The Father (MTC Broadway)
Closed 1h 30m
The Father (MTC Broadway)
85

The Father (MTC Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(325 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
7%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents the American premiere of a new play by Florian Zeller about an elderly man dealing with dementia; starring Frank Langella, who won his fourth Tony Award for this performance.

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Member Reviews (325)

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897 Reviews | 374 Followers
86
Absorbing, Intelligent, Original, Relevant

See it if You're a Frank Langella fan. He never disappoints.

Don't see it if You just can't stand one more show about Alzheimer's/Dementia.

878 Reviews | 218 Followers
85
Dizzying, Great acting, Edgy, Epic, Great writing

See it if Frank Langella is epic, great actor here. The plot keeps you moving, great direction, staging. The play is engrossing from beginning to end

Don't see it if If you don't like deep theater with a deep story.

691 Reviews | 212 Followers
95
Intense, Great acting, Resonant, Clever, Profound

See it if You are interested in a touching and insightful play about dementia, aging, and the choices and limits of caregiving.

Don't see it if The topic is too sensitive for you, or you will be thrown off by the writer's tricks to make the audience feel the protagonist's confusion.

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
95
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Original

See it if Langella has to on the list all time best Actors. It is a must for anyone who has kin with dementia problems

Don't see it if If you do not enjoysome thinking and questioner about life.. Not for those who only want to see dancing and singing

585 Reviews | 220 Followers
85
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You love Frank Langella and/or plays about Alzheimer's (this one is different and quite good).

Don't see it if You want to see a more uplifting piece.

461 Reviews | 710 Followers
92
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if you're looking for a remarkable lead performance (it doesn't get better than Frank Langella), or are looking for a show with weight.

Don't see it if you're easily confused by a nonlinear narrative.

563 Reviews | 195 Followers
90
Great acting, especially by frank langella, Confusing by design, Must see, Resonant

See it if You want amazing acting. You want brilliant structure that brings the audience a view of the devastating effects of dementia.

Don't see it if You prefer traditional structure where the plot is clearly defined on stage. You don't like not having all the answers until the end.

488 Reviews | 125 Followers
88
Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Excruciating, Edgy

See it if you love watching a brilliant actor at his best; you want insight into the ravages of dementia on the afflicted and those around him

Don't see it if you prefer light theater and linear thinking; you prefer happy endings; you are sensitive to flashing lights or loud music at scene changes.

Critic Reviews (43)

The New York Times
April 14th, 2016

"'The Father' offers one of the most disorienting experiences in town. Yet, as directed by Doug Hughes, this production exudes a cool clarity that borders on the clinical....Mr. Langella impressively played King Lear several years ago, but it’s here he nails the rage, pathos and cruelty behind that titanic part...Mr. Langella bravely makes sure that André remains an unsympathetic soul, even as his condition inspires an aching empathy."
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Time Out New York
April 14th, 2016

"The play keeps its audience in a continuous state of disorientation, smudging the lines between reality and misperception...Such theatrical tricks are central to the depiction of André’s crumbling state of mind—more than the dialogue or the characters, who are difficult to know very well. But this production has another special effect in the imposing form of Langella himself...'The Father' may not be deep, but its depiction of André is effective and sad."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 14th, 2016

"Langella gets so close to strip-mining the core of his gifts that you think he may cave in, or that you will. It’s a must-see performance. 'The Father,' though, is only a might-see play, more of a vehicle than a destination...The play defies logic at times...If 'The Father' gets only partway across the ocean on its own steam, Hughes has tugged it near to shore, and Langella docks it every night. What he does to the play is almost as pleasurable and improving as what he does to the audience."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 14th, 2016

"As a visual metaphor for the advancing isolation of an unraveling mind surrendering to dementia, the staging is certainly eloquent. It's matched by the powerful work of Langella, conveying the painful freefall from eroding dignity into infantilized helplessness...But French playwright Florian Zeller's drama is a stubbornly unemotional experience, its approach too cerebral and distancing to achieve the shattering impact that the performances demand."
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Variety
April 14th, 2016

"Zeller’s disturbing drama is a highly personal study of a proud old man’s inexorable mental deterioration that is easy to admire, but quite painful to watch...There’s no real drama to the basic structure of the play, just the ruthless forward movement of one man’s inevitable fate...Langella does a superb job of communicating the conflicted feelings of a man who can’t believe—and won’t accept—the changes in his life...Director Hughes handles the material with sensitivity."
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The Wall Street Journal
April 27th, 2016

"Each scene undermines what had been taken for granted before. We become disoriented, baffled, unable to identify the past or even the present...The dismantling of dramatic reality treats dementia as an intellectual process, not as an emotional one. But Mr. Langella corrects the balance. We cannot help but be caught up in his suspicion, first when he believes 'there is something funny going on,' and finally, searingly, when it isn’t even clear to him to whom it has all been happening."
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Deadline
April 14th, 2016

"I don’t think Alzheimer’s has lost its shock value, especially to a generation dealing with it head-on. But Doug Hughes’ production, with one notable exception, seems slight at 90 intermissionless minutes. The exception, of course, is Langella, giving another master class in felt performance as André regresses — devolves, really — from strong-willed fighter to whimpering babe...It’s a performance of surpassing empathy, and sadness."
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The Washington Post
April 14th, 2016

"Florian Zeller’s gimmicky disease play about aging and dementia...That the one dimension is inhabited so robustly by Frank Langella is the sole element elevating the piece above the desolately routine. But his presence is not nearly enough to overcome the playwright’s overly obvious conceits...As a demonstration of how Alzheimer’s runs its course, Hughes’s production has some merit...However, 'The Father' is mundane."
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