Already closed | 3h 15m | Midtown W

The Inheritance

From 471 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Great staging

About the show

Re-envisioning E. M. Forster’s masterpiece “Howards End” to 21st-century New York, this epic two-part play follows the interlinking lives of three generations of gay men searching for a community of their own. More…

From the show:

It begins with a gathering of young, gay New Yorkers.

Each has a story aching to come out…

Profoundly touching and wickedly hilarious, Matthew Lopez’s highly-anticipated two-part play, THE INHERITANCE, asks how much we owe to those who lived and loved before us, and questions the role we must play for future generations.

Brilliantly re-envisioning E. M. Forster’s masterpiece “Howards End” to 21st-century New York, it follows the interlinking lives of three generations of gay men searching for a community of their own – and a place to call home.

This epic new play by Matthew Lopez marks the Broadway debut of a bold new voice in American theatre, directed by visionary two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, Netflix’s The Crown). THE INHERITANCE is a life-affirming journey of tears and laughter, through conflicts and connections, heartbreak and hope. A new play, generations in the making.

3h 15m | Already closed | Ethel Barrymore Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (471)


Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Great staging

Overrated, Breaks no new ground in focusing on the aids crisis, Overlong, Banal, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a 7 hour epic about the AIDS crisis. Part 1 is actually quite good and compelling. No need to see part 2 as it just rambles.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy long evenings in the theatre. Part 2 seems endless. Too much narration, needs more dramatization.

Also If you want to see it, go to part 1 only. It is a complete play and yo... Read more Read less

Slow, Intense, Indulgent, Edgy, Confusing

See it if You like shows about gay men and trials and tribulations.

Don't see it if You don't want to see long drawn out talky plays.

Also I saw both parts the same day. This was way way too long. We've all se... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if to remember the tragedy of the AIDS crisis.This is not as good as it should or could have been despite good acting. Too narrative

Don't see it if you are looking for a more honest experience of what was a terrible loss and destruction to our culture. Some moments of connection

Self indulgent, Relevant, Ambitious, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you believe the hype and want to see a new play on Broadway.

Don't see it if you are looking for something that doesn't meander all around the subject and steals from other well written pieces

Also I so wanted to love this. I read about its journey in the UK and the a... Read more Read less

Breaks no new gound, Too many monologues, Low artistic value, Tortuously long, Overstuffed

See it if Stuffed every LGBT issue. Messy, overly sentimental. Should be trimmed to within 3 hrs instead of 6+ hrs. Nothing really new or insightful

Don't see it if Other than a few characters mirror each other, there is little artistic value. Too many monologue/narration over acting. Boring stereotypes

Too darn long, Overrated, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if you have believed all the hype; and think it can't be missed-it can. Agree with reviews calling it a soap opera. Gratuitous sex.

Don't see it if you only want to say you saw it. I only cared about one character; and the play has many. I have no interest in seeing part 2.

Verbose, sentimental, hammy

See it if you're a happy groundling.

Don't see it if you don't follow the herd.

Also This is a "Da Vinci Code" of a play - that is, a lowbrow sentimental w... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you are a younger gay man who needs perspective on gay history, and have the money and patience to sit for more than 6 hours to get it.

Don't see it if you prefer plays direct, with characters you believe in and dialogue rather than speeches; or if explicit language about gay life offends.

Also Partly, my reaction is push-back against publicity and hype. I find th... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Great acting, Banal, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in modern gay life in New York, it is an honest conversation about things that we typically don't think about

Don't see it if you are expecting an epiphany, because there's nothing new and it meanders on and makes you feel drained and exhausted by the end

Disappointing, Overrated, Banal

See it if you listened to the reviews it received it London and believe the UK critics, I found it hard to sit through

Don't see it if you are expecting greatness, there's just nothing new and it sort of takes energy out of you and makes you feel drained

Thought-provoking, Overrated, Banal, Ambitious

See it if if you want questions of how gay men should care for each other explored in a big, soapy drama of love and loss in the big city

Don't see it if you resent being jerked around emotionally & exhorted rather than moved to feel things, or if you know this play's source materials

Also You can respect the ambition of the author, you can appreciate the qua... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Cliched, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you are eager to see a good story about gay men.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to being emotionally manipulated and the idea of spending 7 hours in the theater is daunting.

Overlong, Heavy-handed, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to support gay writers/theater, learn or relive AIDS era, see a few good new actors & Lois Smith do monologues, or like soap operas

Don't see it if You’re put off by gay nudity or themes, heavy-handedness, long soliloquies, and/or saying in six hours what could be well said in three.

Banal, Disappointing, Overrated, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if (Part 1) You like me are a gay theater completest.

Don't see it if It was like some original college production. The writing seemed intent on violating every rule of playwrighting, and not in a good way.

Also I'm gay and have a lot of theater experience. Most of the audience pro... Read more Read less

Style over substance

See it if The staging was gorgeous, and the performances by John Benjamin Hickey and Lois Smith were subtle and moving.

Don't see it if Despite running 7-1/2 hours, the play doesn't have much to say. It cribs from older, better works. And most of the younger cast overacts.

Ambitious, Cliched, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You are persuaded by the great reviews and awards that it’s worth seeing, Not.

Don't see it if You have no patience for overblown and overlong plays that are pretentiously arty. The connection to Howard’s End is tenuous at best.

Also This is no “Angels in America”, though it tries hard to be. I found al... Read more Read less

During previews
Too too too loooong, Cliched, Great acting, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You want a gay soap opera mixed with long soliloquies delivered by terrific cast.

Don't see it if You are looking for the next Angels in America and get an overacted soap opera that was loved in London but is banal here.

Also Why this show won such accolades in London is beyond me.

During previews
Way too long, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You like melodrama with little depth and you can overlook some bad acting and writing.

Don't see it if You want to see a well written play that has more than one or fully realized two characters.

During previews
Melodramatic, Indulgent, Disappointing, Bloated, Ambitious

See it if you're going to be seduced by the rave reviews it received it London. I suppose there will be no stopping you then. (I found it overrated.)

Don't see it if you want something as profound, easily digestible & brilliant as Angels in America or Normal Heart. This felt like an indulgent soap opera.

Also I really, really, really wanted to love this. There's a decent show in... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Overrated, Great acting

See it if You like gay plays and aids plays and plays where privileged people complain about their lives. Or it’s a free ticket

Don't see it if You have had enough of gay plays about hiv. I don’t see what this had to offer that was new at all. I’d see part two if it was free.

During previews
Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a play about younger generation of gay men learning about how things were back in the 80's

Don't see it if you were expecting an ANGELS IN AMERICA masterpiece. It falls far short.

Also It is not awful and there are some interesting moments but the whole s... Read more Read less

During previews
Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if If you're into gay rights and dont mind sitting through an over-long show of 3 1/2 hours. Or if you like to care about the characters

Don't see it if If you liked Angels in America. It's far superior. Don't' like long-winded diatribes about gay rights.

During previews
Way way way too long, Manipulates the audience with knee-jerk emotional triggers, Repeatedly jumps the shark, Melodramatic, Paul hilton as e.m. forster is the real reason to see this play

See it if enjoyed the Crystal & Alexis fights on Dynasty. There are several in this vastly overrated gay soap opera. K Soller & P Hilton come off best

Don't see it if are expecting greatness. The "what story should I write" framework saps any dramatic urgency, since plot developments are all "up for grabs"

Also I'm no prude, but I really don't understand the need for such vivid an... Read more Read less

During previews
Committed cast, Mechanical dialogue, Aimless, Feigned

See it if you are open to a rising playwright or are a fan of E.M. Forster & Howards End.

Don't see it if you're expecting to see the next "must-see" hot property. If so, then you've set yourself up to be disappointed.

Also A capable cast makes an honest attempt to deliver this story --- but t... Read more Read less

During previews
Insipid, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining, Exquisite

See it if You enjoy generic gay soap operas with nothing new to say, yet come with magnificent trimmings that purposefully manipulate your emotions.

Don't see it if You thought all those London accolades were a preamble to the next ANGELS IN AMERICA. This is a minor work, containing a few major moments.

Also Part One. I did not have the religious experience promised me. However... Read more Read less

November 17th, 2019
"‘The Inheritance’ Review: So Many Men, So Much Time:Breadth doesn’t always equal depth in Matthew Lopez’s supersize, vividly painted portrait of gay life in the 21st century, featuring E.M. Forster as a spirit guide."
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November 17th, 2019
4/5 Stars "Rarely transmitted by the families of LGBT people themselves-many of the men in this play have childhoods marked by trauma-gay culture is a chain of links to the past. The AIDS epidemic severed many of those links; 'The Inheritance' aims to reforge them."
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November 17th, 2019
"Tragedy Plus Comedy Plus Melodrama in 'The Inheritance'"
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November 17th, 2019
"Stephen Daldry directs Matthew Lopez's two-part drama about gay New Yorkers, which draws inspiration from 'Howards End' to depict the generation after the AIDS crisis."
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