True West (Broadway)
True West (Broadway)

True West (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(282 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Funny, Intense, 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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Member Reviews (282)

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928 Reviews | 379 Followers
Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see two exciting actors take on these classic roles and electrify the stage. Hard to take your eyes off them.

Don't see it if You don’t like mental gymnastics. Lots of dialogue and lots of personalities on display on that stage.

942 Reviews | 225 Followers
Banal, Fluffy, Slow, Overrated, Dated

See it if You want to see Hawke or dano. Very dated . If you like Sam Shepard.

Don't see it if Lighting was awful sat in row l and lights hit actors so you could not see their faces..terrible direction..

677 Reviews | 186 Followers
Disappointing, Great writing, Funny, Intense, Great acting

See it if you want to see Dano & (especially) Hawke sink their teeth into an oddly toothless revival of Shepard's searing, provocative seriocomedy.

Don't see it if you're looking for the definitive production of this great play. [The plodding direction undermines the menace & urgency in Shepard's work.]

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
Near hollywood sketchy brother convinces movie producer his vision of a western is superior to his conventional brother's; mock fight to death of brothers ensues; uneven, unconvinced this is great american play about domestication of the west

See it if hilarious portrayal toxic masculinity/sibling rivalry; satirizes Hollywood favoring movies about "bad boys"; Ethan Hawke strong as sociopath

Don't see it if unoriginal commentary on death of West; brothers' role reversal too pat; unbalanced as Dano weak counterpart to Hawke

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Edgy

See it if Shepard sorts out inverse-sibling rivalry in two acts and Hawke chews scenery in one. Fun to watch Hawke relish his assigned acting duties.

Don't see it if Marvelous Mum Marylouise Burke is onstage far too briefly, but memorably.

474 Reviews | 714 Followers
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intense, Dizzying

See it if you enjoy family dramas with some edge to them. Dano and Hawke are terrific.

Don't see it if you don’t like thrillers...or comedies... The tone is confused. Each act is like a different play.

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
Intense, Great acting, Compelling, Hard to watch, Dizzying

See it if you want to see a truly remarkable performance from Ethan Hawke.

Don't see it if watching a really accurate depiction of a manipulative narcissistic person will be too much for you.

501 Reviews | 127 Followers
Absorbing, Funny, Tense, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you are fans of Shepard, Hawke and/or Dano; you enjoy crazy, dysfunctional family dynamics as well as good chemistry among the actors.

Don't see it if you dislike over the top family relationships; messy kitchens or the smell of toast drive you crazy; you don't like dark humor. Read more

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 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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Entertainment Weekly
January 24th, 2019

"Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano, who pair together marvelously...Hawke and Dano do an excellent job going round for round, playing into the comedic moments of their fighting, and director James Macdonald gives the play a cinematic touch by using music and a picture-frame effect of bright lights around the stage between scenes. But while watching them go at it is entertaining, what the play is fighting for isn’t as clear."
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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 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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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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