Closed 1h 40m
A Class Act
Midtown W
73

A Class Act NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
69%
Mixed
22%
Negative
9%
Members say
Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Slow, Clever

About the Show

New World Stages presents a new drama about what transpires after a major chemical company is caught pouring cancer-causing waste into a municipal water supply.

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Member Reviews (32)

60
Disappointing, Ambitious, Talky, Cerebral, Unconvincing

See it if you are fascinated by lawyers. I found the arguments and strategies unconvincing. This is a punchline play which disappointed.

Don't see it if you want more than talking heads. The plot points didn't work, altho some class action talk was interesting (better done in A Civil Action).

76
Absorbing, Intelligent, Taut, Intriguiging

See it if you want to see an entertaining legal drama with tightly drawn characters, a fair amount of intrigue, and a realistic narrative.

Don't see it if you are averse to legal potboilers or you've overdosed on the countless TV legal dramas. This is a good play, but it's nothing terribly new.

Critic Reviews (10)

July 26th, 2016

"It's certainly a juicy situation, one that a more experienced playwright could invest with plenty of crackle, but Shabel and his director aren't, theatrically speaking, ready to graduate from moot court…The double-dealing and horse-trading is often surprisingly limp…Neither the writing nor the direction conveys a sense of the stakes involved…The play is pretty much like its characters: It comes on strong and tough, but, in the clutch, proves to be surprisingly weak and disorganized."
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July 30th, 2016

“Unlike such films as ‘Erin Brockovich’ and ‘A Civil Action’ which cover similar ground in stories of ecological pollution, this play takes place exclusively in executive conference rooms where the decisions are made. In the course of this taut 90 minute drama directed by Christopher Scott, we experience loyalty, integrity, greed, blackmail, betrayal and redemption. The cast of seven proves expert at playing these legal and corporate types.”
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July 26th, 2016

"A behind-the-scenes look at how and why class-action suits can drag on for years…No faulting the seven-member cast. They do a good job of individualizing all these high-powered legal types…Unfortunately the playwright resorts to using some really hoary tricks to move his plot forward…The production values are pretty bare bones, but they work. What doesn't work is the play being consistently engaging as well as a worthy dramatization of a serious societal issue."
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July 28th, 2016

“In the end, however, in spite of Shabel’s sincere attempt, we care little about this story...The characters themselves are more iconic than specific...There are no real surprises as everything plays out...The connections leading up to the conclusion are never clearly established and the landing is bumpy in the extreme...This is a noble attempt to tell a smarmy tale. Shabel has the guts, and now he needs a dramaturge’s guidance to help him dig for the gold that is surely there.”
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July 26th, 2016

“Lawyers will appreciate the profanity-laced boardroom wrangling over huge payoffs, class actions vs. individual lawsuits, settlements vs. trials, and venal techniques...Shabel, wanting to make clear where his heart is...concludes with a melodramatic twist that taints the play's integrity…’A Class Act’ doesn't reach the heights of...Ibsen's ‘An Enemy of the People’ or the movie ‘Erin Brockovich’, but its examination of how lawyers operate entitles it to its day in court.”
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July 26th, 2016

"A boardroom drama that feels like ‘Erin Brockovich’ without the suspense or Julia Roberts…Though 'A Class Act' has a lot to offer, it plays like a law brief with the language stilted and long-winded, unless you are a lawyer. Even though the show is 100 minutes, it seems longer. We care about the unseen victims, not the characters onstage and that is never a good thing. Only the last 15 minutes really cut deep into the soul of the piece, but by then it just seems manipulated."
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July 31st, 2016

"The characters are of an ilk that gives lawyers a bad name...There are twists and turns in the plot—some believable, others not...Though the plot points are nothing new, they remain relevant, and raise significant questions about human motivations and corporate corruption...Director Christopher Scott holds our attention by keeping the actors moving around the stationary set and growing the tension between them, giving emphasis to their increasingly volatile confrontations."
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July 28th, 2016

“For all the bombast, though, we rarely hear what anyone feels. Lawyers jockey for position, but the dialogue isn't clever enough to make these verbal conflicts sizzle. Legal jargon drags; ethical quandaries get glossed over. The real issues, of environmental destruction and corporate profit at the expense of human beings, only crop up at the end of the story — way too late.”
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July 25th, 2016

“In a new work by Norman Shabel, we are treated to a legal gem. Well written such that the audience understands the way a class-action lawsuit works and well acted such that we believed the actors in their respective corners of the fight. Director Christopher Scott had much talent to work with...Mr. Scott channeled the talent of the fine actors to make his impression last...A great legal drama with a redeeming ending.”
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July 28th, 2016

"A very decent legal drama…The dialogue bristles with legal authenticity, and enough wit and solid characterization...Director Christopher Scott does no harm, but he doesn’t especially enhance…He has directed his cast to operate at a pitch a few clicks higher than naturalism, which makes you more aware of watching a play than you’d care to be; but the style isn’t egregious...The cast, while not exceptional, is plenty good enough to carry it and engage your interest."
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