True West (Broadway)
True West (Broadway)
76

True West (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(287 Ratings)
Positive
79%
Mixed
17%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Funny, Great writing

About the Show

Opposites attack in this Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Sam Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway with Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (287)

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52 Reviews | 31 Followers
100
Great acting, Masterful, Great writing

See it if The acting of Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano is exceptional. The physical comedy is brilliant. I was exhausted by the end, but in a good way.

Don't see it if You are looking for light comedy. While it is funny in parts, it’s intense.

96 Reviews | 73 Followers
95
Intelligent, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you are a fan of Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano, Sam Shepard. A solid production that breaks down the walls of the play in new ways. Beautiful.

Don't see it if You can only see Hoffman and Riley in the roles, you need all the answers, you struggle with surrealism.

145 Reviews | 19 Followers
95
Sibling rivalry.

See it if you like small cast, single-set, confrontational dramas.

Don't see it if raised voices and heightened drama--even with a dollop of comedy thrown in--generally turn you off. Read more

119 Reviews | 36 Followers
95
Clever, Masterful, Intelligent, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if You like dark and twisted witty banter and deconstruction concepts of brotherhood, creativity, integrity, talent and perseverance.

Don't see it if You like surreal definitions of achievement and purpose. Read more

127 Reviews | 13 Followers
94
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you like to see acting that you can't see and like a good twist in a story.

Don't see it if you have to have lots of actors cluttering up the stage.

110 Reviews | 6 Followers
92
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like plays where there's a plot on top of a much more subtextual plot!

Don't see it if You want to see a play where clarity is the focus!

416 Reviews | 190 Followers
91
Edgy, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if You want to witness how chemistry between Ethan Hawks and Paul Dano, raise the suspense & humor in this Sam Shepard classic to a new level.

Don't see it if You avoid dramas about family conflict. Abhor violence and crime. Do not like edgy satire and surprise. Read more

70 Reviews | 1 Follower
90
Clever, Entertaining, Drama, Intense

See it if Paul Dano was incredible in one of my favorite dramas

Don't see it if drama fans only

Critic Reviews (46)

The New York Times
January 24th, 2019

"Sit back and get ready to enjoy the most perfectly distilled 50 minutes or so of classic Shepard you’re ever likely to see...The end of the first act left me breathless. The second act felt slightly off its rhythms...Mr. Dano was nailing the moves without making that final, essential leap into the void, and the tension sagged. I suspect he’ll get there as the play’s run continues. Mr. Hawke is already delivering a faultless performance, probably his best ever onstage."
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Time Out New York
January 24th, 2019

"If the charismatic Hawke all but wipes the floor with Dano in the play’s first half, Dano gets his turn to act out in Act Two. These are showcase roles, and the actors play them with gusto...But if some aspects of 'True West' seem too neatly schematic, Shepard’s dissection of authenticity and masculinity resounds in new ways in the current American political landscape."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 24th, 2019

"Hawke is lighting a fire (literally and figuratively) at the center of the play and clearly having a ball doing it. But on the other side of things, through some imperfect alchemy of actor, director, and character, Dano’s Austin can’t take the heat...Mayhem is aesthetically approximated, but it never really kicks us in the guts...Up inside its jewel box, so neatly delineated and so separate from us, the mess this production makes is largely artificial, well designed but not dangerous."
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The Wall Street Journal
January 24th, 2019

"While 'True West' fails to add up to a convincing dramatic whole, it still works as a vehicle for two first-class actors, and the stars of this revival qualify...Shepard aimed for high significance but settled in the second act for noisy obviousness. If you’re content to watch two fine actors make the most of a play that gives them plenty of opportunities to show off, you’ll go home happy."
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Deadline
January 24th, 2019

"Whether Shepard’s chief insight holds up is an open question even this earnest production doesn’t quite answer...Still, there’s no denying the appeal 'True West' still commands, perhaps especially for actors...Dano is entirely credible here...Hawke, of course, lives for this type of juicy role, playing dirty in more ways than one...So maybe his transformation from fearsome to beggarly is a tad brisk, but just try to look away."
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Variety
January 24th, 2019

"This funny, violent play is one of Sam Shepard’s best works, a fierce summation of some of his undying themes...If there’s one thing a production of 'True West' must have, it’s that haunting sense of the two brothers being one person at war with himself. That’s exactly what director James Macdonald’s new Broadway production doesn’t have...More critically, there’s no real sense of danger when the brothers finally trash the kitchen and go for each other’s throats."
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The Hollywood Reporter
January 24th, 2019

"The expansive American Airlines Theatre isn't intimate enough to provide the necessary air of claustrophobia; the slack pacing of Act I allows boredom to settle in; and Hawke, as good as he is, is a bit too studied in his affect. He certainly tries hard, but you never get the sense of true danger that his character is supposed to emit...The play practically becomes an all-out farce, which is perhaps not what Shepard intended but is highly entertaining nonetheless."
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The Observer
January 25th, 2019

"The results are disappointingly wan...Macdonald’s intelligent, detailed work reveals the play’s symmetries...In other words, this is the most well-behaved 'True West' I’ve ever seen. That’s not necessarily a good thing...There needs to be a subtle but definite psychic flip, where each brother starts to take on the other’s qualities. And while Hawke can modulate greaseball macho swagger into helpless, boyish terror, Dano can’t seem to access Austin’s inner killer."
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