Closed 1h 30m
The Parisian Woman
Midtown W
73

The Parisian Woman NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(445 Reviews)
Positive
71%
Mixed
22%
Negative
7%
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 Show less

Member Reviews (445)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
45
Nonsensical, Annoying, Uninsightful, Unfunny, Dull

See it if you want to witness a muddled mess. The script is idiotic w/no redemption except a handsome set and a beautiful Uma (but her role is awful).

Don't see it if you demand any coherence. TPW is insulting to both Reps and Dems. Stupid drivel. Why did Uma agree to star? And who dressed her (terribly)?

62
Banal, Disappointing, Edgy, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if I cannot come up with a really good reason to see it. Thurman should stick to movies; not a good stage actor.

Don't see it if It was not very good, bad directing, bad script and not good acting. Do not waste your money seeing this one!

Critic Reviews (57)

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"In attempting to walk the line between classic sexual intrigue and contemporary political resonance, 'The Parisian Woman' falls flat on both counts, delivering yet another lamely apologetic, latently self-satisfied slog through the worldview of an ostensibly liberal white dude...Thurman and her castmates are battling their way through dialogue that feels surprisingly monotonous and frequently stilted...A dull complacency weighs down the whole play."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"Why does the play have such trouble finding its angle on the enraging political scene? Despite being self-knowingly au courant, 'The Parisian Woman' feels as creaky as an old boulevard entertainment...While the play informs us of Chloe’s allure, it’s not much in evidence...If people are drawn to Chloe, it’s not because Thurman has injected her with charisma...Thurman is a blank, swanning and sighing as if impersonating the leading lady of an old drawing-room comedy."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"Feels as if it has had the life sucked out of it. Not only is the Washington of Willimon’s imagination here a place of tawdry political prostitution, but it’s also a pretty dull den of iniquity to boot...Willimon’s plot seems to demand an actress of more naturally devious impulses than are possessed by Thurman...Washington may seem to have a hole where its heart is supposed to be, but that’s the only fragment of portraiture in which 'The Parisian Woman' excels."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

“The play is something of a throwback to the stilted dramas of the past...Everyone plays their part well enough but the characters have a cliched scent to them and despite the contemporary spin, there's a sense that we've seen it all before...The 90 minute play, tidily directed, by McKinnon still feels long...The entire production has an under-developed quality...Neither villainous nor irresistible enough to make us care one way or the other.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"An old-fashioned melodrama...Unfortunately, the production only occasionally rises above the temperature of tepid bath water...Throwaway lines succeed at eliciting knowing chuckles and a smattering of applause from the audience, but they don't do much to propel the plot...Overall, there is simply not enough meat on the bones of 'The Parisian Woman' to justify waiting for its delicious gotcha scene."
Read more

December 2nd, 2017

“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.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 12th, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 7th, 2017

“’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.”
Read more

December 9th, 2017

"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 down."
Read more

T
December 7th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 7th, 2017

“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.”
Read more

C
November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 6th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

“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.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"Trump’s name is now mentioned only near the very end of this 90-minute play, but along the way we’re treated to mentions of Ivanka, Twitter mania, General Kelly, fake news, Charlottesville, and a White House under siege by a mad-man president — all of which completely overshadows the captivating tale...With the right actors, Willimon’s play might run refreshingly counter to the zeitgeist. With the current cast and script updates, this 'Parisian Woman' is simply out of sync."
Read more

T
December 3rd, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

T
December 23rd, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 10th, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 13th, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 3rd, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 4th, 2017

"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."
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"A thin, slight work that doesn’t really accomplish much...Thurman, in her Broadway debut, seems shaky and occasionally ill at ease as the promiscuous, manipulative Chloe...What we end up with is a play that loses no opportunity to take shots at the current administration, from generic comments...to specific name-calling. You have to wonder if this would have been a more impactful piece of theater if Willimon had simply left the play alone."
Read more

December 6th, 2017

“This is expensive babbling at high Broadway ticket prices and it will be dated within four years hopefully...Directed with the usual leaden hand of MacKinnon...The one bright note in theatrical parlance is Blair Brown. She is a perfectionist and can make the most awful mundane lines seem plausible. Credit must also be given to Ms. Soo for adding some gravitas to her trite role. As for Ms. Thurman and Mr. Lucas, they have to settle for gorgeous.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

January 2nd, 2018

“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.”
Read more

Z
December 1st, 2017

“This new—drama? comedy? mess?—manages to turn 90 minutes into eons. At least it feels that way...There is blackmail and some ‘shocking’ revelations and supposed passion, and very lame potshots at the current administration, guaranteed to make an audience of Manhattanites chuckle. But they’re cheap shots, and the laughs are scarce and forced...Nothing that happens in this long 90 minutes is based in anything credible.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"At its most painful moments, an incredibly obvious political commentary void of any nuance...Fundamentally, this play seems like a bad piece of writing...The staging of the show was often awkward and incredibly unnatural...The men of the production were basically intolerable and miserable to watch. But in their defense, their characters were horribly written and had to contend with some of the most stilted dialogue to be heard on Broadway in the last decade."
Read more

I
December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

T
December 7th, 2017

"Willimon writes dialogue that sounds like the work of an aggressive spear carrier, a hack even, or maybe someone who just writes tweets. It is jarring to listen to such empty conversation, so falsely spoken. But that is very much the case in this production...In this satire about social climbing politicos in our nation’s capital, the nattering is simply despicable...The action is easy to follow – at first trite and unconvincing, the tale becomes explicitly manipulative and discomforting."
Read more

December 8th, 2017

“The play and its production patronizes its audience...The humor in the show occurs whenever there is a reference to Trump. But these are not richly satirical lines...Not the sort of rich humor or insightful observations that make a political drama worth attention...We expect a Broadway political drama to provide some insight, some viewpoint...There is none of that in the 'The Parisian Woman's 90 minutes – full of very broad strokes of plot and stereotypical characterizations.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

N
December 8th, 2017

"A dog’s breakfast of political satire, adultery farce, and tired Age of Trump catchphrases...It’s a play that lives in the moment. So do fruit flies...The cynical comic tone gives way to a clenched earnestness, with much caterwauling about the president and pandering applause lines for Broadway’s reliably left-wing audience...It’s all quite desperate, even embarrassing. It’s the Broadway equivalent of bringing out a guy in a chicken suit to fire the T-shirt cannon into the audience.”
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

December 11th, 2017

“’The Parisian Woman' is pseudo-clever...McKinnon’s production is impressively mounted...The ensemble is good. But they can’t get beyond the limitations of the material...The play reminded me of David Auburn’s 'The Columnist', which was also a political play that began promisingly and then turned out to be two-dimensional in every way...They’re equally unpersuasive.”
Read more

November 30th, 2017

"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."
Read more

December 1st, 2017

“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.”
Read more

F
December 9th, 2017

“Seems less like an attempt to create a complex and meaningful political play and more like a way to mock the current administration...Seems to have an identity crisis, unsure of whether it wants to be a graceful comedy or an intense political thriller...The characters are seemingly two dimensions...The production doesn’t meet its full expectations. The show is neither surprising nor compelling."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
1K+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: East Village

This family-friendly show celebrates the power of percussion and the sheer joy of banging on things.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (in the vein of Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and then tries to corral others into…

Buy
81
Great
28 Reviews
Opens Aug 09
NYC: Upper W Side

Shakespeare in the Park is back this summer with Jocelyn Bioh's joyous adaptation of "Merry Wives."

Buy