New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

The Parisian Woman

From 57 critic and 439 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Disappointing

About the show

Oscar nominee Uma Thurman ('Pulp Fiction,' 'Kill Bill') makes her Broadway debut in a new power play by 'House of Cards' creator Beau Willimon ('Farragut North,' 'Ides of March'). Directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon. More…

'The Parisian Woman' is set in Washington, D.C., where powerful friends are the only kind worth having—especially after the 2016 election. At the center is Chloe (Thurman), a socialite armed with charm and wit, coming to terms with politics, her past, her marriage, and an uncertain future. Dark humor and drama collide at this pivotal moment in Chloe's life, and in our nation's, when the truth isn't obvious and stakes couldn't be higher. Willimon’s inspiration for 'The Parisian Woman' came from French dramatist Henry Becque’s controversial 1885 play 'La Parisienne.'

1h 30m | Already closed | Hudson Theatre (Midtown W)

The Clyde Fitch Report

"Uma Thurman, making an impressive Broadway debut...Willimon is damned if he doesn’t succeed at revealing that DC politics is one of those places in America in which the word 'corrupt' qualifies as a compliment...Certainly there is no denying that his play is served well by those passing around what he’s dishing. Director Pam MacKinnon lifts the unremitting sniping among actors to a high level." Full Review

Theater Time

"Crisply written new play with the title role played with icy perfection by Uma Thurman...Pam MacKinnon's direction as usual is stinging and always on target yet not sure why she decided to turn Peter into such a goofy fellow...Yes, some of the play may feel manipulative and predictable but it is generally so well acted and Thurman is thrilling in such a quiet way that you are drawn into this snappishly entertaining play." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

“Deep character portrayal is not the play’s strength. Playing out a somewhat intricate plot while springing an occasional surprise is where the pleasure lies. There are scattered references to life under the Trump administration that go for an easy laugh. The actors are well-cast. Ms. Thurman seems perfectly comfortable onstage; that her character does not come across as more charismatic is probably a problem in the writing.” Full Review

Daily Beast

"Willimon’s play feels market-fresh, stuffed as it is with references to Donald Trump...Thurman’s performance is truly intriguing: Physically and verbally, you are never quite sure which direction she will go in. Under Pam MacKinnon’s tight direction, Thurman slinks, stomps, charms, cajoles, threatens, and sometimes, fleetingly, she is upset. It’s a performance that feels a little unpredictable and roughened." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

“McKinnon has staged the play with fluidity, and Thurman in particular moves about the beautiful space with command and great grace. She belongs in this elegant environment...Willimon has turned to his earlier version of the play and moved it up to Trump time by inserting a quote from our president’s tweets. They get the laughs, but they seem out of place...The lighthearted banter that serves the first half of this play is darkened somewhat as the gears of the plot kick in.” Full Review


“A snappy, entertainingly slimy 90-minute comedy...Jauntily-paced and precisely calibrated direction...Thurman acquits herself admirably in a role that calls on her to be a sexy, charismatic power player in the Washington cesspool. She and especially Brown stand out in this handsomely mounted production...This is not a play for the ages, but a provocative amusement for the moment. Maybe someday it will be considered a significant artifact of our present.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"These fine actors make this all look so easy, fitting into their perfectly tailor-made roles...It’s surprising and thoroughly engaging, keeping us on our toes and leaning in...A very current and complex play. It constantly surprises with its smart and sassy dialogue...I wanted more, I must say. More insight, maybe more hope for the future. The play as it stands is compelling enough, and definitely entertaining, but won’t create an interesting dialogue for too long after the curtain goes do... Full Review

New York Daily News

"Chloe, we’re often told, is fascinating. But the script does little to show why...But Thurman’s striking presence...goes a long way to making Chloe attention-getting...How will Chloe reach her goal? That’s burning question the play posits as Pam McKinnon’s assured, well-acted and handsomely designed staging unfolds...That makes for dishy entertainment...At times the dialogue is too stiff to sound natural. But politics are in Willimon’s wheelhouse." Full Review


"Proves to be eminently watchable -- in large part due to the star power of Uma Thurman...Sadly, director Pam MacKinnon often seems on less firm ground here than she has in such triumphs as 'Clybourne Park' and 'Virginia Woolf.' Still, she deserves much credit for both casting Thurman and guiding her star to such a committed performance...Thurman never flinches while acting opposite her unfortunately chosen leading men, notably the thoroughly miscast Lucas." Full Review


“A drawing-room comedy of the old school, where emotion and plot are intriguing if not quite real...Willimon lards his romantic twists and turns with a lot of political savvy giving the script a contemporary edge...Under MacKinnon’s rather middling direction, the acting isn’t quite as assured...She may not elevate Willimon’s writing, but she rarely denigrates it...In short, a lot of ‘The Parisian Woman’ may be old hat, but like an old chapeau it still has its chic.” Full Review


"It’s peppered with lots of talk, including gross-generalization jokes about how 'Men are always like this' or 'Bankers do such and such.' Heavy-handedness seeps in...Fortunately, there’s also occasional insight into human (and political) nature, as a wisecrack reveals more than a facile observation...Tony winner Blair Brown adds verve as a powerful woman who becomes the object of some serious machinations, and the striking Thurman acts in a committed fashion." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“What might have been little more than a faintly entertaining, old-fashioned, politically-themed, boulevard dramedy gets some extra mileage by being updated to…the first year of the Trump administration…There's some left-leaning pleasure in having Trump continually jabbed at…but little is new and even less very funny. Take Trump away and the play collapses…Uma Thurman, long, lean, and lovely, captures Chloe's cool, calculating glamor but doesn't go too far in showing deeper feelings.” Full Review


“Making her Broadway debut, film star Uma Thurman dazzles in ‘The Parisian Wife’ as a Washington Beltway wife trying to help her husband get an appointment as a judge on the circuit court. Unfortunately, while the new play by Beau Willimon (‘House of Cards,’ ‘Farragut North,’ ‘The Ides of March’) might be perceived as a guilty pleasure, it is also glib and superficial and has nothing new to tell us about the ways of Washington, D.C. we don't already know or suspect.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Thurman is delightful and crafty in her role...Also beyond delightful is Blair Brown...Pam MacKinnon does an adequate job of staging, but there is no champagne sparkle...The laughs come fast and funny; but there is something synthetic about the style and the story...Even the frequent gibes at the president seem dated at times, his old campaign gaffes—locker room tales and all—by now sound inconsequential compared to what he’s been doing lately." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"Thurman delivers a commanding performance...While Willimon’s dialogue can sound too polished, 'The Parisian Woman' remains both plausible and entertaining under Pam MacKinnon’s brisk direction...The townhouse setting, measured conversations and tightly woven plot end up seeming rather genteel and thus fail to capture the delirious condition of US political life. Only a more eclectic, fragmented style of theatre could convey that sense of chaos." Full Review

This Week in New York Blog

“Slight though enjoyable, but it seldom achieves the intimacy it strives for...MacKinnon directs with a sure hand...but the play suffers from Willimon’s repeated references to Trump and White House Chief of Staff Kelly, making it feel more like liberal propaganda at times...Not without its merits, but it ends up being akin to a good episode of ‘House of Cards’, which will not be enough for more discerning theatergoers.” Full Review


"In this era of oversaturation, when news becomes dated within hours, you need a really good reason to add your voice to the clamor. Mr. Willimon doesn't have one." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"Unfortunately, Willimon brings none of his shrewd insight into the political machine to the stage here...They’re amusing enough, but don’t offer any more insight than a five-minute scroll through Twitter would, and it quickly starts to feel stale and cliché. Likewise, Thurman’s Chloe feels uninspired, and the actress doesn’t slip smoothly into the role...Still, the show has its pleasures: Soo is wonderful...And some of Willimon’s lines are deliciously funny." Full Review

Limelight Magazine (AU)

“Where Willimon really scores is in his portrait of Chloe, known as ‘The Parisian Woman’...At 90 minutes straight through, 'The Parisian Woman' is a pleasant enough evening for a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and (disappointingly) one that probably won’t upset too many Republicans. But come curtain down, you can’t help wishing Willimon and MacKinnon had brandished more of the cold steel and theatrical chutzpah of the Underwoods.” Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

"Tame, tidy, talky and only superficially timely...There are now some current references, but they feel like checked boxes; there is little here that can count as substantive political or psychological insight into a new era. 'The Parisian Woman' also seems likely to disappoint anybody hoping for the theatrical equivalent of an anti-Trump support group...Theatergoers not bothered by these limitations, however, might find 'The Parisian Woman' a diverting enough 90 minutes." Full Review

Broadway News

"Thurman’s character never really seems to have much of a pulse, leaving the play with a glamorous void at its center...The appeal of the play, directed with a competent slickness by Pam MacKinnon, is its neatly laced-together plot, as well as, for Trump-o-phobes, Willimon’s many wry cracks about the state of the nation...Willimon’s sometimes glib cynicism eventually feels as obvious as the play’s more heavy-breathing passages...Only a mildly diverting evening at the theater." Full Review


“The setup is simple, the stakes feel low, and for the first half of these 90 minutes, it’s not very clear what we’re doing here...MacKinnon’s characteristically serviceable direction does little to generate heat. Willimon, a keen observer and wordsmith, turns out some memorable truisms...Thurman, whose poise and assurance is impressive, if not equal to the total self-possession and command of the stage her character would seem to require” Full Review

Village Voice

“Willimon has a good sense of the political game-playing involved...But turning Becque’s Parisian lady into a Capitol Hill cynosure brings two problems. The first the work’s machinery depends on its power to shock...Second shortfall lies within MacKinnon’s rather lackluster production...The three secondary characters are supposedly fixated on the scintillating woman at the play’s core...Thurman is precise and appropriate in every moment of the role. But she is never more than that.” Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"Uma Thurman plays this coldly calculating, incredibly glamorous figure, conveying the character’s allure with a film star’s confidence. Her interactions as an arch manipulator, however, are too brazen to be really believable. As much as the play pulses with intrigue and unease, it also feels wildly improbable – even by the standards of the new ‘normal’ of the Trump era. That’s as much a fault of the too-pat writing as it is the rather actorly performances." Full Review


“A parable of what it takes, particularly the sacrifices that have to be made, to attain political power and advancement...Thurman not only looks more glamorous than ever, she’s also a wonderful stage actress. Her nuanced, naturally commanding interpretation of the role lends gravitas to Willimon’s predictable, at times clichéd, play. The rest of the capable cast, as well as excellent director MacKinnon, do their best to save the handsome production from the writing’s surprising mediocrity.” Full Review

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Great story and play. Funny. Uma Thurman’s is gorgeous

Don't see it if For adults only

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if Clever and entertaining story and great acting. Uma Thurman was wonderful.

Don't see it if You don't like a story about the ins and outs of politics.

Clever, Entertaining, Epic, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You loyou ve making fun of the current presidential administration and if you enjoy house of cards minus spacey.

Don't see it if You are conservative

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You want to see a new play that is funny and keeps up with today's headlines. Keeps your interest till the end.

Don't see it if You are not interested in what truly goes on in politics. From a serious & comic side!!

Great acting, Great writing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Sublime acting, political drama about a woman who will stop at nothing to get her husband a judgeship. Shocking what she'll do.

Don't see it if You'd be bored by a fast paced 100 minute drama. But time flies by

Absorbing, Charismatic, Great writing, Relevant, Sleek

See it if Nonstop exchange of sharp and witty comebacks that is not only relevant to today’s politics, but also deeply captivating. Kudos big toe lady

Don't see it if Conversations are lengthy and obviously politically charged. Huge Trump hater as well. Numerous subtle nuances will be missed from far

Also Sitting in the very first row allowed me to witness the trembling of U... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Exquisite, Enchanting

See it if You like sophisticated characters. It is not about politics. It is about human nature in the setting of political arena.

Don't see it if You don't like politics and dark side of human nature

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy sharp wit and drama together plus characters you'll both love and hate. If you're left wing, you'll like the political humor.

Don't see it if you're sensitive to jokes about the sitting president.

Absorbing, Edgy

See it if Uma and a well known cast are on your list. Interesting take on Washington Politics with some surprise turns.

Don't see it if Your both by anti Trump statements

Funny, Entertaining, Intelligent, Clever

See it if You enjoy political comedy/dramas; you like plays with twists and turns; you want to see Uma Thurman in her first Broadway appearance

Don't see it if You would be offended by negative comments about the current administration

Clever, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Are a human living in the modern world and care about the society you dwell in.

Don't see it if Aren't interested in political commentaries.

Also It's very relevant to today's time. And this show is the very reason w... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you love quick-witted political dramas with a powerful female lead

Don't see it if you don't like to mix politics with entertainment

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You want a real political thrill..and something that is witty and clever. Uma THurman is great

Don't see it if if you are looking for a long day's journey into is a short play with no intermission but well worth it

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

See it if you enjoy stories about relationships.

Don't see it if you want a political drama. Washington D.C, political scene is the backdrop but the story is rooted in the interpersonal relationships.

Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You are into a clever thinking plot and great acting. There are unexpected turns...just like House of Cards.

Don't see it if You are a Trump very political.

Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You want to see the great acting of Uma Thurman

Don't see it if You don’t to hear the name of the current Presindent, it’s part of the theme!

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Intense

See it if - you would relish seeing Uma Thurman in the role of a conniving Washington wife.

Don't see it if -you would object to references to contemporary politics.

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

See it if If you like house of cards, this political play on how to get a head in DC iis right for you. Keeping the Donald out of it most of the time!

Don't see it if If gay relationships or stabs at the predictor in chef are troubling to you. (We wouldn’t want you their either!)

Also Great acting , well writen, great powerful roles for women and some fu... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if politically informed, open-minded, nonjudgemental, have a sense of humor

Don't see it if close-minded, unaware of the political climate of this county, have no sense of humor

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing

See it if You enjoy sharp, witty banter.

Don't see it if You expect great acting - it's the script that carries the play!

Absorbing, Funny, Edgy, Fluffy, Slow

See it if You want to laught with Modern day trump jokes, if you like a good plot twist

Don't see it if You don’t find trump jokes to be funny, it political views aren’t for you. If martial affairs upset you

Clever, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy seeing Uma Thurman and the talented ensemble interact with some political justice.

Don't see it if you are fed up with socialites and political romps.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Intelligent

See it if A fan of Uma Thurman. She’s gorgeous in this and gives a great enjoy political humor targeted at today’s insane environment.

Don't see it if You’re a Trump supporter. If you’re not an Uma Thurman fan.

Resonant, Refreshing, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are looking to see a play that is political and focused on present day issues. You are looking to see tony level acting

Don't see it if Play the todaytix Lottery-you should see it if you like plays but can see it cheap through Lottery or tkts

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Great writing, Relevant

See it if If you liked the 1st 2 seasons of “house of cards”

Don't see it if You can’t take a drama with uncomfortable twists or can’t relate to realistic political venom

Also Marton Csokas Is either grossly miscast or couldn’t bother to learn an... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (12)