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.

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'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.'

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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


“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

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

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


“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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“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

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

The Guardian (UK)

"The play’s at its best when characters trade wisecracks about Beltway politics and make shrewd observations about what motivates its power-hungry practitioners; it’s at its worst when it reaches higher, for emotional beats that feel clunky and strained, especially when transmitted through characters whose interpersonal relationships are half-baked and flimsily developed...These jokes are a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from clever to canned." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Sharp, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you're interested in the lives and dynamics of politicians, more than politics in general

Don't see it if you can't stand anything having to do with politics or politicians

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to be entertained by an interesting piece, well acted and designed.

Don't see it if you want serious drama, well plotted and significant.

Relevant, Cliched, Superficial, Cathartic, Propulsive

See it if you like women-centered narratives, political machinations, moral ambiguity, and a healthy dose of soap (the personal is political!)

Don't see it if you want high level drama that is ground-breakingly clever and leaves you thinking for days. It's enjoyable but relatively superficial.

Also I'm not a House of Cards fan, and I enjoyed this more than I expected.... Read more Read less

Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if You can stomach really bad acting, but want an interesting play...

Don't see it if All you care about us Uma... you’ll be disappointed...

Relevant, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you're interested in the mechanisms of political corruption.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play that goes beyond something two dimensional.

Funny, Clever, Relevant

See it if You are appalled but amused by the corrupt and foolish Trump supporters.

Don't see it if You love everything Trump.

Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You like political dramas with not too much politics in it.

Don't see it if You don't like the political scene.

Disappointing, Slow, Good acting (blair brown)

See it if you want to see a very superficial look at the strange bedfellows politicians make as they claw their way up the career ladder.

Don't see it if the tickets cost too much. you might feel a bit cheated. but hurry, the show closes on the 11th.

Also blair brown put forth a solid performance, and josh lucas was fine. ho... Read more Read less

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

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

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.

Relevant, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you like entertaining soap operas and anything that makes fun of Trump and Washington politics even if in a trite and one dimensional way

Don't see it if you expect a nuanced and believable script.

Banal, Disappointing

See it if you LOVE Uma Thurman (she has SOME good moments--worthwhile for big fans) or any kind of political-type play.

Don't see it if you expect highly intelligent, thought-provoking work from a House of Cards writer or expect an insightful political drama.

Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to see a play that addresses our current political climate with comedy and insight.

Don't see it if You are a fan of Trump or may not relate to the politics of our times.

Also Great performances. It's nice to see Uma Thurman in something that doe... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you like plays with topical themes, the writing and style of House of Cards, or are interested in seeing Uma Thurman on stage.

Don't see it if you want a break from politics

An amusing soap-opera about the d.c. “swamp”, failed to be a penetrating political commentary.

See it if you like Uma Thurman.

Don't see it if you are tired of worn out jokes about Trump, and living room dramas.

Funny, Absorbing, Indulgent

See it if political commentary/ right wing politics are your jam, you enjoy 'colorful' language on stage

Don't see it if you are a Trump supporter

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Overrated, Slow

See it if you're excited to see Uma Thurman in the flesh or just need your "House of Cards"-esque fix.

Don't see it if you get antsy with lots of heady talking.

Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Interesting, Mannered

See it if You want to see a show with some clever lines, and you want to see performers you know from other genres.

Don't see it if You want a high paced, deeply nuanced play.

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

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, Intelligent, Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you are interested in watching how politics works in DC.

Don't see it if the characters are not particularly well developed or deep. It feels a bit overacted and slippery

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Timely

See it if You are a fan of any of the leads, enjoy political, fictional television, &/or prefer shows without an intermission, than go see it soon!

Don't see it if Politically based fictional television, or none of the actors/actresses are of interest. People that don't go often can make better choices.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you would like to see what is happening now in politics

Don't see it if reality thrown in your face is something you cant accept

Disappointing, Mediocre, Uneven, Muddled, Misguided

See it if you want to see what happens when a script that could be an interesting drama gets directed and performed like a sitcom.

Don't see it if you don't want to see terrible acting and some really confounding direction.

Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you want to see a wonderful cast perform a politically charged show that changes with the news

Don't see it if You are a big Trump supporter or don't want to confront questions of morality in politics

Also I saw this show twice because I found out about the script adjustments... Read more Read less

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

See it if political scandals and intrigue are your bag--or movie stars

Don't see it if plotting and scheming are not your thing

Also I really enjoyed this and thought the entire cast was great. It may no... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (12)