A Walk With Mr. Heifetz
Closed 1h 40m
A Walk With Mr. Heifetz
71

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz NYC Reviews and Tickets

71%
(138 Reviews)
Positive
66%
Mixed
27%
Negative
7%
Members say
Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting

About the Show

Based on true events, Primary Stages's world premiere drama tells the story of how music helped Israel find its cultural identity during its formative years.

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Member Reviews (138)

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75
Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you want to see some good acting a beautiful set, an interesting topic & some nice background violin work. Pre Israel, Israel ..the setting

Don't see it if you need a history lesson. It sometimes gets bogged down in the minutia.

74
Ambitious, Absorbing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Inadequate

See it if you are interested in the violent development of the Israeli state, the role of art in politics, the impact of grief, brotherly relationship

Don't see it if you're not interested in 20th century history of the Israeli state, don't know much about the Sharret brothers, not into Israeli music

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
February 20th, 2018

"A play constructed for the sake of an argument...Mr. Inverne wants to make a point about the vital role of music in establishing a culture...But for all the biography in it, this play is an awkward amalgam of hastily sketched history, which will read clearly only to those who already know it, and stories told in detail to characters who would surely not be hearing them for the first time...A show that often aims much higher than it can reach."
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Theatermania
February 20th, 2018

"These are all astute observations made by a writer who has thought deeply about Israeli history and the role music had in shaping it. Inverne, however, forgets to infuse his thoughts with dramatic stakes to make his characters more than just mouthpieces for his reflections...Violinist Mariella Haubs is the most moving element of the production...It's a peek into the emotional dimensions the play could have explored, and a disappointing realization of how much was left on the table."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 21st, 2018

"Inverne's rather chatty and sedate drama about art, history, and politics...Its dramatic boiling point remains so high that it never escapes a certain quietude...Leynse's direction maintains a civil tone throughout, which may be a mistake...'A Walk with Mr. Heifetz' has a lot on its mind, and most of it is intelligently expressed, but it rarely rises to the level of drama. It's hard to believe in the transformative power of art when the drama onstage is so earnest and so given to speechmaking.'
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TheaterScene.net
February 22nd, 2018

“Although an interesting idea, James Inverne's ‘A Walk With Mr. Heifetz’ has lofty ambitions which it is unable to fulfill. While the advertisement proclaims that these two encounters ‘changed the world as we know it,’ none of that comes through in the play. The thinness of the material and the two-dimensional characters fail to bring the story to life. Much more needs to be known or revealed to flesh out this intriguing but undramatized story.”
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Theater Pizzazz
February 22nd, 2018

"What little drama is present is overshadowed by historical and aesthetic issues…Plays can get away with talky, polemical considerations only when they're embedded in strong dramatic circumstances, with interesting characters. Here, the characters are little more than mouthpieces for ideas; just because they're embedded in the grand drama of Israel's birth or are accompanied by optimistic visions of the future, artistic and political, doesn't make them stageworthy."
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CurtainUp
February 20th, 2018

"Interesting but didactic...Leynse does what he can to keep our interest alive...The play's willingness to keep the three characters talking about the role the artist plays in nurturing and also empowering a nationalistic musical esthetic is, however, not quite enough to satisfy our thirst for more intense drama. It is fascinating to hear how the tune that was to become the Israeli national anthem was found. What hasn't been found is a compelling enough story to tie all the rhetoric together."
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Front Row Center
February 21st, 2018

"A seminar on the history of Israel that manages to be one-sided and absent of fireworks of any sort...Plot is nowhere to be found...No drama...The actors do the very best they can, but neither their work, nor the beautiful music, nor Leynse's direction are enough...Inverne intended this play to be a story that captured the passion of a people prepared to sacrifice anything to have a home. Instead he ended up with a play that has all the intrigue of a warm bowl of milk. A missed opportunity."
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Stage Buddy
March 6th, 2018

"In his debut as a playwright, Inverne is able to convey his deeply-felt emotion about Israel but his characters are too simply drawn and he touches on too many themes. Despite a good performance by Yuval Boim as Yehuda, the character is distracting and seems unable to focus...It deals with many themes and often they become interwoven and too complicated...In a good historical drama you can actually learn something too."
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T
February 21st, 2018

"Although it is not clear why the onstage violinist is needed, her presence and playing are more pleasant than Mr. Inverne's dialogue between the two men...Underdeveloped characters become conduits for a playwright's polemic...More docudrama than drama...'A Walk with Mr. Heifetz' does not allow the actors or the director to exercise their craft within the parameters of a satisfying dramatic arc that provides a cathartic resolution."
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Gotham Playgoer
February 20th, 2018

"Well-intentioned but dramatically inert new play...It's all very high-minded, but, unfortunately, not very dramatic. The different accents of the two brothers interject a discordant note...There is a violinist whose occasional short passages were more of a distraction than an enhancement...Leynse's direction was unfussy...Primary Stages presented another that was more polemical than dramatic. While this play was a big improvement over the earlier one...it's time to seek a new direction."
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T
February 24th, 2018

"It's a very talky, didactic play, each act involving two characters arguing over theoretical propositions in dry, matter-of-fact ways, more of a debate than a piece of theater...There's little palpable tension and no conflict...An excuse for first-time playwright Inverne to share his views - which can be intriguing - but he and Leynse have left out any hint of drama...Haubs speaks beautifully with her violin; unfortunately, there is not nearly enough of the Juilliard graduate."
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Tablet Magazine
February 23rd, 2018

"All four cast members are riveting to watch, which is crucial considering that Inverne's characters do little more onstage than rail at one another - the variance doesn't seem to be in action so much as whether arguments take place outside or inside. Still, for a play that's simply a series of arguments, they can be compelling at times...The show's conclusions are rather pat, but as with Yehuda Sharett’s frequent walks, it can be more about the journey than the destination."
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