Closed 1h 50m
Sea Wall / A Life (Broadway)
Midtown W
82

Sea Wall / A Life (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(229 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
8%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the Show

After a sold-out run at The Public Theater, this intimate evening of solo work starring Jake Gyllenhaal ("Sunday in the Park with George") and Tony Award nominee Tom Sturridge ("1984") comes to Broadway. 

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Member Reviews (229)

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82
Resonant, Masterful, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if If you like a monologue play that is deep. Two stories about life and loss . A play that deals with deep subject matter.

Don't see it if If you want something that is lite and easy. Or a comedy.

75
Indulgent, Intelligent, Great acting, Interesting

See it if Take of two monologues. Jake’s was great. Tom’s was lacking. Can’t say much beyond. Very minimal otherwise.

Don't see it if You don’t like monologue shows about serious subjects.

Critic Reviews (23)

August 8th, 2019

CRITIC’S PICK "Quiet Tragicomedies of Love and Loss: In a tender pair of monologues, Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal portray young fathers shaken out of complacency."
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August 8th, 2019

★★★ "Pairing two shows back-to-back sometimes brings out the best in both; sometimes, it only makes the virtues of one of them shine brighter. The latter is the case in 'Sea Wall/A Life'...Both deal with grief…But in every regard, the first of the two puts the second in the shade."
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August 8th, 2019

B+ "Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge will make you cry in 'Sea Wall/A Life'"
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August 8th, 2019

"The writing in these separate monologues is excellent, as are the solo performances, but this is no show to see on a first date."
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August 15th, 2019

"‘Sea Wall/A Life’ Review: Double Trouble. Two dramatic monologues, by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne and performed on Broadway by Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal, offer uninspired views of modern masculinity."
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August 8th, 2019

"While each piece has its distinct temperature and tone-dank, rising horror in Stephens, neatly braided strands of light and dark in Payne-they are similar in self-conscious literary patterning...Such writerly flourishes can be either annoying or pleasing."
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August 8th, 2019

"Jake Gyllenhaal And Tom Sturridge Bring Power To The Big Stage."
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August 8th, 2019

"Jake Gyllenhaal is a stage animal for sure. But he needs more feral turf in ‘Sea Wall/A Life.’"
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August 8th, 2019

★★★ "'Sea Wall/A Life' review: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Sturridge bring intimacy to the big stage."
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August 8th, 2019

"The two one act plays in the double bill entitled 'Sea Wall/A Life' are, on the surface, very small works. But they concern some very big themes: life, death, birth."
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August 8th, 2019

"'Sea Wall / A Life,' Jake Gyllenhaal / Tom Sturridge, Life / Death: The two actors return to Broadway for a double bill of solo plays"
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August 15th, 2019

"As delicate as Meissen china yet hard as bedrock are these two solo pieces, each of which offers vexing truths about the fragility of existence, the caprices of fortune, and the sheer mystery of why we are alive. They also showcase two very different, and equally accomplished, performances."
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August 8th, 2019

"Actors Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal, along with their director Carrie Cracknell, have done a lot of determined and highly productive digging into the hearts and souls of the two men who inhabit the pair of monologues."
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August 8th, 2019

★★★★ "'Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Sturridge in Great, Nervous Shape.' Carrie Cracknell forcibly directs tough-minded one-acts by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne"
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August 8th, 2019

★★★★ "'Fathers and Sons, Grappling with Love and Loss.' Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal turn in stirring performances in monologues addressing parenthood and mortality"
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August 8th, 2019

"While both shows have been subtly directed by Carrie Cracknell, neither the actors nor the director can excavate much rich feeling from the essentially pedestrian nature of the writing."
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August 9th, 2019

"It would be nice to see these linked monologues by Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge in an intimate setting. In stead, the actors' star power have now brought it for a limited run to the even larger Hudson Theater on Broadway."
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August 12th, 2019

90% "Theater is a collaborative art. Unlike writing or painting, you can't do it alone. The reason why 'Sea Wall/A Life' moved from The Public Theater Off Broadway to The Hudson Theater on Broadway recently is that Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllenhaal discovered something.."
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August 16th, 2019

"Paired together with radiant pleasure and pain as directed with empathy and clarity by Carrie Cracknell, both monologues tease out their tales with precision and expertise. They dive in deep...The pleasure is pure and gratifying, especially once we struggle back to the surface."
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T
September 4th, 2019

"Both are haunting and unforgettable plays, each performed by a brilliant actor. Under Carrie Cracknell's astute direction, both actors mine the depths of the scripts given them with a consummate authenticity and rhetorical strength. Each actor delivers compelling performances that bring his character to a level of believability and authenticity rarely achieved in solo performances."
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August 8th, 2019

"The strength of these monologues lies in their modesty - ….of the production, which is presented on a virtually bare stage; and in the performances, which are quiet, casual and nuanced; and in the characters, who each are humbled by their personal confrontations with both life and death."
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C
August 8th, 2019

"One could appreciate these pieces on the page simply for their evocative, heartfelt writing, but audiences are being given the gift of hearing these playlets' being declaimed by the wonderful British actor Tom Sturridge and American film and stage great Jake Gyllenhaal."
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August 28th, 2019

"[They] seem even weaker than I remembered. Whatever emotional and literary values they had in the Public's far more intimate Newman Theater lose much of their impact at the Hudson, dissipating each play's already slim, narrative…The reason to see them remains the excellent work of the stars."
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