20th Century Blues
20th Century Blues

20th Century Blues NYC Reviews and Tickets

(196 Ratings)
Members say
Relevant, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the Show

This new premiere tells the story a group of four women whose annual photo shoot ritual keeps them together, until it threatens to tear them apart.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (196)

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497 Reviews | 95 Followers
Exquisite, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if are seeking out an INTERESTING new play which deals with friendship, working on a passion project, and the ties which bind us all.

Don't see it if you think the examination of a forty year friendship and the pursuit of a passion project is simply not interested. Read more

302 Reviews | 87 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant, Must see

See it if you respect the journey and explore changing/contrasting perspectives and relationships of/among women who age & adjust to family/externals

Don't see it if you do not care about the perspectives and challenges of Baby Boomer women in their various relationships/circumstances or can't sit 180 min

192 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Resonant, Relatable

See it if you want to see an interesting play about women of a certain age, their friendships and their lives.

Don't see it if female friendships don't interest you.

146 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Resonant

See it if stories of friendships through the ages told in a Real setting is of interest. Very real, very touching and very enjoyable.

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in stories of friendship

470 Reviews | 114 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You'd enjoy hearing a good group of friends talk about their friendship, getting older, their deepest thoughts, and see them dance too!

Don't see it if You can't relate to the hopes & fears of everyday people.

264 Reviews | 26 Followers
Intelligent, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy productions about women in their 60s; you like relationship plays

Don't see it if you don't care about women's relationships over the years

89 Reviews | 9 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You can appreciate intelligent, realistic dialogue among baby boomer women, and you don't mind being in touch with emotions.

Don't see it if You are looking for a fluffy piece of theater.

506 Reviews | 1010 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you are of a certain age. The performance just hit home with us It looked back at many common threads in our life and was right on target

Don't see it if you only need TODAY.

Critic Reviews (21)

The New York Times
November 26th, 2017

"Does this smack of contrivance? It does. Though some contrivance is forgivable...These are fine actors, and if Miller’s dialogue is less than spontaneous, they speak it feelingly...'20th Century Blues' is genuinely sweet. But sometimes it is even sweeter than that, as though Ms. Miller has baked a chocolate cake and then frosted it with sugar cubes...Might be a better play if it were harsher, more naturalistic, its focus not so soft."
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November 27th, 2017

"The introduction of Danny’s addled mother (played by the wonderful Beth Dixon) and grown son adds unintended bathos. That this is familiar terrain, and Miller can lay it on thick, makes it no less timely, especially on the subject of invisibility as it applies to most female humans over, say, 30.... Miller has the grace to be empathic, something crucially and deeply felt in Emily Mann’s sensitive staging. I’m certain that’s why '20th Century Blues' grew on me, as it did."
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November 27th, 2017

"'20th Century Blues' is a warm play, but one that cares more about stating big ideas than theatricalizing them. It's a stage version of a think piece...Though the four protagonists are believable as friends, little about their performances are as real they need to be...Directed by Emily Mann with too leisurely a hand. The gentleness of the pacing, combined with the overall lack of discernible conflict in Miller's genial script, creates an evening that isn't particularly engaging."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 27th, 2017

"It offers a symposium dealing with issues of import for progressive women of a certain age...So much is brought up that, in a play running one hour and forty minutes, there's no time for anything to get more than the once-over-lightly treatment...Mann's direction can't really find a dramatic spine in all this girl talk...Miller's play seems mostly designed to make aging, disaffected liberals feel less alone...Everybody is so busy singing the blues that there is no time for drama."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 26th, 2017

"A smart, funny, and touching ode to friendship and aging...It's hard to imagine anyone who would be immune to the love that infuses this first-rate, terrifically-acted production...Perhaps '20th Century Blues' is a bit overstuffed with plot...Yet the writing and the performances under Emily Mann's warm direction are so strong that only a real curmudgeon would quibble. There simply is not a misstep in the entire evening, and you are likely to leave the theater deeply moved by the experience."
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November 30th, 2017

“There is nothing much very wrong with Susan Miller's ‘20th Century Blues’ that a few more revelations or dustups wouldn't solve. Beth Dixon, Franchelle Stewart Dorn, Polly Draper, Kathryn Grody and Ellen Parker play believable, recognizable women at a plateau in their lives when some taking stock is in order as they approach the age of being considered senior citizens. A pleasant evening in this form, but Miller's play gives an aftertaste that will leave you hungry for more.”
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November 26th, 2017

"Engaging...One of its main assets is that it gives four women over age 60 a chance to show off their considerable talents...Mann has guided each actress to present a unique, fully dimensioned personality and make their at once loving and tense interactions real and believable...While Dixon and Socarides play their limited roles beautifully, their scenes don't fit in as seamlessly as they should...Fortunately, neither do they detract enough from the play's otherwise substantial pleasures."
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Theater Pizzazz
November 26th, 2017

"The talk and banter doesn’t reveal anything new about women or aging but fortifies what’s been said on timeless occasions...However, there are abundant humorous lines to give it an easy conversational feeling and the audience some chuckles...There’s a lot of heart in Susan Miller’s writing, directed by Emily Mann, as the storyline picks up more emotion moving forward over the one hour, 40 minutes. But the theme is worn out and needs some new revelations."
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