Already closed | 1h 50m | Midtown W

The Encounter

From 634 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the show

Journey deep into the Amazon rainforest in Complicite theater company's solo storytelling performance featuring innovative aural technology. Conceived, directed, and performed by Tony nominee Simon McBurney. More…

'The Encounter' comes to Broadway this fall after acclaimed runs in London, Edinburgh, and beyond. McBurney draws from 'Amazon Beaming,' a book by Petru Popescu about 'National Geographic' writer and photographer Loren McIntyre’s experience with tribes along the Amazon River. Inspired by these real events, 'The Encounter' follows the photographer as he finds himself lost in a remote area of Brazil. All audience members wear headphones during this unique and intimate theatrical experience.

1h 50m | Already closed | The John Golden Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (634)


Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Intelligent
Avg Score

Indulgent, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Great sound design

See it if you enjoy listening to podcasts, audiobooks, The Moth Radio Hour & old-time radio dramas; you want to witness effective storytelling.

Don't see it if you have any audiobooks to catch up on & subscribe to enough story-driven podcasts. Don't accept the hype: This is an overpriced radio drama

Absorbing, Edgy, Ambitious, Profound, Masterful

See it if you want a unique theatrical experience. Microphones, water bottles & an amazing performer create a perilous trip through the amazon jungle

Don't see it if you lack imagination. The events occur in your mind while you watch Simon McBurney creating the soundscape on a bare stage.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Masterful, Intense

See it if you are looking for a new theater experience which is fascinating and well produced; audio as main actor; high energy human actor.

Don't see it if you are looking for a story which unfolds in a linear manner with typical dialogue. Audio overload is possible.

Also I found the show very absorbing and novel for the first hour. After a ... Read more Read less

Masterful and absorbing., Edgy, experimental theater, but not inaccessible, Intense and intelligent, Relevant and pointed about human impact on the planet, At times slow, too-long by about 10 minutes

See it if You are open to a new theatrical experience, are intrigued by the art of storytelling, like to be challenged a bit. Performance mastery!

Don't see it if You cannot wear headphones, don't like solo shows, want big production, are not prepared for some visceral reactions, want linear story.

Also I thought this was a remarkable piece of theater, but it may not be fo... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Ambitious, Cliched, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you enjoy radio plays or want to catch up with state-of-the-art sound design or crave mystical, philosophical overtones with your theater.

Don't see it if you prefer your stories told in a linear fashion without interruptions from various commentators as well as the playwright's young daughter.

Intelligent, Excruciating, Disappointing, Slow

See it if the use of cutting edge audio technology will be enough to keep you engaged for more than 1/2 hour. You need a long afternoon nap.

Don't see it if You can't tolerate very loud noises piped into your ears; you like a show with both visual and audio stimulation.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Slow

See it if you like high tech productions. McBurney is excellent. Play is too long and doesn't go anywhere. I kept waiting for a payoff that never came

Don't see it if you prefer straight forward narrative.Fascinating in terms of sound/light design. I just didn't "feel" anything. Impressive, not moving

Monologue with sound effects

See it if you're into sound design and effects. The storytelling is interesting but it's not a play.

Don't see it if you want conventional theater. I saw McBurney's alternate, Richard Katz who was fine.

Immersive, Superb technical feat, Eye-opening, Visually captivating

See it if you are passionate about the environment, you love suspense and are an adventurer at heart. This was an incredible experience.

Don't see it if you have a problem sitting for 2 hours straight or you're squeamish about blood.

Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want to see a daring, technically amazing production. The immersive sound design propels the action. Richard Katz (alternate) was great.

Don't see it if You are not open to something different. At times, slow moving,

Interesting, Original, Long

See it if you like unusual experiences and enjoy story telling, particularly immersive through sound. Reminiscent of "My Dinner with Andre".

Don't see it if you prefer traditional plays and would not enjoy a somewhat fantastical story told in a variety of voices.

Disappointing, Slow, Overrated, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if you'd enjoy a gimmick that's interesting for 15 minutes being dragged out for 2 hours. The execution was interesting but the tale too bland.

Don't see it if you don't want to experience the slowest two hours of your life.

Absorbing, Masterful, Riveting, Ambitious, 1/2 hour too long

See it if want a fascinating experience in sound technology. An incredibly exhausting performance by Simon McBurney.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play, drama, etc. The is experimental theater. Too long, though.

Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Slow, Strange

See it if You like strange, different, odd, one of a kind, one man shows. Recreation of true experience of photographer lost in South American jungle.

Don't see it if You want scenery or a clear story. This is like a radio play with sound effects. Not much too look at except a nutty guy and water bottles.

Also Does not belong on Broadway. Would work better in smaller space. Some ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Dizzying, Intelligent, Great writing, Innovative

See it if you are ready for an immersive storytelling experience. I was uncomfortable & challenged - an experience I won't soon forget

Don't see it if You want a big cast & visuals; you create the visual experience in your imagination; or if you are looking to be passively entertained

Absorbing, Masterful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you love to think, are a protector or lover of Nature, or willing to listen to Simon McBurney surprise, instruct, and delight for two hours.

Don't see it if you dislike experimental theatre. This story-telling/foley artist is a one-man-show experience, informative about the Brazilian rainforest.

Also I had the great fortune to attend the last performance. In truth, I di... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if You can accept a very different type of show.

Don't see it if You only like musicals

Ambitious, Dizzying, Quirky, Indulgent, Unique

See it if special effects is the reason you go to the theater; you don't mind a boring plot as long as lights flash and there are sound effects.

Don't see it if you want an interesting plot along with splashy effect.

Also This is a show that has very unique special effects that I have never ... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Quirky, Long!, Disappointing

See it if You want to pay Broadway prices to hear a self absorbed radio play that you could have used your iPhone with a headset to listen to.

Don't see it if don't like one man shows, experimental theatre, or an annoying use of repeat and echo effects. It's a unique experience, but sadly lacking.

Also The first 15 minutes of the show 2 hour show is a sound show and mic d... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if you love science and something different.

Don't see it if You dislike something that is repetitive and annoying. You dislike one person shows. You enjoy people's stories.

Confusing, Dizzying, Edgy, Excruciating, Tedious

See it if The story is not the point... the special effects are, but once the novelty wore off it became tedious. Audience wears special headphones.

Don't see it if You want a cohesive plot - it's disjointed, confusing, repetitive and frankly I couldn't wait for it to end. Like being inside an acid trip.

Also Special effects were mostly limited to sound coming out of your left e... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see something extremely original and compelling. Takes you into a different landscape of your mind.

Don't see it if You don't like immersive theatre experiences.

I wasn't as transported as i had hoped to be, Something different, Great acting

See it if You don't mind using your imagination to fill in most of the visuals. Also see it if you are a Simon McBurney fan.

Don't see it if You're a visual person rather than an aural person.

Also I did enjoy the show, but I wasn't as transported as I had hoped I wou... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Excruciating, Intense

See it if Simon McBurney is terrific in this solo show. There has been no other show like this.

Don't see it if This is very intense and absorbing. Those who have difficulty with concentration or auditory saturation should avoid this show.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting

See it if You're open to experience & a piece of theatre that might be transcendent but for its length despite an intense tour de force performance.

Don't see it if You like neither technology nor radio theatre or expect any sort of traditional linear play or an evening of simple minded entertainment.

Also Too long by a third, it can be easy to dismiss this show as mere spect... Read more Read less

September 29th, 2016
"No production on Broadway has ever thrown the doors of perception open as widely as 'The Encounter,' Simon McBurney’s astonishing one-man show...McBurney sustains the momentum of his story as tensely and enjoyably as if it were a Rudyard Kipling yarn...It may be he who’s running and dancing and ...
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September 29th, 2016
"Closing one’s eyes in the theater can be a sign of boredom. But shutting the peepers at McBurney’s utterly transfixing mind-tickler 'The Encounter' is a valid expression of rapture...McBurney is a wryly engaging performer who can command an audience by sheer force...In this primal, lysergic movi...
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September 29th, 2016
"This is thrilling in its way, but as you begin to adjust to the tech tricks you also begin to wonder how relevant and expressive they really are...It’s immersive, yes, but not so much theater: It’s more like watching a radio show in a studio, with special kudos to the Foley artist. Even McBurney...
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September 29th, 2016
"Given how thoroughly the audience is let in both on the technology and the artifice, it's remarkable how quickly and completely the piece becomes an immersive narrative...'The Encounter' is an extraordinarily visceral, often hypnotic piece of storytelling. It must be added, however, that any sol...
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