Already closed | 1h 35m | Midtown W

The Lifespan of a Fact (NYC)

From 514 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the show

Based on the true story of the conflict between a famous essayist and his fact checker, this world premiere drama comes to Broadway in a production starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale. More…

Jim Fingal (Daniel Radcliffe) has a small job: to fact check articles for one of the best magazines in the country. Jim Fingal’s boss (Cherry Jones) has given him a big assignment: apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by legendary author John D’Agata (Bobby Cannavale). What starts professional quickly becomes profane as one question rises to the surface: Can Jim Fingal ever just shut the fact up?

1h 35m | Already closed | Studio 54 (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (514)


Great acting, Funny, Clever, Absorbing, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Based on a true story, Well acted, Intelligent, Plotless, Talky

See it if you want a straightforward, amusing play re:standards of nonfiction. All 3 actors are adept. Some laughs; some insights. Needs smaller venue

Don't see it if you want an impt discussion (nonfiction SHOULD be factual) or a satisfying ending. Why all-white cast? Drags occasionally.Mostly enjoyable

Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want to see 3 top notch actors give great performances in a funny entertaining show that is also timely and topical and super relevant.

Don't see it if You’re not a fan of topical plays that make you work a little for your satisfaction. Like most things in life, there’s no clear cut ending.

Great writing, Profound, Resonant, Must see, Absorbing

See it if Smartly penned script that is terrically acted but some of the best. Completely absorbed throughout. Intriguing but the funny landed too.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays with deep themes or plots focused on journalism.

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if How important are exact facts when trying to convey emotional truths? Humorous, well-acted, light entertainment. Some clever twists.

Don't see it if You are looking for more depth to the theme and characters. The ideological debate got a little repetitive.

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant, Funny

See it if u want to see 3 first-rate actors turn a modest comedy into a riveting debate, full of potent ideas, relatable characters & plenty of laughs

Don't see it if u expect much heft from this superficial take on the weighty subject of the sad state of journalism; u feel cheated by ambiguous endings.

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Disappointing, Relevant

See it if Powerhouse cast (Jones edges lead) & Silverman's sleek direction propels glib but important look at current journalism Clever but handcuffed

Don't see it if Drama often feels guilty of the very idea that's on trial - jouralistic purity While very funny lacks dramatic heft; has quality of a thesis

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if the embodiment of philosophical ideas attracts you. The characters are recognizable as people as well as concepts.

Don't see it if you are not attentive to detail. Information is given but not hammered.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if Veracity is the key for three in publishing. At last, a role w/ no tiresome Cannavale swagger. Radcliffe is cast excellently. No politics.

Don't see it if Although there is no political referencing, "truthiness" fatigue unavoidably sets in with the abiding current of ethical disclosure.

Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Relevant, Taut

See it if you'd like to see terrific acting in a great, fast-moving production of a timely play.

Don't see it if you're looking for escapism.

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you’re interested in a show that intelligently draws parallels between the storyline and our current era of “alternate facts.”

Don't see it if you aren’t interested in hearing compelling arguments for both sides of the debate. The show presents both sides without casting judgment.

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

See it if You’d be intrigued by a topical play about the relevant issue of what constitutes a fact/truth, performed by three terrific actors.

Don't see it if You find stories about journalistic integrity boring, talky, and/or very similar, and don’t really care for these particular actors.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see how a fact can mutate within minutes/enjoy watching 3 wonderful actors with terrific chemistry. Interesting topic. Funny.

Don't see it if you don't like insightful plays that mirror our current political atmosphere; you're looking for neat, pat answers or the real facts.

Why do you have to almost ruin everything by begging the audience for money

See it if You want to see three of the most amazing acting performances all on one stage together. The play is also very well written and relevant

Don't see it if You are going to be annoyed by the actors begging for money after taking their final bow

Also I thought my review was going to focus on the fact that I paid more mo... Read more Read less

Enjoyable and intriguing, but to what end?

See it if Like to watch 3 excellent actors engage in clever, (but not profound) discussion about truth" & "truthiness".It's fun, but almost plotless.

Don't see it if Want character development, a clear POV, need to have more meaning. But hey, if you want to just be entertained, this one still works.

Riveting, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Funny

See it if You want to see three phenomenal actors play off each other exquisitely. Quirky, lively, and funny, never boring, fast play.

Don't see it if You need to understand everything that is going on. Occasional plotholes made you go "huh?" Very talk heavy play, very straightforward.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Must see, Intelligent, Funny

See it if like GREAT acting.All 3 actors are at the top of their games.Story is about the value of accuracy in media.Couldn't be more relevant.

Don't see it if you want a musical comedy love story.This is funny, but it's also very important.It's a serious topic that is handled with skill and humor.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if you'll enjoy a dynamite ensemble in a timely story that addresses "alternate facts" and "fake news."

Don't see it if you have no interest in exploring the tension between writing for resonance and emotional impact vs reporting facts.

Great acting, Clever, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy seeing 3 great actors doing their thing in a story that aims to be relevant with some interesting twists

Don't see it if You are expecting great drama/comedy. The story is the weak link here

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if intelligent show where facts in an essay about a tragic event are shown to be embellished; dialogue about getting to truth/heart of event

Don't see it if you want action & don't want a lot of dialogue that makes you think

Also Excellent acting (by all), staging and writing.... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you’d enjoy a hilarious look at how much truth in media matters (or doesn’t.) The entire cast is excellent.

Don't see it if I got nothing. This show is so much fun, I’ve even forgiven Daniel Radcliffe for Equus.

Disappointing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Annoying

See it if If you don't take truth too seriously, you will enjoy this piece which puts truth through a gymnasium of exercises.

Don't see it if You are disconcerted by the media bending and twisting truth to fit an agenda. Much of this is played for laughs, but the topic is serious.

Disappointing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if Want to see good actors in a mediocre show.

Don't see it if Want a better story and better characters.

Interesting premiss, very talented cast, and a very interesting story, still it missed the mark and i'm not sure whom or what specifically was at fault

See it if the chance to see Cherry Jones on stage would just make your day.

Don't see it if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of actor Bobby Cannavale naked on stage because that doens't happen in this play.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if You are looking for a different,unique show. The play causes you to examine the importance of facts vs poetic license. The cast is terrific!

Don't see it if The subject matter is of little interest to you. The play is more compelling at this time due to issues regarding "fake news."

Absorbing, Clever, Indulgent, Light entertainment, Great acting

See it if you want clever/witty -- but not particularly thought-provoking -- exploration of nature of truth. Great acting from all three.

Don't see it if want something more intellectually stimulating. This is light entertainment - glibly & wittily addressing Franzen- or Frey-like author.

October 18th, 2018
“There used to be a genre of Broadway comedy meant to be topical but not emotional...But ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ clearly wants to be more than that, even if its raw material isn’t strong enough for drama...'Terrifically engaging but not as smart as it thinks.' That this doesn’t much matter as th...
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October 18th, 2018
“A quick and entertaining play that makes a good case for the value of truth...If Fingal gets the upper’s partly thanks to Radcliffe’s appeal as an actor. His Fingal may be a persnickity fussbudget with a dubious sense of which battles to pick, but his bite is the bite of an underdog......
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October 18th, 2018
"Directed with a light touch and a sense for gradual crescendo...and constructed with elegance and precision on all fronts...’The Lifespan of a Fact’ gives you the satisfying rush of a good mystery or a crossword puzzle. Your brain gets to go the gym for 90 minutes. But it doesn’t get to go home ...
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October 22nd, 2018
"Thus are the battle lines drawn: soulful artist vs. nitpicking pedant, in John’s view; amoral fabricator vs. ethical realist, in Jim’s...For such a conceit to work, we have to believe in the merit of the thing that is in dispute. Is one essay really worth all this fuss?...As the play goes on, an...
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