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

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Clever

See it if the acting was tremendous

Don't see it if If you cannot handle death and its manifestations, don't go

94
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you have the attention span to appreciate dual monologues, have an imaginative mind, and can handle triggers (death, grief)

Don't see it if you want flashy staging and costumes and gets bored by monologues

Also Not a super fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, but he was great and incredibly na... Read more Read less

90
Intelligent, Great acting, Delightful, Clever, Ambitious

See it if You love watching actors in their element crafting performances meant to make you think

Don't see it if You’re looking for a night of entertainment or traditional broadway fun.

Also It was truly delightful watching the contrast between Jake Gyllenhaal ... Read more Read less

71
Difficult to follow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You enjoy one person 45 minute monologues

Don't see it if You have difficulty paying attention or staying awake.

86
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like storytelling. I wasn’t aware that the entire show was simply 2 monologues. They were beautifully delivered and captivating.

Don't see it if you have a short attention span. It’s not a flashy production but rather intriguing.

100
Emotional, Profound, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Funny

See it if You can't miss Jake Gyllenhall's performance or never seen him on stage. Also, the subject is very moving and something we are all related.

Don't see it if You are very sensible to parenthood? I can't think a reason why not see it. Although, you are going to cry so be prepared...

85
Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you like Jake Gyllenhall and a one person show.

Don't see it if You want to see a lot of actors on the stage with an elaborate set

95
Thought-provoking, Profound, Must see, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to feel deeply connected with the actor and the rest of the audience.

Don't see it if You can't keep focus on one thing for very long.

100
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you are ready to listen to two monologues about life changes with very subtle humor.

Don't see it if you want to be entertained

80
Intelligent, Great writing, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if Very well presented soliloquies

Don't see it if Can get a. It tedioua

63
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

88
Sad, Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You like literary theater. Monologues. Philosophy. Introspection. Good acting.

Don't see it if You are looking for light entertainment and an upbeat evening.

91
Great writing, Intelligent, Riveting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You love one person shows that feel like a story rather than a play.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows with minimal elements.

58
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

75
Slow, Intense, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you like intense monologues and Jake Gylenhall

Don't see it if you're easily bored by monologues

93
Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a couple of fantastic monologues performed by amazing actors.

Don't see it if You need more onstage action and are expecting something extravagant.

85
Well-acted, Heavy, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You want a change of pace from musicals. Each of the two 45-min soliloquies is absorbing, solemn, emotional & shattering in their own way.

Don't see it if You aren't ready to get gut-punched with real life stories and prefer lighter fare.

Also The two actors were both accomplished and a good yin and yang. The fir... Read more Read less

100
Must see, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you’re a huge Jake Gyllenhaal fan!

Don't see it if you’re not a fan of monologues

91
Thought-provoking, Must see, Masterful, Great acting, Clever

See it if You love great acting! Jake was especially entertaining and enthralling. Interesting stories and wonderful acting.

Don't see it if You get bored by simple staging and small scenery.

80
Absorbing, Resonant, Profound, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like sad stories.

Don't see it if Don’t like long monologues.

70
Quirky, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like excellent acting and reasonably compelling story telling

Don't see it if don't like monologues...that's the evening: two monologues

80
Funny, Intelligent, Intimate, Absorbing

See it if you like well-written, both funny and thought-provoking, monologues with great acting

Don't see it if you need music or dancing, or multiple characters to stay engaged

78
Intense

See it if You love the two actors and just want to see them up close doing their thing. See if it you enjoy monologues.

Don't see it if You're expecting a play. This is two separate, non-related monologues. It's not a play.

Also I didn't know it was two monologues. I got the ticket without reading ... Read more Read less

90
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if A really involving meditation on life and fatherhood. Excellent writing and acting.

Don't see it if -

82
Profound, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You can pay attention

Don't see it if want excitement


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."
read more

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Cast & Creatives (5)