiple locales, and a complex political context–packed into three intense hours of stage time…Now, in the majestic Beaumont, the play has expanded in breadth, scope, and impact–gaining the stature that the story justly deserves.” Full Review


"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

Pop Dust

“The pacing is ferocious. J.T. Rogers's script has a lot of ground to cover and fast. Bartlett Sher's direction ensures that this happens…You couldn't ask for a better cast here. They are a formidable force. Each of them carries the weight of the situation their characters are living through, and yet also are able to find the humor in the piece. There is rich a vein of dark comedy running through 'Oslo' that the cast plumbs with great regularity…‘Oslo’ is a triumph, and everyone should see it.” Full Review

Magical MissTari Tour

"The whole cast was fantastic. Most of the actors, except for a handful of the leads, played multiple roles and were wonderfully adept at doing so. The physical production is also terrific...You would think that a play dealing with such fraught politics would be heavy and serious all the time, but 'Oslo' is also surprisingly funny throughout...I'm so impressed by a play that takes a real subject, on which you know the outcome, and still creates suspense and tension. That takes real craft." Full Review

Edge New York

“‘Oslo’ lays bare in exquisite detail and often unexpected humor the gut-wrenching details of the endless negotiating, dining, copious drinking, and eventual camaraderie that predated and thus created the historic signing…Sher's most deft direction takes what could be a confusing morass of facts, figures, and characters and lays them bare at our feet where they entertain and enlighten…‘Oslo’ is a work peppered with humor and constant gobsmacking acting.” Full Review

Plays to See

“Who knew a nearly three-hour history lesson about Middle East politics from the 1990s could be so riveting?...Terrific performances are well-crafted and keep the story together and flowing with heart, genuineness and humor…The story is complicated but under the brilliant direction of Bartlett Sher it flows quickly and informatively like a great political thriller...In the masterful hands of Mr. Sher and team it is tightly presented and never stops grabbing your attention." Full Review


"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

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


"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

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


"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

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

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

This Week in New York Blog

“Mays is outstanding as Larsen, balancing fear and excitement…Ehle excels as his equal partner…Despite its nearly three-hour length, the play flies by, with Sher keeping things moving at a smooth police-procedural-like pace. Rogers’s script melds the comic and the surreal, the serious and the wacky in translating this most unlikely of scenarios into an utterly gripping yet tenderly intimate tale.” Full Review

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You enjoy great acting and political subject matter.

Don't see it if You are more interested in a mindless musical romp.

Absorbing, Dizzying, Edgy, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Wonderfully skillful depiction of the history of the Oslo Peace Accord. Great acting, passionate characters and entertaining.

Don't see it if You're reluctant to learn the truth about a stunning episode in attempted peace in the Middle east

Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy engaging, smart, emotional theatre.

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

Riveting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You love thought-provoking stories that reveal the humanity we all share. This show is long, but the time flashed by! Highly recommend.

Don't see it if Go see it.

Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You like historical tales told well and love great acting.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about real political incidents.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you love history played out before your eyes. This is suspensful

Don't see it if you don't like theatre that makes you think.

Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Relevant, Must see

See it if love to be absorbed, entertained, educated and inspired. a fantastic production in every way.

Don't see it if if you can't sit for the three hours -- although well worth it!

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if You want a brilliant, absorbing, challenging, important and true historical drama, beautifully staged and acted. It will stay with you.

Don't see it if You want something light or superficial; you don't want to be challenged; you have a closed mind to Israeli/Palestinian history.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Profound

See it if You want a deeper understanding of complicated global issues like the Middle East conflict.

Don't see it if You only want humor, song and dance in your theatrical experience.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like political/historical dramas, inspirational true stories, great acting ensembles,

Don't see it if You're bored by dialogue-heavy plays, have no interest in political stories, or need simple resolution

Also A great, moving play. If you're familiar with the story of the Oslo Ac... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Must see, Intelligent

See it if You like a challenging, intelligent show filled with big ideas.

Don't see it if You want something easy and brainless.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want to see a profound moment in history highlighted and brought to life by stellar acting by all, fierce and moving in its implications

Don't see it if if you dont care about the middle east ongoing historical and present day conflict

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Relevant

See it if You want to see some amazing acting that sheds light on an issue people are often misinformed and ignorant about

Don't see it if You don't want to live through arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if This play was so interesting and informative and helped explain the past which led to the future.

Don't see it if You know nothing about the history of Israel and the Oslo Accord without reading up on the facts which will help to understand the play.

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if Grate Show

Don't see it if Muse see

Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you want a remarkable true story portrayed by an even more remarkable cast! It's resonant, relevant, & engaging the whole way through.

Don't see it if politics & relationships don't interest you. The play does a great job in providing context & history, a great feat with such a large cast.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if If you love great acting and have an interest in history. If you like shows that are thought provoking and reveal history you Might not know

Don't see it if You like short, light hearted uncomplicated plays

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if You want a thought-provoking and intimate view of important historical events and people. You find drama in human interaction.

Don't see it if You need "action" in your entertainment or are not interested to peak behind the curtain of history.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you want to experience OUTSTANDING B'way theatre. The overall production earns every penny of the cost of the seat. Truly a lesson in ART!

Don't see it if cannot sit in your chair for a 2 hour & 55 minute show with only one intermission. But it's worth the pains from not stretching your legs!

Absorbing, Masterful, Riveting

See it if You love history, drama and the wantbto be in on the real story behind the headlines.

Don't see it if You want light entertainment. This is a serious piece of theater about conflict resolution and human nature.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if you enjoy period dramas.

Don't see it if you're bored by a lot of talking.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy extremely well written and acted dramas based on historical events. The show transports you to Oslo!

Don't see it if You are easily bored by nonfiction and have trouble sitting for more than an hour at a time.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy shows about the history of the Middle East. See it is you want to be smarter than you are now. Oh, just see it.

Don't see it if you cannot sit through almost three hours of absorbing drama performed by a top-notch cast. Don't see it if the word "f..k" bothers you.

Also This drama makes you laugh numerous times as it explains the diplomati... Read more Read less

Riveting, Intense, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy great riveting writing and acting on a subject that show be a bore but is anything but.. Hope and humanity are explored.

Don't see it if You don't play a deep play with strong writing and acting. Not interested in history or humanity.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see an entire cast act outstandingly well, appreciate political drama with brilliant writing that's relevant and inspiring.

Don't see it if you don't like political drama or long plays.

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