See it if Beautiful language, wonderful characters, regrets, fears and hopes ... an insightful, melancholy contemplation of life.
Don't see it if You prefer more action and intensity.
See it if you like discovering lost English plays from the early 20th century, like Chekhov pacing, outstanding costumes, reflect on aging and success
Don't see it if you can't enjoy a three act, slow, old fashioned style play with sad, mournful characters contemplating what they have made of their lives
See it if Enjoy classic well made play format (3 acts), a Chekhovian flavored melodrama, moving performances
Don't see it if Have little patience for the well crafted play which takes its time (3hrs) to resolution, the "Masterpiece Theatre" genre
See it if you enjoy quirky characters with heart, who either cannot express their feelings or cannot stop. This would be wonderful with a long edit.
Don't see it if you will have trouble sitting through a slice of life story, with three acts that run close to three hours. Read more
See it if Great acting in a neglected play.
Don't see it if Wish for more action - this is a play of words.
See it if you want a simple story with witty, quirky characters who contemplate their missed chances in life & their futures; wonderful performances
Don't see it if you want a complex plot or a fast-moving story. With 3 acts & 2 intermissions some may find it too long. Also if you don't like Chekhov.
See it if you have three hours to become immersed in this slowly-paced but well-acted Modern play; can relate to mid-life crises and growing older.
Don't see it if you need intense action, elaborate staging, famous actors, musical numbers, or a quick turn at the theatre. This play requires commitment.
See it if Lovely show from a time when storytelling was subtle and took its time. If you are looking to unplug from contemporary life, see this.
Don't see it if This will not dazzle you as it slowly reveals its relationships and plot. But, for a theatre purist, it is a delight.
"This is a very well made play, and Austin Pendleton, the director, gets the most out of it…Mr. Elfer is terrific, and so is Ms. Firth, whose Frances gradually emerges during this two-intermission play as the most complex character on the stage. Their pas de deux is a beautiful study in conversations never had, or had too late…Miss Mathieson isn’t around much, but what Ms. McKie does with her one big scene, a confessional moment of yearning, is heart-stopping."
"Apart from the easily parodied genteel surface of Hunter’s work, one is struck by its derivativeness. At moments, it’s as if Hunter wrote on tracing paper laid over 'Uncle Vanya.' Of course, there are worse talents to ape, and Hunter is a sensitive observer of English neuroses and resilience. The fine cast navigates the quippy, stiff-upper-lipness with vibrant grace…A melancholy study of middle-age malaise leavened by flashes of wit and humor, good for 'Downton Abbey' addicts."
"The Mint has outdone itself with its latest effort…It is that rarest of rarities, a forgotten masterpiece, acted by the best ensemble cast I’ve seen in recent seasons and staged with taut vitality by Pendleton…Ms. Firth, a familiar face to fans of the Mint, and Mr. Elfer, who is new to me, are as good as they could possibly be, though no more so than the eight other members of the cast, all of whom give vividly drawn performances…Everything about this staging is as right as the play itself."
"While the feelings presented in this play are universal, they're strained by the three-act structure, with too little action to justify its length…While 'A Day by the Sea' is surprisingly relevant (loneliness never goes out of style), Pendleton's production, no matter how attractive it is, cannot overcome the tediousness of the script…Despite Pendleton managing to guide a few of the cast members to performances of genuine ache, most of the company is too actorly to be truly believable."
"'A Day by the Sea' is now receiving a jewel of a production by the Mint Theater Company, directed with deft delicacy by Austin Pendleton...It's the second act when the sparks start flying and the drama gets intense...While missed opportunities and dim futures are the major themes of the play, they contrast with Hunter's language and the setting's nostalgic elegance, giving 'A Day by the Sea' a bucolic beauty that tries to defend against the darkness of reality."
"Such delicate materials need the most careful handling, and it's a good thing the Mint has engaged Austin Pendleton, a director who sifts meaning from the subtlest of details. He has assembled a cast that knows exactly how to dig under their characters' polite surfaces in search of the quiet torments that afflict them…Once again, we are in debt to the Mint for bringing to our attention a playwright we should have known better all along."
"The play's length and its three-act structure seem ill advised...Most of the subplots and interrelationships between the characters are interesting in themselves, but they are not woven together very well by the playwright — a flaw exacerbated in the Mint production by the flaccid direction of Austin Pendleton…Whatever flaws exist in the show's direction and some details of the performances, the Mint has given 'A Day by the Sea' a typically gorgeous, thoroughly professional production."
“‘A Day by the Sea’’s first act is entirely made up of exposition and back
stories, and Austin Pendleton’s leisurely direction makes the play slower
than it needs to be. And then in the second of the play’s three acts all of the
characters seem to have a catharsis as to what their lives might be and the
temperature heats up. The casting could not be better and the play turns
extremely poignant as Hunter’s characters must come face to face with the
choices they have made.”