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A Parallelogram

From 179 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

About the show

Second Stage Theater presents a new existential comedy by Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris in which the past, present, and future collide. Starring three-time Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger.  More…

If you knew in advance exactly what was going to happen in your life, and how everything was going to turn out, and if you knew you couldn't do anything to change it, would you still want to go on with your life? That is the question facing Bee (Keenan-Bolger) who, much to her boyfriend's confusion, can click through different moments in her life with the touch of a remote control. Directed by four-time Tony nominee Michael Greif ('Rent,' 'Dear Evan Hansen').

Member Reviews (179)


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

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Clever, Funny, Refreshing

See it if Woman repeats parts of her life while talking to an older version of herself. Interesting philosophies, clever acting and staging.

Don't see it if A bit repetitive in spots. More intellectual than emotionally engaging. Characters are humorous but lack depth.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Askew, Great acting

See it if you like the "what if I made different choices" question & the sci-fi trope of parallel universes; you want to see the divine Anita Gillette

Don't see it if you're a fan of the superior plays Constellations, Marjorie Prime or even Groundhog Day, where similar themes are played out more profoundly

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy great acting esp by Anita Gilette and Cecilia Keenan Bolger. Also if youu like to think. Concept re: Life is fascinating. Reality?

Don't see it if need a musical extravaganza or you prefer a play that spells out what is ahead. . .What's with revolving stages? 12 in last 6 weeks

Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging, Great writing

See it if Well-acted sci-fi funny comedy about a married couple where the wife is "seeing things". So true when it says money is not key to happiness.

Don't see it if Very taken aback when they said "people won't think or care about the Holocaust or September 11th in the future"; that ruined the show.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you like shows that challenge you to think, that are beautifully acted and have amazing sets. Story makes you think about time, space, etc.

Don't see it if you want a nice, pat little play.This one is thought provoking. I didn't like the set in the last act. It implied a living style. Offensive.

Disappointing, Misleading marketing, Unfocused

See it if You’d like a play that’s the polar opposite of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”: indifferent guardian angel, msg that deeds don't matter

Don't see it if You want a play w/ some heart or profundity. This isn’t as philosophical as the “existential” mktg suggests. Waiting for Godot, it ain't

Also The big disappointment is that the play is packaged as The Matrix but ... Read more Read less

Norris gets supernatural

See it if Clever Bruce Norris scenario of a young woman encountering her older self. Anita Gillette is endearingly hilarious.

Don't see it if Kind of slight, but we really enjoyed it. When they magically replay scenes, you can see how well the actors know their parts.

Entertaining, Great staging, Indulgent, No payoff

See it if you like existential time warping stories about regrets and second chances with a fantasy element. Very nice set and good performances.

Don't see it if you're expecting a new take on the "if only I'd...." theme or a happy ending. None of the characters is particularly likable.

Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if you want to see an existential play that poses interesting questions & is beautifully acted by all 4 players. Anita Gillette is wonderful.

Don't see it if you want answers to those questions. The play meanders off point & at times doesn't make sense. Ultimately disappointing.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great dialogue, Disappointing story

See it if you enjoy witty banter, great acting and thought provoking humor.

Don't see it if you expect a meaningful story rather than one that doesn't live up to the promise of its good dialogue.

Great acting, Eerie, Slightly-underdeveloped, Depressing yet discussion-catalyzing, Darkly-humorous

See it if you can suspend belief and keep an open mind; don't mind some pretentious elements that border on pseudo-intellectualism; love great acting.

Don't see it if darkly-humorous, even depressing, plays that leave you questioning what you're doing with your life are not your way to spend an evening.

Also A Parallelogram is ambitious, asking big questions about life, free wi... Read more Read less

O'neill-esque, Dizzying, Great staging, Quirky, Slow

See it if You love any of the principals involved -- they give it their all. Anita Gillette and Celia Keenan-Bolger never fail to deliver.

Don't see it if You're looking for pure entertainment as opposed to a Stoppard-like brain exercise. We've heard this message before from Eugene O'Neill.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if Like off-kilter story done well.

Don't see it if Want more traditional/linear plays.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like plays that leave you with a lot to think about concerning life and all the choices we make.

Don't see it if Plays with straight forward stories that you won't need to figure out in the end

Ambitious, Refreshing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you you want to see an interestingly staged play about seeing our older self & what the future holds and trying to change it for the better.

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of plays that predict the future and go back &forth in time even though done very cleverly and not at all confusing.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You enjoy theater that makes you think. This dark comedy will make you question what is real and what is not. Also great performances by all

Don't see it if You are looking to just sit back and be entertained and don't want to be challenged.

Also This show has a clever concept and is well executed and well acted. An... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You like thought bending drama. Are fans of these actors -- who do as well as they can with this limited script.

Don't see it if Don't have patience for a convoluted story line and language-based theatre experience.

Clever, Entertaining, Annoying, Thought-provoking

See it if You like speculative illogical sci-fi. It requires thought, which is always a good thing, and while we do not like these people, it was fun.

Don't see it if You need things to make sense, which this doesn't, even on it's own terms, or you need a satisfying conclusion. But unclench, and go anyway.

Interesting, Confusing, Great acting

See it if you are interested in a play that questions some very interesting philosophical aspects about life.

Don't see it if do not like complicated stories.

Great acting, A bit derivative

See it if you are a fan of good acting and want to see the latest Norris play; if you are patient about a plot line that replicates Groundhog Day.

Don't see it if you want a neatly written piece where all the storylines are resolved and packaged with clear endings. Takes some patience.

Also A truly wonderful cast who are better than the material they have to w... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant, Interesting

See it if You like to ponder questions like WHAT IF. Second chances with a sci Fi twist Great sets and acting

Don't see it if You want more than a brief respite and diversion.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You like the idea of meeting yourself in the future; you like plays that explore ideas that seem impossible; you like to think about a play

Don't see it if You only like straight-forward plays with a beginning, middle, and end with no confusion

Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You just want to get out for the night.

Don't see it if You like good theater.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if like non-linear storytelling; it has excellent performances, especially Anita Gillette. The show is definitely original

Don't see it if Need a linear, sensical story.

Unwieldy shape

See it if Existential banter by a supporting character is the frame. Bolger and Kunken's talents humanize material worthier as an essay.

Don't see it if One hundred sixty minutes of philosophical experimenting is tough summer fare.

Also Kunken really gets to shine opposite CKB, the audience darling. Gillet... Read more Read less

August 2nd, 2017
“Offers plenty to think about and much to enjoy in Michael Greif’s sleek production. But as drama it’s not only a nonstarter but a nonender; it’s a red herring that swallows its own tail…‘A Parallelogram,’ which at first seems like a change of pace from Mr. Norris’s usual satirical approach, reve...
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August 2nd, 2017
“Whether you'll want to see ‘A Parallelogram’ depends on your palate for poison. Norris excels at writing conversations you heartily wish would end, and Keenan-Bolger and Kunken talk at each other with the kind of blank insistence that does, in fact, make you fear for humanity. I certainly came a...
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August 2nd, 2017
“The restless, disturbing new play burrowed under my skin…I left 'A Parallelogram' with the same feeling in my internal organs that I’ve had after watching certain episodes of 'Black Mirror'—and Norris’ play strikes me as the closest I have seen a piece of contemporary theater come to accessing t...
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August 2nd, 2017
“More often than not it seems to be spinning its own wheels…‘A Parallelogram’ doesn’t live up to its sharpest moments. Whatever messages Norris is trying to impart are muddled at best and depressing at worst. The shifting perspectives add up to little more than clever narrative tricks…The play al...
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