Ends Sep 29 | 1h 50m | Midtown W

Sea Wall / A Life (Broadway)

From 160 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

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 | Ends Sep 29 | Hudson Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (160)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
82
Avg Score

100
Not trite!, Emotional, Great in every way, On target, Well written

See it if You aren’t afraid of engaging feelings. Big questions—becoming, life, god, death, love. Not ham-handed. They captured human truth.

Don't see it if You want something mindless. Many in audience wept, including me. Good weeping. Some were sobbing. Let it go! Broadway as a mirror.

69
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.

80
Grief, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like a simple yet absorbing play about love and grief and can focus on one person at a time

Don't see it if you normally go for spectacles and big productions

Also I enjoyed this play but it isn't for everyone. It is simple in product... Read more Read less

94
Relevant, Masterful, Must see, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if Great in relating to life and death

Don't see it if .....

86
Absorbing, Enchanting, Profound, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want Jake Gyllenhall to make you cry

Don't see it if 2 40 minute monologues sound unappealing to you.

89
Profound, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like two good actors doing monologues about love and death. sturridge and gyllenhaal give wonderful and intense performances

Don't see it if you are expecting a musical or huge broadway production. stay away if you don’t like monologues

49
Banal, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You need a nap.

Don't see it if You want any sort of entertaining theatre.

83
Great acting, Funny, Exquisite, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want to listen to two people tell their stories in a dramatic and sometimes funny way.

Don't see it if you want to see a play where the plot plays out on stage.

90
Thought-provoking, Intense, Resonant, Masterful, Great acting

See it if you enjoy comic and tragic reality portrayed on stage, simply, emotionally, and intensely.

Don't see it if you've ever loved someone so deeply that it hurts, and you don't want to understand what its like to lose them, or if you don't wanna cry.

90
Profound, Refreshing, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a show about life, death, grief, and love. The two stories are so beautifully written that it can resonate with anyone.

Don't see it if you would rather see a more uplifting, lighthearted show. The monologues deal with very heavy conversations that may be difficult to hear.

Also Based off what I heard about this show I expected to cry my eyes out w... Read more Read less

100
Intelligent, Resonant, Refreshing, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you like a raw no frills monologue. Great writing & moving stories told by two great actors/storytellers and clever breaking of the 4th wall

Don't see it if you want a light fast-paced show. this is slow in a perfectly intentional and intense way. highly recommend.

85
Riveting, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience poignant writing and masterful performances.

Don't see it if You don't want to examine in-depth the pathos of death. Strong emotions are invoked that can leave. You upset

80
Relevant, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you want a simple show with emphasis on acting.

Don't see it if you are looking for big theatrics. This is a show that could be performed just as effectively in a small black box theatre.

86
Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny, Great acting

See it if You like great acting and a wonderful theater experience.

Don't see it if You do not like one person performances

79
Great writing, Refreshing, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of these two specific actors, or pure exercises in long-form solo storytelling for emotional power.

Don't see it if you want the big broadway experience in a big broadway house. This is a small, intimate experience in a big broadway house.

52
Disappointing, Cliched, Banal, Great acting

See it if Actors almost overcoming underwhelming plays

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

85
Great acting

See it if Both actors are excellent.

Don't see it if Don’t like monologues. Need action.

90
Masterful, Intense, Indulgent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You lost your dearest family member recently and want to know how to deal with it. You contemplate life and death a lot before sleep.

Don't see it if You just want to see something happy and fun.

85
Profound, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see two great performers explore themes of grief and family.

Don't see it if You're not ready to get in touch with your emotions or face grief head on.

89
Resonant, Relevant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy one person plays. You enjoy emotional stories about dealing with life and death.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy one person shows or soliloquies

Also Beautifully written and presented by two excellent actors. The two pla... Read more Read less

85
Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Saw this in Feb at the Public in previews. It's polished and sharper now. Staging in a bigger theater still works.

Don't see it if You don't like monologues. There's not a lot of action- the content and how it's handled is the crux of how these two work

94
Riveting, Profound, Masterful, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to be moved by drama of the highest quality and superb acting. I was completely absorbed by these compelling plays

Don't see it if You would be disturbed by depictions of death and tragedy

100
Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy the intensity of a brilliantly written dramatic monologue performed by an extraordinary actor (x2!).

Don't see it if Not for anyone looking for a light evening .

90
Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to have a memorable evening at the theater. Actors are amazing! The material is moving and a bit heavy.

Don't see it if If you looking for a light and funny entertaining evening.

75
Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy good acting and good writing in what’s basically two 1-man shows. Very enjoyable and entertaining.

Don't see it if You get distracted by bad theater behavior. The majority of the audience are there to fangirl over Jake Gyllenhaal and it can get irritating

Also The first half is better than the second, mainly because it’s not as o... Read more Read less


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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Cast & Creatives (5)