Our Mother's Brief Affair
Closed 2h 0m
Our Mother's Brief Affair
66

Our Mother's Brief Affair NYC Reviews and Tickets

66%
(161 Reviews)
Positive
52%
Mixed
31%
Negative
17%
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Funny, Clever

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents the NY premiere of Richard Greenberg's new play starring Linda Lavin as a mother with a shocking secret that threatens her children.

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Member Reviews (161)

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972 Reviews | 341 Followers
35
Banal, Slow, Disappointing, Annoying, Unimpressive

See it if you love Linda Lavin and can't miss anything she does. The play itself is awful, but she tries to make the most of it.

Don't see it if you value you time at the theater. A silly, uninsightful, clunky script.

640 Reviews | 279 Followers
70
See the incomparable linda lavin albeit in an unconvincing vehicle

See it if you enjoy seeing the master of Jewish mother comic timing (Lavin) delivering some deliciously sardonic rejoinders

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a play where the playwright had a clever idea but did not know where to take it in second act

629 Reviews | 231 Followers
70
Banal, Cliched, Indulgent, Great acting, Romantic

See it if You love Linda Lavin no matter how weak the material, or if you're an aging Upper East Sider.

Don't see it if You can't stand listening to rich white New Yorkers' problems.

495 Reviews | 725 Followers
78
Delightful, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Charming

See it if you like smart humor, good writing, and fine acting.

Don't see it if you want something that feels entirely fresh and youthful.

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
93
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like great acting and an entertaining interesting story.

Don't see it if You should see it!

507 Reviews | 106 Followers
5
Disappointing, Excruciating, Fluffy, Slow

See it if You want to feel bad for actors who didn't read a script before they decided to take a part

Don't see it if If you want to see good acting or a good play. This is just awful all around. I can't imagine anyone would like this.

476 Reviews | 131 Followers
85
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Hilarious, Resonant, Great acting

See it if You enjoy well-written, brilliantly acted family dramas.

Don't see it if You can't suspend your sense of disbelief.

473 Reviews | 128 Followers
70
Great acting, Intelligent, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Romantic

See it if You'd like to see Linda Lavin do what she does brilliantly

Don't see it if You expect more of a point to the writing

Critic Reviews (52)

The New York Times
January 20th, 2016

"An untethered play about unmoored lives...Throughout this production, directed a shade too tentatively by Lynne Meadow, Ms. Lavin’s poses unfailingly match, and even amplify, Mr. Greenberg’s exquisite prose...I wish the play that surrounds her were more compellingly realized...As a mystery drama, 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' never acquires much urgency, despite the fretful, fine-grained ambivalence of all the performances."
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Time Out New York
January 20th, 2016

"Greenberg’s writing is elegant and keenly epigrammatic...'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' leaves you to wonder how much this scandal has been retouched. But there is no doubt as to the casual mastery that Lavin, at 78, brings to the part. Shifting in and out of the past, elevating one-liners to three-dimensionality, she brings a lifetime of command to the stage."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 20th, 2016

"The moral balance fails, making 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' seem uncharacteristically cheap or desperate, a way of cribbing drama from an impeccable source — history — instead of growing it natively. Greenberg seems to sense this, or at least his characters do, because he and they spend the rest of the play scrambling to absorb the blow by making excuses where possible and, where not, trying to top it with a secondary secret."
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The Hollywood Reporter
January 20th, 2016

"It takes some doing to stifle the prickly humor of Linda Lavin, but 'Our Mother's Brief Affair' makes her character both an unreliable narrator and one who's astringent to the point of unpleasantness...While Meadow's actors are all quite accomplished, they struggle to find any heart in characters so unrelentingly 'written' that it sucks the life out of them, giving us no reason to care."
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Entertainment Weekly
January 20th, 2016

"Greenberg’s laugh-filled but insubstantial new comedy...Late in the play, Greenberg rewards Lavin with a meaty memory-within-a-memory monologue. But such sudden, overwhelming sadness is too much, too late. A Richard Greenberg play is theatrical comfort food; this is his 11th MTC production. Somehow, 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' got overcooked."
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Variety
January 20th, 2016

"Not even the sainted Linda Lavin can save the deeply unpleasant character she plays in 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair,' a lazy play by Richard Greenberg. Stubbornly lacking in dramatic tension, the uneventful narrative features a mean-spirited woman who may or may not be on her deathbed, recounting a closely held secret to her disagreeable grown children."
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The Wall Street Journal
January 21st, 2016

"Mr. Greenberg has engaged with his material in an unequivocally personal way this time around...While the results are flawed, I was never bored and some parts are quite moving…Unfortunately, 'Our Mother’s Brief Affair' slithers off the track at midpoint...It runs for two hours and would be far stronger had it been cut to an intermission-free hour and a half...It is, however, very well staged by Lynne Meadow and persuasively acted by all hands."
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The Observer
January 28th, 2016

"The play has two things going for it. In addition to the revelation inherent in discovering Ms. Lavin’s extensive gifts, there is the lively art of playwright Richard Greenberg...It’s a winning combination. This is not his most flawless play…It’s an extravagant ruse, bogged down in contrived exposition, that doesn’t quite work. Richard Greenberg always amazes with his precise selection of words and images, and Linda Lavin serves him well."
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