Travesties
Closed 2h 30m
Travesties
77

Travesties NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(341 Reviews)
Positive
75%
Mixed
21%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Clever, Confusing, Funny, Intelligent

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the first Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning comedy direct from its hit runs at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and on the West End.

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Member Reviews (341)

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80
Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Challenging, Thought-provoking

See it if you like a play that's sophisticated, funny, philosophical (re:art, politics, memory), rapid-fire, well-acted and well-staged. A wild ride!

Don't see it if you hate getting lost. Actors talk at warp speed. Read "Imptce... Earnest" first. Some peo left at intermission; I'd like to go a 2nd time.

55
Hifalutin, Excruciating, Irrelevant, Cliched

See it if Just don't bother if you can avoid it. Numrich steals the show, the only saving grace of the show.

Don't see it if None of the Characters is treated in any interesting way. Nothing is new is learned about them. Read more

Critic Reviews (41)

The New York Times
April 24th, 2018

"A work to remember, or misremember, for years to come...This latest incarnation is the clearest and...one of the liveliest. It should prove ridiculously entertaining for anyone with even a passing knowledge of its central characters...What makes 'Travesties' so deeply engaging and hilarious and touching isn't its flashy erudition but its author's rapt fascination with the workings of the human mind and its enduring relationship with art...The cast couldn't be much better."
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Time Out New York
April 24th, 2018

"Devilishly clever...Artfully reassembles in an olio of genres-farce, spy story, seminar, musical, history lesson, absurdist prank-with mixed-in of culture high and low...The facets of Stoppard's jewel-like play are overwhelmingly brilliant...In Marber's well-judged and high-spirited revival, the result is inviting rather than snobbishly exclusive, and the structural and verbal dazzle are offset with subtle suggestions of elegy...It's a pleasure to engage with a production that does 'Travesties' full justice."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 25th, 2018

"A whirlwind of highbrow showmanship. But what keeps it from being pretentious is the sincere explosive joy with which it’s constructed...Stoppard’s writing is generous in its virtuosity...Among the triumphs of Marber’s production is the stellar comedy of its eight-person ensemble who unanimously understand the combination of precision and animation called for by their material...A celebration, an exaltation, a spell, a dance, a feast, and a farce."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 24th, 2018

"You don't have to enroll for a graduate degree to enjoy Stoppard's simultaneously wacky and intellectual comedy..That's largely due to the accessible nature of Marber's rollickingly staged production...The plot is nothing more than a springboard for the playwright's unique brand of clever wordplay and cerebral observations...The dense verbiage is presented through a prism of exuberant physical comedy and absurdism...Much seriousness underlies the humor."
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Entertainment Weekly
April 24th, 2018

"A gushing waterfall of wordplay, a fine-tuned literary torrent...Marber keeps Stoppard's verbal ballet moving briskly, occasionally slowing the action down just enough to let the narrative breathe...May be too discursive to ever quite nail down exactly what it's all about, other than everything. Still, one line from early in the first act does seem especially apropos, even if it undersells the frenetic wonders within: 'It may be nonsense, but at least it's clever nonsense.'"
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Variety
April 24th, 2018

"The show's set advises us to please be quiet...But you can forget about that, because the sound of laughter can't be contained...This extravagant farce bristles with clever wordplay...Fun on its own etymological terms, this madcap comedy also tips its hat — a beat-up straw boater with a jaunty red hatband — to the spirit of revolution that galvanized Europe in 1917...Underneath the gem-like brilliance of its theatrical style, the play's dark subject matter emerges."
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The Wall Street Journal
April 25th, 2018

"This 'Travesties' is a total success: The staging is outrageously vital and the cast is as close to ideal as it’s possible to imagine...It is as darkly serious as it is crazily funny, and you don’t have to get all of the highbrow jokes to relish the fizzing éclat with which 'Travesties' reminds us that whenever artists and revolutionaries turn the world upside down, things—and people—have a way of getting broken...You’re never going to see a finer revival of 'Travesties,' so catch this one while you can."
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Deadline
April 24th, 2018

"'Travesties,' a nonstop tourney of wit and erudition, has often been called a brainteaser, but brain tickler comes so much closer to the jubilant staging...This 'Travesties' belongs first and foremost to Hollander...Under Marber's careful direction, Hollander takes Stoppard's comically befuddled British consul into some unforeseen emotional terrain."
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The Washington Post
April 26th, 2018

"Under Patrick Marber’s tirelessly inventive direction, a cast featuring the inspired Tom Hollander in the pivotal role provides a sparkling return to Stoppard’s revolutionary carnival of Zurich in 1917...Along for the ride, too, is Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of the dada anti-art movement and here played to florid perfection by Seth Numrich. Sure, it’s all a bit chaotic, but given the heady clash of ideas that the play tries to dramatize, wouldn’t that be about right? "
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New York Daily News
April 24th, 2018

"Guaranteed to work your gray matter...The happy bonus of the brightly acted production is how often the comedy engages one's smile muscles...Stoppard stirs up a story about art and revolution, conformity and memory, and more...It's a lot - loosey-goosey and carefully contained at the same time. It's constantly wild and woolly and, at times, what-the-heck-was-that...The paper-strewn set suggests disorder, but the show moves along without a hitch."
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AM New York
April 24th, 2018

"Stoppard's difficult, diffuse and dense comedy of faulty memory and early 20th century European history and culture...You appreciate the play and want to enjoy it, but nevertheless often feel lost or left out in the cold...The high-energy production busts with big performances, lively physical activity and terrific comedic flow...Not an easy work to take in by any stretch of the imagination. It is also long...But all things considered, it is hard to imagine a better production."
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NY1
April 24th, 2018

"Stoppard is a brilliant writer, of that there is no doubt. But his plays are either intellectually stimulating or a slog...'Travesties' is one of his more challenging works, featuring a barrage of references rattled off in a hail of outrageously witty wordplay...A series of scenes, delivered nonsensically at times, featuring lengthy monologues, silly ditties, even stretches of gibberish...Marber must be commended for enlivening the high-brow farce with delightfully madcap interludes."
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BroadwayWorld
April 25th, 2018

"Don't expect anything resembling a linear plot...A merrily disjointed mix of political, social, and artistic commentary flavored with verbal dexterity and tuneful music hall exuberance...75 minutes without an intermission might be the soul of absurdist theatre, so at two and a half hours the madness of 'Travesties' can get a little maddening. But stay alert and the charming company will guide you through an evening that can tickle your intellect as well as your funny bone."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 25th, 2018

"Elegantly appointed and filled with the best sort of lunatics...Stoppard spins the maddest of intellectual farces...Marber orchestrates this organized chaos superbly, aided by a brilliant turn by Tom Hollander as Henry...If you listen closely, you'll likely be mesmerized by the playwright's wit and his concern for ideas that played an enormous role in shaping the last century...This is still one of the playwright's most impressive achievements."
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Talkin' Broadway
April 24th, 2018

"A bouncy, bubbly, vertiginous revival...An effervescent dance of puns, quips, double entendres, antic surrealism, and literary allusions that fly about like an accidentally-launched bundle of fireworks, all the while asking us to consider serious questions about the nature of art, revolution, and the role of those who make and define both...A lot going on, and it never lets up. Marber tosses in everything he can dig out from his own bag of directorial tricks to keep things moving at a breakneck speed."
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New York Stage Review
April 24th, 2018

"Theatrical brilliance made tangible...Stoppard has long had a reputation for being verbally hilarious...'Travesties' may be not only the funniest but also the smartest anyone anywhere has ever quilled...It's graduate school-Ph.D-level humor...Possibly the only perfect production now occupying a Broadway theater...No matter by what definition of art you swear, this 'Travesties'—thanks to Stoppard, Hollander, Marber, and everyone connected to it-is that rare thing: Art with a capital 'A.'"
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New York Stage Review
April 24th, 2018

"Erudite, allusive, and grappling deeply with history, but also fun, funny, and compulsively entertaining...Hollander plays Carr, and he's a virtuoso in a complicated part, shifting among styles and bouncing around the stage...Deeply thoughtful and guffawingly funny...Marber keeps this joyful folly happily afloat and the set seems almost a perfect visual representation of Stoppardism...Hollander is the standout but the cast is uniformly fine."
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Broadway News
April 24th, 2018

"Sparkling and incisive revival...A piece Stoppard wrote in his thirties continues to illuminate our untethered times with whiplash accuracy...There is the acrobatic language which became Stoppard’s signature; puns, alliteration, and skewered clichés, which all fly past at lightning speed...Marber has emphasized the bittersweetness underneath the hijinks and coaxed out a depth of feeling without compromising the Swiss watch precision of the play. Perhaps that is the neatest hat trick of all."
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TheaterScene.net
May 8th, 2018

"Tom Stoppard's 'Travesties' will seem totally obscure to those unprepared, delicious for those who are. A challenging comedy of ideas on art, politics and memory, 'Travesties' will prove caviar to the general but intoxicating theater for those who are disposed to its intricacies. Tom Hollander and company do a superb job of a play that does not easily give up its secrets. This is a literary play that it either completely opaque or as obvious as an open book depending on your preparation."
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Theater Pizzazz
April 25th, 2018

"The detail and complexity of 'Travesties' will prove a delight to some audiences and a burden to others...Yet, there’s an ultimately approachable aspect to the play: a humorous portrayal of the absurdity of elitist 'types,' which, at least superficially, allows it to be accessible to most audiences...Marber has pieced it all together just right...What’s more, the cast is magical...Those who are willing to focus on the rapid fire, complex dialog will be delighted by the delivery."
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CurtainUp
April 30th, 2018

"If I had to name the liveliest, most inventive and well worth seeing plays of the current New York Theater season, the revival of Stoppard's 1975 absurdist comedy, 'Travesties' would make my top three...This play's magnificent inventiveness can draw in someone who doesn't really understand it enough to love it...Singing and dancing that make this a lot more satisfying than some of the actual musicals that have opened on Broadway this season."
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Front Row Center
April 27th, 2018

"Stoppard is a wordy intellectual...He likes to grapple with big questions and themes...In 'Travesties,' he does it with wit, humor and through the lens of the absurd...You don’t need to know a lot to enjoy this entertaining and thought-provoking piece of theater. It’s that this is a play about memory, art, revolution, and a little history...Truly, there are so many levels on which you can enjoy this work. I recommend that you strap yourself in and go for the ride. You won’t regret it."
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Stage Buddy
April 26th, 2018

"The lines are often sometimes rapid-fire and there are jokes and gibes, puns and plays on words. If you aren’t listening carefully, you might miss some gems...Hollander gives a wonderfully madcap performance, often scampering across the stage...'Travesties' demands attention from its audience as it challenges our intellect -- but it moves quickly and intelligently so there’s no dozing off."
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Front Mezz Junkies
May 9th, 2018

“Stoppard has playfully utilized the travesty formula throughout this uproarious production, throwing forth many of the ingredients featured in burlesque as he tells the fantastical story...Marber has orchestrated quite the piece filled with such unrelenting joy and pleasure for the cast members...It’s a miraculous invention of finely tuned dynamics and impossible fun, playing with history and dramatics in a way that all of us, even those who are less informed...can enjoy.”
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Exeunt Magazine
May 1st, 2018

"Layers deep in literary and historical references both overt and opaque, theatrically inventive, playing with constructs of narrative and storytelling, slipping in and out of time, posing intense philosophical questions about the nature of art and the meaning of life-and...side-splittingly funny...Quick pacing and deft touch with the exposition. Though if you have no preexisting knowledge of the period...You'll get quite a history lesson but may miss some of the layers in the jokes."
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New York Theater
April 27th, 2018

"Brilliant, clever, and mind-boggling collage of a play...If you let it, this production manages ultimately to be both enlightening and even moving...Stoppard injects leaping heaps of wordplay, an avalanche of lightning-quick allusions...line after line of hysterical non-sequiturs and just plain nonsense...All of this is executed flawlessly...Remarkably, despite the comic chaos, several serious points do emerge...Provokes thoughts about history and memory, and the travesties of time."
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C
April 24th, 2018

"There are two ways to approach the highly intellectual, historically-based plays of Tom Stoppard: do copious research beforehand to make sure you get every allusion or let the master’s witty wordplay wash over you...Marber’s pitch-perfect revival...The debates for which Stoppard has become best known rage on...but without ever becoming dry or dreary. In fact, most of 'Travesties' will leave you with a wide grin on your mouth, while still providing fodder for your brain."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
April 27th, 2018

"Manages the rare feat of being both intellectually stimulating, visually appealing, and hilariously funny…Uses a dizzying array of poetic and prosaic devices, including puns, alliteration, rhymes, literary quotations, limericks, historical writings, epigrams, and even vaudeville routines to tickle your ears and keep your head buzzing…Given the all-around skill and charm of this physically and verbally dexterous company...Stoppard's...comedy is as light as a soufflé and perfectly accessible."
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Gotham Playgoer
May 14th, 2018

“I did not expect to be so delighted by this rollicking production...A brilliant director, and a superb cast...Don’t be intimidated by the complexity of the setup...Amidst the hilarity, we get arguments on the proper role of the artist in society...My one complaint is that it may be too much of a good thing. It’s hard to maintain the appropriate level of attention for so long. If you let your attention slip for even a moment, you are likely to miss some allusion or quip.”
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
April 27th, 2018

"A rollicking good time with an intellectual perspective wrapped in theater of the absurd...There are serious observations and playful ones, with much hilarity involved and accented under the broad direction by Patrick Marber...Stoppard is a master at interweaving his characters, much to our amusement...The historical and literary frolicking doesn’t mask the underlying seriousness...Culture is a major force meant to elevate humankind and give voice to genius."
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Stage Left
May 7th, 2018

"Perfect Roundabout Theatre Company production...A fantastic beast of a play that ceaselessly interrogates big ideas with intelligence and wit...Mr. Marber has imagined the play with great propulsive and cheerful energy...Endlessly engrossing and wickedly funny, 'Travesties' is a boon in the spring season, arguably the best and smartest play on Broadway right now, and a must see for any serious theatregoer."
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Daily Beast
April 24th, 2018

"The excellent Tom Hollander gives a hyper-kinetic, beguiling performance...Marber’s dazzling production may still result in befuddlement on the part of the audience...'Travesties' sets up a debate about what art and culture means, then it takes successive pins to the theoretical balloons it casts into the air and opts for some incidental fun instead...Marber and all the actors make Stoppard’s difficult play ring as clear as it can."
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Newsday
April 24th, 2018

"Impeccably directed...Only a playwright as brilliantly inventive as Stoppard could put all that together to come up with an uproarious work that seriously questions the nature of art...Stoppard called 'Travesties' intellectual entertainment...Even without a solid knowledge of Irish novelists, avant-garde poets or Russian revolutionaries, it's possible, as Roundabout's artistic director Todd Haimes suggests, to simply let the pleasures of the show 'wash over you'."
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The Wrap
April 24th, 2018

"A spirited, quick-paced revival...There is quick-witted wordplay...an entire scene written in limerick form; a delightful music-hall-style duet of one-up-manship...Under Marber's masterful direction, 'Travesties' never lets the mayhem swirl completely out of control. At the center of the madness is a bravura performance by Hollander...Marber's staging really shines when it slows down the verbal pyrotechnics to explore the efficacy of art in challenging times."
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Medium
April 28th, 2018

"Surprisingly palatable, even digestible, a rare word to describe the dense Stoppard drama. But Marber’s production keeps things light, rapidly-paced, and comedic; it embraces fragmentation and excess and turns it into a non-stop party...The production satirizes the overly academic nature of the play and turns the would-be elitism into comedy...The most pleasantly surprising revival this season...Patrick Marber and his extraordinary cast have managed to strike comedy gold."
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StageZine
April 27th, 2018

"If one can get past the convoluted and confusing narrative, 'Travesties' has a lot going for it, including exquisite performances from a gifted ensemble...and Stoppard’s witty, crisp, erudite dialogue...Making sense of everything, from the dialogue to the rambling narrative, can be a chore, and Act II does not flow as easily as Act I. Fortunately Patrick Marber directs the cast with breezy precision and gets entertaining, jaunty performances from the actors."
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M
May 23rd, 2018

“Dada Yaddah Erudite Nonesense...A loquacious and surreal homage to literary and poetic legacies...The overlapping of historic figures is meant as verbal barrage on revolutionary impact; art vs. war throughout history. The crossfire is blisteringly bizarre and oftentimes incomprehensible...This is a madcap pretentious and repetitious play...A dadaist play that is deliberately irrational and artistic anarchy.”
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Pop Dust
May 1st, 2018

"For all its undeniable, sparkling brilliance, you can't help but wonder what it was all for when you leave the theatre...One leaves feeling satiated, empowered, and in a state of marvel at what can be done in a theatre, and yet also incomplete, emotionally lost, and unsatisfied. It's brilliant...For the discerning theatre-goer it is a must-have ticket. Hollander as Carr is a modern acting genius."
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More Than The Play Blog
April 24th, 2018

"A tremendous revival...Marber is in sync with Stoppard’s rhythms and humor. The cast magnificently delivers the bite in the sarcasm and the punch in the irony. The political and social commentary is clear and relevant...The entire cast works as a tight ensemble. Their timing is impeccable. Their physicalities are broad and energetic. They bring light to Stoppard’s strong statements about art and humanity, which ring truthfully and vigorously."
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StageBiz.com
April 25th, 2018

"In this new revival, Stoppard still goes on. (Really, in all these years, no one suggested any cuts?!) However, I didn’t care because the tremendously talented Tom Hollander plays Henry Carr and he is amazing!...Director Patrick Marber has staged this production with an infectious, demented glee. Kudos to a top-notch cast and to Tim Hatley for his superb sets and costumes."
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New York Theatre Guide
April 25th, 2018

"You don't need to know a lot to enjoy this entertaining and thought-provoking piece of theater. It's that this is a play about memory, art, revolution and OK, a little history...Hollander gives a tour de force performance as Carr...Marber deserves credit for the tight, brisk and specific production...Truly, there are so many levels on which you can enjoy this work. I recommend that you strap yourself in and go for the ride. You won’t regret it."
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