After NYC Reviews and Tickets

(157 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

About the Show

Parenting, bullying, and its fallout are examined in this heart-wrenching new play from the playwright and director that brought you "Daniel’s Husband."

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Member Reviews (157)

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Poorly plotted, Relevant, Ambitious, Overstuffed

See it if you'd like a combative upper class hot topics fest: gun control, bullying, wealth/male privilege, motherhood, marital discord, texting, etc.

Don't see it if you want coherent plot or chars. Turns into a murky mess. Lots of speeches. Unconvincing. And why all white cast? Great set.

Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if great show, full of real pathos and plot twists. Surprising and timely.

Don't see it if you don't care about issues of bullying, or parenting in the face of tragedy. Read more

Entertaining, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy conflict dramas. Great performances and writing. Show moves by at a quick pace.

Don't see it if You would prefer something light.

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

See it if You want to see a different point of view on the topic of bullying. It’s intense and thoughtful. Will hit you on many levels.

Don't see it if A show about bullying will cause you to struggle. It gets to the heart of some intense themes.

Contrived, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Clever

See it if Two sets of parents try to cope with conflict between their teenage children. Well-drawn characters and relevant issues.

Don't see it if As the events and revelations spiral out of control, they get harder to believe. The ending is preposterous. The actors save the show.

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

See it if you enjoy plays on current topics with good actors playing real people reacting to realistic situations that do not have easy answers.

Don't see it if you want light entertainment. While some chuckles are provided throughout this deals with bullying, homophobia and violence.

Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if u want to see an intense, if somewhat contrived, post-Sandy Hook "God of Carnage", full of passion, rage, twists, humor & reasoned arguments

Don't see it if you don't appreciate psychological dramas; you're triggered by frank discussions of gun violence & bullying; you seek pure escapism. Read more

Intense, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if for the intense performances. All of the actors inhabit their characters with vigor.

Don't see it if bullying or family issues are triggering issues. If you require deep understanding to work though a horrific event, you will not get it here

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
March 19th, 2019

“If it weren’t for the play’s ludicrous reversals and recurrent eddies of argument, it would last about 10 minutes instead of 85...You can’t blame the cast members, who ride the hairpin turns of their characters with nearly convincing finesse. Nor is the subject of gun violence and its aftermath unworthy...The story is too baldly engineered — too bullying, in fact — to engage the audience in the manner necessary to produce empathy.”
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March 17th, 2019

"We suspect these Chekhovian guns will play a major part in the ensuing 90 minutes of McKeever's play, which, like the living room it occupies, is a little too perfect to be believed...McKeever makes sure to neutralize the issue of electoral politics...Brancato directs the cast to credible performances that only occasionally succumb to the heavy sentiment of McKeever's script...A play that sputters to its conclusion."
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March 22nd, 2019

“A powerful and profound drama...The cast masters their portrayals of parents dealing with tensions and dire circumstances...The company seamlessly delivers McKeever's finely crafted dialogue and captures their characters' distinct personalities...A timely and cautionary tale about the prevalence of bullying and its potential consequences. You don't have to be a parent to relate to this story and be moved by gravity of this issue. See this important production.”
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Lighting & Sound America
March 18th, 2019

"Intelligent but contrived, its characters given to making orations instead of conversing like real people...This last quality is not alleviated by Joe Brancato's direction, which lets most of the cast members face out front and deliver their lines...'After' isn't dull but it never really finds a voice, and the people in it aren't individual enough to capture one's interest. It's a technical exercise, a thesis play that spends its ninety minutes decrying materialism and lax gun laws."
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New York Stage Review
March 17th, 2019

"To McKeever’s credit, he expands broadly on the characters’ psychological underpinnings...Audience members who haven’t seen 'God of Carnage' are in for a fresh and strong ride...'After' looks clear-eyed at the marred institution of marriage and at rampant bullying, but it doesn’t shy away from other current concerns...Brancato directs 'After' with the iron hand it requires, which means that the cast is uniformly strong. It’s an impressive ensemble."
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March 26th, 2019

“You can hear a pin drop during Michael McKeever’s ‘After’, an exciting, riveting play about the aftereffects of bullying. During the final scene in Joe Brancato's production, the tension is so thick that no one in the audience seems to be breathing to see how it will play out. Like McKeever's ‘Daniel's Husband’, the author wants us to see the events from more than one side but his message is clear by the end: parents make excuses for their children and allow for bullying to go on unchecked.”
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Theatre is Easy
March 19th, 2019

“’After’ turns out to be just talk itself, with relatively little to say...Everything we’re going to learn about these people—all white, by the way—can be gleaned in their first few minutes onstage...Some of the snippy humor early on lands adroitly, but it all feels like it’s buying time until the great ‘event’, the aftermath of which becomes unnecessarily contrived and melodramatic with a last-minute reveal that undermines the play’s attempts at moral ambiguity.”
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Theater Pizzazz
March 17th, 2019

"A suspenseful journey directed with the utmost perceptive sensitivity...The scenes change as titles above the stage reflect the 'Before,' 'During,' and 'After' of this suspense driven psychological drama that asks and attempts to answer questions that plague our existence. Other than the fact that there can be some repetitious moments in this 85 minute, no intermission drama, I will leave this as a Spoiler Alert and add that the cast is uniformly wonderful and this is a play to be seen."
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Front Row Center
March 18th, 2019

"A debate over high school bullying takes a brutal leap that not only wrecks the lives of all involved, but essentially damns the act of parenting all together...The strong ensemble cast especially dazzle in these last moments...Director Joe Brancato offers some dynamic staging, often keeping the actors far apart to emphasize not only their emotional isolation, but the impossible distance between these parents and their fawns."
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Front Mezz Junkies
March 19th, 2019

“McKeever’s clever new timely play ramps up the energy and suspense with precision and smarts...It’s thoughtful and brittle in its humanity, covering the bases of each interaction with clarity, but not dousing the drama...The play sometimes is overcome with overt sentimentality and characters flipping into caricatures...but even within the overly written moments of contrived orations, there is an essence of clear purpose and a thoughtful curiosity.”
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Broadway Blog
March 19th, 2019

"Holds you in a viselike grip as its characters engage in fraught discussions of sensitive issues. Its first two scenes offer some of the most gripping dialogue and character interactions on any current Off-Broadway stage…Blessed with consistently engaging and thoughtful dialogue, pleasant to look at, beautifully acted, and smartly staged. Some moments are chilling, others moving. A more organically convincing ending would make it far more satisfying."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
March 18th, 2019

"A superb five-member ensemble grippingly advances a story involving two families steeped in the challenges of parenting and in the difficulty of knowing what their children at school may be up to...The dialogue is snippy...The play is smartly tuned into what can happen in schools today between kids, often involving bullying. Brancato’s direction proceeds with mounting intensity in sync with the playwright’s build-up to all of the revelations."
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March 18th, 2019

"Characters are well written, if just a bit one note...To McKeever’s credit, the episode itself is specific enough not to feel cliché, aftermath as much a tsunami as its precursor...The production suffers from an imbalance in acting skills which, with so few characters, achieves increased importance...Director Joe Brancato uses the stage well, providing small business and motivated moves. Timing is skilled."
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March 19th, 2019

“This is a riveting, powerful and timely production. The greatness of the play in its themes, conflicts and revelation of the importance of communication among family members is evident from the outset. The adroit actors carry the tension throughout. Indeed, each actor hits the ball out of the park so that no one character 'dominates' the other which would ruin the dynamic and theme that all have a responsibility in the events. This is ensemble work at its best, its most alive.”
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March 18th, 2019

"'After' is a gut punch that sneaks up on you. Set in an upscale house, typical of something you would see in Westchester, it is all smoothing blues and tasteful furniture. Populated by the nice mid-upper class semi-repressed white inhabitants you expect. The very normality is what lulls you into the expectation of a simple story with simple answers. Director Joe Brancato gives us a straightforward, albeit not simple, story and a cast that delivers the raw emotions that go with it."
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March 17th, 2019

"A compelling one act drama...The bantering & blaming between the parents is sharp, unrelenting & wickedly humorous...'After' is entertaining throughout. The import of the play is to be an up stander rather than merely being a bystander. An up stander is someone who sees what happens and intervenes or speaks up to stop the bullying...Parenting, gun violence & our political climate all weigh into this provocative, dark comedy with timely messaging."
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September 19th, 2018
For a previous production

"Just about any set of modern parents who’ve reared kids...will find relatable themes, dialogue and characters in Michael McKeever’s finely-crafted drama 'After'...The acting is first-rate across the board, with believable, sudden mood shifts and emotional engagement. Director Joe Brancato is at the top of his game in keeping us riveted to every utterance each step of the way. This is worthwhile, timely and important theater to see—and to think about."
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