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.

... Read 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.'


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

60
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

40
Theatermania

"A plot as flimsy as a house of cards...Unfortunately, 'The Parisian Woman' is dramatic junk food at its best moments. We gasp at the intrigue and laugh (with ever-diminishing relish) at the perfunctory jabs at the President. None of it really sheds any light on this juncture in our republic...This less than thrilling thriller is further hindered by some of the worst acting currently on a Broadway stage...Cheap cynicism masquerading as the truth." Full Review

40
Variety

"Entrusting this captivating character to a star from another artistic solar system proves an unkindness to both character and star...It gives no pleasure to watch the star struggling to keep up with Chloe...Willimon has updated his play to reflect players in the current administration....But he fails to draw on any of the many issues bedeviling the president, missing his chance to turn this mannered trifle into a substantive political drama." Full Review

55
BroadwayWorld

“Much of the play is quite clever and interesting, but the peripheral Trump references keep upstaging the intrigue...On paper, 'The Parisian Woman' works pretty well. On the stage, it's generally a bore, due primarily to the exceedingly bland performance of Thurman...Lucas is equally uninspired...And then there's the wonderful Brown...If the play could be revised again so that she could play Chloe,’ The Parisian Woman’ would be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Full Review

35
Time Out New York

"Willimon seems stymied by his project. A political thriller stuffed into a sex comedy’s dress, the play bulges in all the wrong places. To be fair, it is hard to assess 'The Parisian Woman' on the basis of Pam MacKinnon’s enervated Broadway production...Thurman is a milky dud. She has no chemistry with either the waxy Lucas or any of the other actors; it’s like watching people try to snap their fingers with wet hands...The play totters idly forward without finding sure footing." Full Review

40
The New York Times

"A collection of every cozy cliché to be mined from the deep catalog of stories about powerful intrigues and human deceit...The setups are unlikely, the payoffs banal. Call it 'Dangerless Liaisons'...Things we need to know are posted baldly in dialogue like a weird Tinder profile. But then nothing in this play — not one line or ginned-up plot turn — feels real. That some of the cast members nevertheless do feel real is a tribute to the great mystery of stage performance." Full Review

45
Theater News Online

“A thudding disappointment...Wooden, plodding and insular...Some dialogue comes across as stagy and canned...Thurman’s bland, stilted delivery does not help...The more time you spend with the characters, the less you feel you know them or care about what they want...MacKinnon’s tight production offers lots of eye candy to relieve the boredom of the dialogue...One of the best-looking and -sounding straight plays on Broadway this fall. It’s just not that clever or insightful.” Full Review

65
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

40
Theater Life

"Contrived claptrap...Willimon’s uneven script has the creaky feel of a century-old potboiler...Popular progressive sentiment fails to save this 'Woman' from soapy suds and unconvincing characterization both in the writing and acting...MacKinnon fails to make these cardboard figures believable even though her staging is smooth and sleek...Thurman and Lucas are both beautiful to look at, but cannot overcome the impossible switcheroo demands Willimon has placed on them." Full Review

45
Lighting & Sound America

“Given a leading lady with plenty of technical skill and stardust to spare, this glossy fiction could have been a genuine guilty pleasure...Under the direction of MacKinnon, who doesn't seem at home with this sort of high-comedy artifice, the rest of the cast performs unevenly...The trouble with ‘The Parisian Woman’ is that we don't quite adore her. Her skills as a siren aren't really believable and her stratagems come from the theatre of another era.” Full Review

60
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

65
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

40
The Hollywood Reporter

"Thurman attacks the part like she's doing bad Noel Coward in regional repertory theater....This is a play with an identity crisis, exacerbated by MacKinnon's incongruously stylized scene changes...Visually, these fussy interludes make no sense, beyond echoing the confusion of a work that can't decide if it's a sly political thriller about our alarming reality or a conventional drawing-room comedy about no credible reality at all." Full Review

40
The Wall Street Journal

"A weightlessly slick piece of politics-flavored confectionery...It bored me to the point of squirming in my seat, packed as it is with boo-hiss-cheer lines so predictable that I caught myself mouthing some of the comebacks a half-beat ahead of the actors. As for Thurman, her performance is technically competent but devoid of the red-hot star quality...MacKinnon is famously good at staging naturalistic dramas, and has done her best to disguise the limitations of the star and script." Full Review

40
AM New York

"A thin and underwhelming new drama...Although the play revolves around heavy-handed plot machinations, it still manages to feel slight and slow. The characters are initially interesting but prove to be one-dimensional. The direction does little to pep up the production...Thurman gives a stiff, unvaried, muted performance in which she mostly sits around and delivers her lines with a small grin and a poker face." Full Review

80
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

40
Front Row Center

“’Willimon offers a remarkably pedestrian script mixing hoary cliché with his signature ‘House of Cards’ Washington-insider slant, smug asides signaling status...Willimon overreaches, folding in marital infidelity pressed into political service, a bewildering male-menopause theme, and the predictable collusion of the D.C. establishment swallowing hard to gain advantage...There’s a sense of missed opportunity here...It’s neither funny nor significant.” Full Review

20
Chicago Tribune

"A stunningly smug, utterly incredible and wholly inept political satire...All of the nuance, sophistication and intellectual complexity of a presidential tweet...One of the fundamental problems of this terrible show is that you never for a moment believe that anyone involved here really knows how the people they are lampooning actually function...But you can’t blame Trump (or Willimon) for some of the incomprehensibly terrible acting on view." Full Review

20
Deadline

"Peppered with newsy references that suggest not so much keen-eared timeliness as a script in flux right up to curtain time. Which may explain why 'The Parisian Woman' is such a train wreck...The dialogue is stilted and delivered haltingly even by the pros in the cast...The amateurism defeats both the director and the more experienced actors onstage...The zingers don’t zing, the flings flop, and 90 minutes pass like the first year of the administration of One Who Must Not Be Named." Full Review

70
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

73
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

55
CurtainUp

“A live, but not quite lively enough, mini ‘House of Cards’…‘The Parisian Woman’ lacks the sizzle of that groundbreaking series…It comes off mainly as a star vehicle for Thurman…Thurman's performance, like Willimon's script, is not as satisfying as it should be. She simply doesn't capture the one of a kind quality this woman is supposed to have…The real star turn of this production is by veteran Broadway actress Blair Brown as Jessica.” Full Review

40
Theatre Reviews Limited

"Overshadows its important themes of love, trust, and the dynamics of relationships with clichés...It seems no one knows what do with Willimon’s script: Pam MacKinnon directs it like a daytime television drama and the actors decide to follow her lead and deliver stilted performances that rarely rise above the mediocre...What ought to be light and terribly funny becomes ponderous and overwrought leaving all attempts at exploring the comedy beneath the high drama falling flat." Full Review

65
TheaterScene.net

“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

75
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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

70
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

77
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.

85
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

65
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.

70
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

79
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

90
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Entertaining

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

69
Slow, Dull, Uma is better on film than on stage.

See it if You want to see unlikeable people in a slow-moving drawing room/political drama. It wants to be more than it is.

Don't see it if You expect Uma to act well, want more action, think Beltway machinations are fascinating no matter what.

Also How did the costume designer manage to make everyone (including) Uma) ... Read more Read less

80
Clever, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you want to see some great writing and good acting that tell an interesting political story. Perfect timing for this show.

Don't see it if you want an elaborate set, flashy staging, or don't want to think.

85
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Uma Thurman is radiating. Perfectly casted. Much better than critics report.

Don't see it if Hate House of Cards.

80
Funny, Edgy, Refreshing, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if surprised by this one; it was interesting and entertaining with twists along the way. plus uma thurman!

Don't see it if it felt very "house of cards" which could be a positive or a negative...

80
Great acting, Masterful, Overrated, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You like the usual story of family disconnect and dysfunction - with great acting by Uma Thurman.

Don't see it if You expect greatness by the other actors in the play. Uma Thurman makes the show - I imagine the play sort of flops if she is not in it.

65
Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Poorly acted

See it if Clair Underwood lite, w/bad acting. A wan attempt at political machinations in Trump's Washington. Clichéd, stilted, lacked spark.

Don't see it if I'm puzzled how so many good actors - Uma Thurman, Josh Lucas, Phillipa Soo - were so bad in this. Only bright spot was Blair Brown.

30
Banal, Excruciating, Bad writing, Bad acting, Bad direction

See it if you want to waste 90-mins and your hard-earned cash.

Don't see it if Just don’t see it.

65
Fine

See it if you love Thurman and/or the dramatization of 2016 political intrigue sounds appealing.

Don't see it if you’re hyper-aware of dialogue or topicality isn’t your thing.

Also It’s not nearly as bad as the reviews, but it certainly isn’t great.

88
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Spot on relevance!

See it if you want to see a play that points out the state of our current government & how cut throat/corrupt some politically affiliated people are..

Don't see it if you're a fan of trump or don't like seeing characters who would do anything to manipulate others to give them what the want...

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if You want to see a couple of pros (Thurman and Brown). Their scenes together are fantastic. Some clever writing in "house of cards' knockoff

Don't see it if You want great writing and a full ensemble. Fairly derivative, some surprises.

69
Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining, Calculated

See it if a live TV show without commercial interruptions starring a famous movie personality. You can guess what comes next before it happens.

Don't see it if you want an escape from the politics of today. Hard to believe that its impetus comes from a classic French play of the 1800s.

78
Funny, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if If you like a political comedy.

Don't see it if N/A

88
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a smart, funny, unapologetic political drama.

Don't see it if you're a Trump fan.

83
Absorbing, Relevant, Great staging, Great cast

See it if You're a fan of Uma, Josh, Blair or Philippa. Interesting 90 minute show set in present day D.C.

Don't see it if You're easily offended by political jokes

85
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You like an old story with a new twist

Don't see it if you are expecting something deep and profound

75
Great acting, Great writing, Interesting, Great staging

See it if You enjoy political fueled writing and dislike the current administration. Playwright is also a writer for "House of Cards." Similar style.

Don't see it if You are a fan of the current administration and don't like political talk.

88
Sharp, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Smart, sharp, political drama by the creator of House of Cards. Strong female characters. Fun twists that made audience vocally respond.

Don't see it if You don't like current politics or are a Trump supporter. Uma Thurman is a little stiff but warms up. Play's staging was a bit flat.

79
Great acting, Entertaining, Topical

See it if You're fans of Uma Thurman, Josh Lucas or the other performers - they do not disappoint. You're interested in the current political climate.

Don't see it if You want audience management (it's only a 90-minute show & several people in our section spent 30 minutes crinkling candy wrappers).


Cast & Creatives (12)