New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

A Better Place

From 13 critic and 29 member reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Banal, Cliched, Clever, Funny

About the show

The Directors Company presents a new comedy about Manhattanites’ insatiable lust for real estate. More…

A gay couple is transfixed by their neighbors; they can’t tear themselves away from the window. The lifestyle over there is sumptuous, and they have a quirky daughter whose tastes run to exhibitionism. Speculation begins…where did they get all that wealth? And what about the kooky brokers who regularly visit them? Who are these funny people in the glorious glass box? We all want what they have! Could it be they have attained 'A Better Place'?

1h 40m | Already closed | The Duke on 42nd Street (Midtown W)

Entertainment Hour Blog

"Bergman has a thrust stage as her personal canvas...Maitner conveys Les as the self-limited middle-aged waiter faced with his own past. His character was funny and relatable...Fitzgibbon created a mirror for Maitner’s character and offered the comic relief and introspection. The two had good chemistry...The play was introspective (yet somewhat predictable) and showed the inner turmoil that many of us all face in our search for the next beginning." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"Maitner delivers a first-class performance, and FitzGibbon matches him well despite having a less interesting role…There is definitely something here, and the idea of New Yorkers watching the lives of the people across the way is a good one...The trouble is that there is one too many clever twists to the plot and characters that are not quite as polished as one would like. Less is more, and here there is more rather than less. The show has great potential, which is not entirely realized." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"If you ever need to answer the question “What has more holes than Swiss cheese?” you can say...Wendy Beckett’s ‘A Better Place,’ an...underwhelming, overacted comedy...‘A Better Place’’s plot advances when John wins $96,000 on a single race at Belmont and, on his way home, loses...the payout. The money’s loss sets in motion a sequence of egregious wouldn’t believe even if I told you." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The mother/daughter bits work quite well...The gay couple are written as stereotypes...The younger character is superficial but suddenly opens up with a longing for the family he didn’t have. That’s about as deep as it gets. What’s missing is missing from the script...Finally, all is revealed, but it takes way too long to get to it. 'A Better Place' began with a good idea but ultimately didn’t gel. The plot is thin and relies on cliché, on silly underlining." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Director Evan Bergman’s greatest moment is the show’s opening, a carefully staged dumb show that gives us a very clear sense of what life is like in these two apartments...There is very little information that is communicated for the remainder of the evening...This excellent ensemble of actors serves the play well...Ultimately, the play is somewhat repetitive...Though the production is aesthetically beautiful, there’s not enough action in the play to captivate the audience’s attention." Full Review

The Huffington Post

“David L. Arsenault’s set is what’s memorable...Beckett, who has nothing in common with (sur)namesake Samuel when it comes to dramaturgical inspiration, is mocking the prominence that real estate has in Big Apple mindsets. She just isn’t very funny about it...Beckett has her own secret that some patrons may get on to and some may not...Just another element that isn’t especially amusing.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Love. Money. Real Estate...there’s a better play to be written about these topics than Beckett’s mostly muddled one-act...Director Bergman has a lot on his hands with this slightly overstuffed play...At times, he gets the cast to rise above the material...But sometimes the lines just fall flat despite their efforts, and the show drags…For all its flaws, though, ‘Place’ does accomplish something special. No matter where you live, the place you really want to head to after seeing it is home.” Full Review


"Les, the protagonist, is confident that the family in the apartment with no curtains across the way is rich and happy. If he were right, Ms. Beckett wouldn't have a play. As things stand, she doesn't have much of a play anyway…'A Better Place' begins with an amusing premise but swiftly runs amok. Despite the six actors' valiant efforts, Beckett's characters seldom behave in ways that are psychologically credible and the prolix dialogue is, by and large, devoid of verisimilitude." Full Review


"Beckett loads her story with bizarre plots twists that never seem to build to anything…Everyone in this story is relatively privileged when it comes to real estate, a fact that could have served as a launching pad for a deeper exploration of the fallacies in our present conversation around inequality. Instead, Beckett settles for soap-operatic plot twists and a hastily constructed conclusion…The themes underlying 'A Better Place' are monumentally important. They deserve a better play." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“The playwright, Wendy Beckett, piles on so many lame conceits and garish cartoon characterizations that the amusement quotient hovers near zero...Filled with reams of unamusing dialogue and wildly improbable plot developments...If the director, Evan Bergman, can't make anything out of the script, he has seen to it that ‘A Better Place’ has a very attractive production design...In the buyer's market for good theatre, ‘A Better Place’ is likely to sit on the shelf, attracting very few takers.” Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Unfortunately, this particular journey to get there is long, slow and predictable, offering no new insight and executed by stereotypical characters that are one dimensional…The dialogue does not move the plot or define the characters. Who cares if anyone ends up in a better place! The cast does what they can to entertain, usually relying on forced comedic situations but there are too many obstacles to overcome so they succumb to stereotypes to produce humor." Full Review

Act Three - The Reviews

"The show is sold as a comedy about New York real estate…What I got instead was a rather repetitive, snooze of a show that simply plotted poor rent-controlled brownstone renters in Brooklyn situated across from a modern, all glass and steel high-rise…Casting seemed a hodge-podge of mix and match talents…There were several scenes that were absolutely out of left field...Waaaay too long, waaaay to repetitive…A hot mess of a show with little entertainment value." Full Review


"There is nothing in Evan Bergman’s direction nor the merely adequate performances all around that adds any type of amusement or tenderness…The multitude of scenes, one of which has Les just tidying up magazines, are endless and all prove innocuous…Somewhere in this languid mess of a play there indeed is a sharp satire about the have and have-nots. But you have to look mighty deep to find an ounce of that. As for 'A Better Place,' it was when I left the theater." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if You're NYC real estate obsessed, like creeping on your neighbours, are a gay broker or know a gay broker, and like great writing.

Don't see it if You have a short attention span.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you have ever lived in a NYC apartment. The amusing realities of city living keep the audience laughing in this envy driven plot.

Don't see it if coincidences in plays bother you. The plot resolution revolves around a coincidence but the events are character driven.

Entertaining, Clever, Ambitious, Edgy, Great staging

See it if A millennial A native New Yorker Intellectual Likes plays Gay friendly Understanding of the housing market Want not very expensive show

Don't see it if Don't like plays Don't get anything about the current landscape/ issues related to housing/rentals

Real estate obsessed nyers

See it if If you are a fan of those NY real estate shows you'll probably find enough to be amused and entertained by this 90 min show- cool staging.

Don't see it if If you're not drawn in by the "real estate porn" or have never ascribed life stories and personalities to people based on observation only

Original, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy kooky characters that will make you laugh and almost cry. You enjoy relationship dramas dealing with realistic situations.

Don't see it if Gay characters and humor disturb you. These characters, not only they gay ones lean toward charicature. .

Clever, Funny, Edgy

See it if you like off-broadway, ingenious theater

Don't see it if if you don't like looking at different places on stage as there are 2 distinct areas of the play that are not close together.

Silly, Frivolous, Great staging, Over-hated

See it if Expectations are everything, and show scores here set the bar so low, one couldn't help but be charmed by this funny but forgettable farce.

Don't see it if I'm not saying to pay serious money for this, but I've seen far worse plays with show-scores in the yellow & green zones

Original, Relevant, Resonant, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if you're in the area and like new work. Two of the actors are great, even in spite of the writing. It's a fun night out, just don't go alone.

Don't see it if you're not willing to be generous. The script is not the strongest, but the actors give it as much life as they can.

Delightful, Slow, Original

See it if you appreciates a light drama of New Yorkers' lives: little privacy, materialistic, superficial

Don't see it if you doesn't like a slow play with no stage changing


See it if like a tolerable play. Unique set adds a few points. Not totally interesting, and not totally boring. Should be a bit shorter.

Don't see it if you don't like a bland play.

Clever, Great staging, Derivative, Over-the-top stereotyping

See it if you've recently been apartment hunting or if you like seeing a terrific set. Some cast members are quite good and there were good moments.

Don't see it if you hate shrill, spoiled young women or seeing New Yorkers, Jews, and gays stereotyped.

Funny sweet stereotyped diverting harmless

See it if Moderately funny - about a gay man whose partner has the same name spelled backward. They live in a dump across from a luxury apt he covets

Don't see it if The straight woman and daughter in the condo are sex obsessed. The husband is a gambler. Somehow it fits together and delivers a few laughs

Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy, Cliched

See it if You like a light comedy. If you like a good sit-com this is the show for you.

Don't see it if You're looking for a show with a lot of substance. The acting was fine. It was the writing. Too often I found it unbelievable.

Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you like silly plays with silly jokes and watching professional actors in a bad show.

Don't see it if You want a show with substance that gives you something to think about.

Disappointing, Great staging, Original

See it if You are open to something that tries, even if it doesn't fully succeed.

Don't see it if You're expecting something thought-provoking or consistently amusing.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if your TV is broken

Don't see it if you prefer a show with characters who have some depth and some humor

Bad plot, Great set, Disjointed, Unlikeable characters, Quirky

See it if you get free tickets.

Don't see it if you can afford to see anything else.

Banal, Excruciating

See it if You like silly TV sitcoms, don't care if the story has holes, you think getting turned on by real estate descriptions is a funny concept.

Don't see it if You can't sit for 90 minutes without intermission, you want a coherent story, you are offended by seeing simulated sex with clothes on.

Banal, Insipid, Slow

See it if you're interested in a play about New York real estate written by someone who clearly knows nothing about New York...let alone real estate.

Don't see it if you want to see a good play.

Cliched, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow

See it if Can't really recommend seeing it. Silly story with poor staging. Actors struggle to make sense of what little they have to work with

Don't see it if you want any kind of intelligent story, or design elements that make sense

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if you love sitcoms and never want to see anything that has a real imagination.

Don't see it if you believe theatre is an art form that can inspire and reveal truth in truly funny and painful ways.

Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Disappointing, Boring

See it if you want to see what BAD theater is all about.

Don't see it if you have a degree beyond high school.

Cliched, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Your idea of fun is hearing a young woman moan and moan while a guy is describing luxury real estate.

Don't see it if You want good acting, a plot that makes any sense, comfortable seats, or a talented cast, since you won't find any of that here.

Banal, Cliched, Insipid

See it if You like outdated sitcoms and familiar jokes, you REALLY enjoy actors who have chemistry with one another

Don't see it if DON'T SEE IT

Banal, Disappointing, Funny

See it if a nice set and a few laughs are enough to entertain you.

Don't see it if you expect the show to make sense and to entertain.

Cast & Creatives (13)