A Life

A Life NYC Reviews and Tickets

(136 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (136)

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506 Reviews | 1010 Followers
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.

54 Reviews | 15 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like funny material and twists in plot and endings.

Don't see it if you are offended by gay topics.

91 Reviews | 14 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Different

See it if you like a unique and intimate theatrical experience. Pierce leads a strong cast and does an outstanding job with a challenging role.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of unconventional story telling. It's hard to say more without giving spoilers.

89 Reviews | 37 Followers
Dazzling staging, Surprising plot twists, Wonderful vehicle for david hyde pierce, Absorbing

See it if Want to see an interesting use of the stage with a solid acor, Pierce and strong supporting actors.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a play about an ageing gay man who is still looking for a love connection or not.

296 Reviews | 92 Followers
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. Read more

295 Reviews | 84 Followers
A slow slice of a lonely life & death

See it if you like David Hyde Pierce. He's very natural and does whatever can be done with the role, but the play's joys are subtle.

Don't see it if you don't want to deal with death or afterlife; you need action to enjoy a play.

66 Reviews | 23 Followers
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great acting, Intense, Unusual

See it if You are looking for a window into mortality with excellent performances.

Don't see it if You are looking for glitzy Broadway staging.

107 Reviews | 26 Followers
Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You can appreciate a poignant, well modulated performance. DHP is stunning in the first act.

Don't see it if You are looking for a story with a traditional arc - have no patience for meandering dialogue

Critic Reviews (38)

The New York Times
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 theater, but it falls between the schools of realism and what might be called theatrical existentialism...While you can scan the play’s surface for larger meanings, watching it isn’t particularly rewarding."
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Time Out New York
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 trembling as you stumble out of Playwrights Horizons and into the night, where life goes on and has been going on without you."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 speech..Balancing such disparate and volatile elements asks a lot of a director, and Anne Kauffman, in staging 'A Life,' demonstrates nerves of steel."
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New Yorker
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 its heart. Hyde Pierce and the rest of the cast are ideal collaborators for what Bock and Kauffman want to convey."
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New York Daily News
October 24th, 2016

"David Hyde Pierce gives an amusing and endearing performance as gay, middle-aged Nate, who’s still trying to get his bearings after a breakup in Adam Brock’s engaging and sometimes unnerving new drama. The modest work goes places that you probably won’t see coming. The same goes for the seemingly everyday set in Anne Kauffman’s staging."
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October 24th, 2016

"David Hyde Pierce is giving a quietly devastating performance in 'A Life,' Adam Bock’s meditative one-act play about the meaning and implicit value of a human life...Bock is scrupulous in the language he uses to reveal Nate’s indecisive character...Director Kauffman stages those events that intrude on his placid existence with a sense of high drama and implacable finality. For his part, Pierce keeps his distance and lets her do what has to be done. It’s a rewarding collaboration all around."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 24th, 2016

"To reveal anything more would be to spoil the heartrending surprises of this deeply unsettling drama, which will linger long in your mind...Some will find it profoundly moving, others gimmicky...Director Anne Kaufman doesn't shy away from the play's daunting aspects...'A Life' is a little rough-hewn, both in the writing, which sometimes feels underdeveloped, and its technical aspects...But these are mere quibbles about a drama whose simple truths will leave you ineffably shattered."
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October 24th, 2016

"Bock leans heavily on the element of surprise, which director Kauffman successfully exploits to the fullest. She lulls us into a false sense of complacency before completely blindsiding us...Pierce gives one of the most physically committed performances I've ever witnessed onstage...Bock's commitment to soul-shaking naturalism is reminiscent of Émile Zola at his darkest, conveying a vision of life that is so frightening precisely because we know it to be completely truthful."
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