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A Life

From 136 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Quirky

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents Adam Bock's new play about a man—played by Emmy and Tony winner David Hyde Pierce—who turns to astrology after heartbreak. More…

Nate Martin is hopelessly single. When his most recent breakup—another in a lifelong string of ill-fated matches—casts him into a funk, he turns to the only source of wisdom he trusts: the stars. Poring over astrological charts, he obsessively questions his past and his place in the cosmos. In this disarming new play, the answer Nate receives, when it comes, is shockingly obvious—and totally unpredictable.

Member Reviews (136)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Quirky
Avg Score

Moving, Absorbing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you like quirky shows that really move you, touch you in a subtle quiet way that is beautiful and a little unsettling at the same time.

Don't see it if you need a straightforward plot. At one point I was lightly crying because I was so moved and I heard the person behind say "This is weird".

Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Meaningless

See it if you want to see David Hyde Pierce deliver a potent opening monologue about the complexities of being an aging, single gay man in Manhattan.

Don't see it if you seek any meaning from this meandering, dull nothingburger. Spoiler alert: Life has no meaning. Here today, gone tomorrow. Live for today

Clever, Great acting, Monologue by d.h pierce is a winner

See it if you enjoy a magnificent David Hyde Pierce for 25 minutes or so.

Don't see it if you do not have Mr Pierce for the rest of the show. Maybe this is an attempt (perhaps) to define the meaning of life.

Ambitious, Clever, Surprising, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you want something unexpected, enjoy stories of gay men maneuvering through NYC, fan of David Hyde Pierce, like ballsy staging and plot

Don't see it if you've had it with stories of gay men, don't like unexpected twists that come earlier than expected, saddened by scenes of abject loneliness

Brilliantly asks the "what is the meaning of life question" - you may not like the answer

See it if /4 brilliant sustained opening monologue by David Hyde Pierce re life's inadequacies; master class breaking the fourth wall; inventive set

Don't see it if /SPOILER ALERT: after DHP unexpectedly dies, some will be bored as play clinically shows ritual 4 how society deals w death/life goes on

Also A Life in some way is the antithesis of Our Town which movingly shows ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Resonant, Quirky, Intense

See it if To see David Hyde Pierce. He was very good. It was interesting but many would not like it.

Don't see it if I would not really recommend this play to anyone. the first part of the play is charming, the second part is totally weird and disturbing

Also Weird and disturbing could be fine, but the second half was also extre... Read more Read less

Banal, Boring, Slow, Insipid, Overrated

See it if you are a fan of David Hyde Pierce. Better yet, wait to see him in "Hello, Dolly". Otherwise, stay away from this deadly dull play.

Don't see it if you're smart.

Also Why this play has had so many extensions is beyond me. There is a lot ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like realism & the actor speaks directly to the audience laying his emotions bare;David Hyde Pierce;twists and turns

Don't see it if You dislike sad plots about real life occurrences; You dislike long monologues

Also This story is about people who live alone.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Profound

See it if The set is extraordinary, in a way I've never seen before. David Hyde Pierce is mesmerizing. This show really made me think.

Don't see it if It all doesn't add up to much. I was left with, but what's the point? And thought maybe there wasn't much of one at all.

Also I won't reveal the shocking twist, but it is indeed a shocker. Daring ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy unusual approaches to ordinary life stories and if you are a fan of David Hyde Pierce.

Don't see it if you are homophobic or you could not stand long silences, an empty stage or tension originating from periods of inactivity.

Intense, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if you don't want to miss a great opening dialogue performed beautifully by David Hyde Pierce.

Don't see it if you like plays with easy resolution or if you shy away from discussions of death.

Great david hyde pierce, Uneven, Absorbing, Terrific set, Well-observed

See it if You want to enjoy David Hyde Pierce describing the protagonist's small and ordinary life in a most humane and appealing way. From there...

Don't see it if ..the play takes unexpected turns. Is this life banal? Yes, but that's what make it relatable. And they told my dad's favorite/morbid joke.

Bizarre, Clever, Great set, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you liked The Flick or a similar real-time like play. I won't spoil anything, but the set is INCREDIBLE.

Don't see it if you're bored by slow-moving dramas that have ambiguous meanings/endings.

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like David Hyde Pierce who is incredible. This play is different, edgy, creative and sometimes confusing. Memorable experience.

Don't see it if you want easy to understand plays. If you are not interested in death and the soul that lives beyond. If moments of silence bother you.

Also Only 85 minutes; first half is better than second half which kinda goe... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Fantastic set, Masterful, Haunting, Quirky

See it if You have 90 minutes to spare for the most intense use of that time. This play is still resounded within me, and there is something for you.

Don't see it if You need everything to tie up at the end in a logical bow, or if you can't commit the mental energy for this provocative piece.

Also Admittedly, David Hyde Pierce, who is so likeable it should be illegal... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Funny

See it if you're a David Hyde Pierce fan. He is wonderful and his opening monologue is truly amazing.

Don't see it if you expect theater to be filled with action-packed scenes.

Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like charming plays that also make you think about life and love. Great acting along with writing that brings characters to life.

Don't see it if You want spectacle or "drama." Here, you get a man recounting his lovers and reflecting on his life - inspiring audience self-reflection.

Also Fascinating use of sets to illuminate story.

Intense, Overrated, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You like theater that challenges you and enjoy David Hyde Pierce. His performance is intense and well done. Brad Heberlee is great too.

Don't see it if You need a fast moving plot. This play often felt incredibly slow.

Great acting, Amazing set, Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a show that strikes right to the heart of many the fears of a single person in NY. A little slow but still riveting.

Don't see it if You don't like introspective shows or examinations of the procedures involved in handling a death.

Ambitious, Edgy, Intense

See it if You want to see something you've never seen before. A strange, wonderful play.

Don't see it if You want light, fluffy theater. You're going to end up discussing this.

Absorbing, Subtle, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if you enjoy slow plays that give you time to think about (and savor) what's happening.

Don't see it if you dislike plays with minimal action, even if the scarcity of action is critical to the play's theme.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like ambitious (in both content and form) plays that leave you with a lot to think about.

Don't see it if you don't like anything remotely experimental and can't be left with unresolved points or more questions than you came in with.

Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Resonant, Haunting

See it if you like serious, deliberately paced plays that will take you to places you never expected.

Don't see it if you are impatient with plays that start very slow and initially seem to be going nowhere.

Dual-natured, Intense, Thought-provoking, Disturbing?, Surprising

See it if you enjoy shows that like Full Metal Jacket, start as one type of show and morphs into another. Comedy becomes tragedy in shocking fashion

Don't see it if you are expecting like hearted entertainment, which it starts as. It becomes a gut-punch. Intense and disturbing (thought provoking)

Also The amiability of David Hyde Pierce !becomes second to the abrupt and ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent

See it if you are very mellow and patient, & love David Hyde Pierce/Brad Heberlee (both v talented). An unadorned snapshot of a(n uninteresting) life.

Don't see it if you are restless, easily bored, or want something to happen. Skip if you've lost someone recently: stark presentation of death.

October 24th, 2016
"Am I boring you? Sorry, but don’t blame me, I’m just trying to be an honest reporter...Mr. Pierce is usually good company, even when his material is less than first rate. But here’s he’s just…company...The play has been directed with minimal fuss by Ms. Kauffman, a specialist in adventurous thea...
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October 24th, 2016
"The play is exquisite in detail but cosmic in theme; it has a Thornton Wilder soul...Directed by Anne Kauffman with a superb ear for naturalism. Sympathetic and unsentimental, the play offers a wise, quietly devastating perspective on the stuff we carry and leave behind. You may find yourself tr...
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October 24th, 2016
"It’s hard to imagine anyone who could put this material over better than Pierce; he works every self-cancelling half-sentence and errant thought pattern into a stage naturalism so airtight it approaches the surreal...Bock’s dialogue captures the uncanny and sometimes hilarious weirdness of real ...
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November 7th, 2016
"There’s nothing strained about Bock’s new play...David Hyde Pierce, giving one of those performances that take you over, moment by sensitively explicated moment...The director, Anne Kauffman, doesn’t try to make the script more than it is; she helps to reveal the subtleties and the weirdness at ...
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