Already closed | 1h 50m | Midtown W

Sea Wall / A Life (Broadway)

From 228 member  reviews
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.  More…

Sturridge, in his third collaboration with Tony and Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens ("Heisenberg," "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"), performs "Sea Wall," a monologue about love and the human need to know the unknowable.

Gyllenhaal continues his artistic collaboration with Olivier Award-nominated playwright Nick Payne ("Constellations," "If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet") in "A Life," a meditation on how we say goodbye to those we love most. 

1h 50m | Already closed | Hudson Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (228)


Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense

Nothing to it, Overrated

See it if You are like most people and just want to see a big Hollywood actor on a stage

Don't see it if You are expecting anything more than 2 one act monologues

Also Sea wall 55... Read more Read less

Two monologues like two ships in the night that never meet, A pointless exercise in filtering female experiences through male narratives, A wasteful use of two good actors, Disappointing

See it if you wish to hear two more white male emotional woe-me unburdening perspectives fully aware of their stridently missing female counterparts.

Don't see it if you don't like confessional monologues that feel lifted from a psychiatrist's therapy session.

Also A thoroughly disappointing theatre exercise. ... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if simple modern male monologues about life & death & fatherhood interest you. Not for me. This was "acting for actors", overrated on Bway

Don't see it if you are annoyed by ill-mannered audience of Jake Gyllenhaal fans applauding & laughing throughout his bittersweet monologue about loss

Also These are two not-deep monologues about family & death. The 1st monolo... Read more Read less

Good acti;ng, Sentimental, Flat, Sensationalistic, Obvious

See it if you want to see two actors do all they can with sub-par material.

Don't see it if you don't like monologues.

Also Two unrelated monologues by two different writers featuring two differ... Read more Read less

Overrated, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if You love academic, heady theatre and/or are a Jake Gyllenhaal fan. I thought this show was different just for the sake of being different.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with long monologues. The two stories didn't feel connected, and the show was basically two separate monologues.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like slow plays with long monologues.

Don't see it if you want a high energy show.

Overrated, Intelligent, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to see 2 actors perform monologues. You are a fan of Jake Gyllanhall.

Don't see it if You don't monologues.

Slow, Disappointing, Dated, Cliched, Banal

See it if You enjoy a solid, only slightly rocky Broadway play.

Don't see it if You're just going for Gyllenhaal. He isn't quite enough to make the show worth seeing.

Also This just wasn't my cup of tea. I had no real connection to the subjec... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Cliched, Banal, Great acting

See it if Actors almost overcoming underwhelming plays

Don't see it if Want interesting story with forward momentum

Overrated, Indulgent, Banal, Great acting, Cliched

See it if Jake Gyllenhall. Tom Sturridge.

Don't see it if Meh is not enough.

Slow, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Great acting

See it if You are really fan of Jake and/or Tom and want to see the actors up close. See it if you enjoy long monologues about life and it’s turns.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy long acting monologues and are looking for a better well produced, visually stunned play. The stage is very basic.

Also The play is really slow and unless you are extremely focused, you can ... Read more Read less

Clever, Disappointing, Confusing, Slow, Excruciating

See it if you like honest and truthful plays. if you enjoy straight monologues with a single character on the stage for an entire hour then go for it.

Don't see it if you hate monologues and don't like really sad things. it was hard to pay attention when it was only one person monologuing for over an hour.

Disappointing, Overrated, Confusing, Dizzying, Funny

See it if If you have money and time to waste , please watch and see this play

Don't see it if If you have money and time to waste , please watch and see this play

During previews
Pretentious, Good actors, Banal, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you want to see the actors in person.

Don't see it if you want to have a theatrical experience.

Also The production is TV ready. Two medium monologues that try to be profo... Read more Read less

During previews
Slow, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Banal

See it if If you are a fan of the actors, they do a decent acting job with banal material from 2 different/related monologues.

Don't see it if I found the play tedious, and underwhelming. The subject material should of been more moving, but it wasn't, perhaps the fault of the venue.

Also The play probably was more intimate at the Public where it was first p... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if aren't expecting anything revelatory.

Don't see it if you're expecting anything you can't find off-Broadway without stars.

During previews
Slow, Indulgent, Cliched, Banal, Great acting

See it if You appreciate brilliantly-delivered, albeit rambling monologues that jump from story to story from two very talented actors.

Don't see it if The frenetic, wistful storylines jumping back and forth will bore you. Incredible acting, but ultimately tragic material.

During previews
Dull, static unmoving

See it if you like mediocre Moth stories

Don't see it if you expect anything dynamic to happen on stage.

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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