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
Masterful, Great acting, Intense, Must see, Great writing

See it if You like intense shows that have you at the edge of your seat and biting your nails.

Don't see it if If you are very sensitive and death is too hard of a topic for you.

85
Great writing, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if you are open to the monologue storytelling format and want to be reminded that we are all connected by the joys and pains of being human.

Don't see it if you are looking for a big-production show or are averse to the difficult stories of life.

50
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
84
Ambitious, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you’re a fan of great acting, challenging performances, or these two actors.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy solo shows or are looking for a pick-me-up.

During previews
88
Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Its about life and death and being left behind. Its two powerful monologue played by to talent actors.

Don't see it if Not a light show, not a musical

Also These two monologue can touch anybody for we all had hardship happen i... Read more Read less

During previews
93
Simple yet effective storytelling--more pathos than shock, Poetically haunting, tragic, humorous, and humbling, Ruminative and contemplative works that layer your life with reflection and meaning, Touching and sincere, Masterfully human

See it if you seek simple yet moving storytelling by two committed and talented actors, who elevate everyday into extraordinary (love and heartbreak).

Don't see it if you’re too emotionally-triggered by talk of death (children, fathers); uninterested in two thematically-linked yet unrelated monologues.

Also Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge stir memory and desire, life and dea... Read more Read less

During previews
85
Poignant, Unsettling, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if storytelling at the hands of gifted, generous actors appeal. Each gives an emotionally rending performance that pulls you in from the start.

Don't see it if you're seeking light, comic fare; an elaborate staging; or linear stories—timeline in each not always clear—emotional pull eclipses this.

Also Deeply satisfying theater! ... Read more Read less

During previews
84
Profound, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy bravura performances from 2 highly talented actors. Each shares very personal, difficult life experiences. Most of us would not.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in the introspection of others or if you don't want to think about your own fears of intimacy.

During previews
85
Great acting, Seering, Ambitious

See it if you like powerful, super-serious drama about universal topics. Men discussing feelings.

Don't see it if you would be impacted by details about death and personal loss. Could have used a few more humor/ wit release valves.

During previews
85
Resonant, Great writing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if A fan of Jake or Tom. A story about life that comes full circle; the womb to the coffin! Rises up emotions on life events.

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

Also It was two monologues by 2 different playwrights with a similar line t... Read more Read less

During previews
74
Profound, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want to see two very talented actors deliver two very well-written and thought-provoking monologues.

Don't see it if you want to see a play in which you see the action. This play consists of two monologues where you are told what happened

During previews
94
Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy seeing two amazing actors in one man performances that are truly riveting!

Don't see it if You like big productions with extravagant scenery.

During previews
79
Absorbing

See it if You are fan of the 2 actors. Are in the mood for a drama about what it’s like to be father/son.

Don't see it if You want a traditional play, or lite fair.

Also Both monologues play on themes of loss, insecurity, and being over you... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Absorbing, Masterful, Profound, Great acting

See it if You like to be moved by beautiful writing and acting

Don't see it if You need more than two great actors delivering heartfelt monologues

During previews
76
Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if If you like serious shows about life and death

Don't see it if If you don’t like one man shows or are looking for a light show

Also Very well done. My score is a little lower because the second act was ... Read more Read less

During previews
50
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
80
Clever, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if Two monologues first by Tom Sturridge and then Jake Gyllenhaal. Both actors were good Very thought-provoking and difficult subject matter

Don't see it if You wouldn't enjoy seeing two wonderful actors in a monologue style play.

During previews
80
Intense, Profound, Absorbing

See it if You like a one man play..actually 2 men 1 in each act. Drama at it's best from 2 fine actors

Don't see it if You want comedy or interaction between actors, an upbeat show

During previews
81
Great acting, Absorbing, Moving

See it if You appreciate listening to a monologue. I found each monologue to be moving. Jake Gyllenhaal was excellent. A great night of theater.

Don't see it if You need action. If one person shows are not your thing, skip it. This is a show with 2 monologues

During previews
54
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
75
Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy storytelling monologues regarding loss and life as told by fine actors

Don't see it if You are expecting a traditional play with actors playing off each other

During previews
68
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
79
Resonant

See it if you are interested in themes of life, death, birth, loss.

Don't see it if you want comedy, or a straight narrative play.

Also Both actors are great. Both monologues have moments of great humor and... Read more Read less

During previews
89
Moving, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you if you are interested in theater that deals with issues of love, birth, death, and grief in a realistic and moving manner.

Don't see it if if you are looking for light entertainment or don't enjoy one-person monologues.

Also Each act is a separate one-person monologue. The acting and writing ar... Read more Read less

During previews
91
Must see, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing, Clever

See it if You like thought provoking material with some really great acting that makes you forget sometimes that they are acting.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows (2 acts) that make you think.


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)