Closed 2h 20m
Ah, Wilderness!
East Village
67

Ah, Wilderness! NYC Reviews and Tickets

67%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
44%
Mixed
47%
Negative
9%
Members say
Slow, Dated, Entertaining, Disappointing, Funny

About the Show

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre and The Storm Theatre present Eugene O’Neill's classic comedy about the trials and tribulations of a young man and his loving family in a small Connecticut town on July 4, 1906.

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Member Reviews (32)

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60
Slow, Dated, Uneven acting, Unpolished, Disappointing

See it if you are O'Neill completist. More telling to see AW (even subpar prdn) than read it. Lead (Richard) is talented. More melodrama than comedy.

Don't see it if you want strong acting/staging. Many diff acting styles, mostly unsuccessful. Script may have merit, but imposs to tell here. Amateurish.

59
Mostly miscast, Dull, Dated, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you're an O'Neill completist and want to see a community theater production of his sole "comedy" about turn-of the-century coming-of-age.

Don't see it if you're seeking laughs from your comedy [There are scant few to be found here]; you seek a fast-paced, exciting theatre piece. Read more

Critic Reviews (9)

January 31st, 2019

“I’ve never seen ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ done on a small scale, and this production...Passes the no-budget test...While Dobbins’s cast is somewhat uneven in quality, most of the actors are quite good...As for Dobbins’s staging, it’s as uncomplicated as the décor...just a straightforward rendering of the play itself, which is allowed to work its quaint magic without benefit of special directorial pleading...The best thing about “Ah, Wilderness!” is the way in which it mixes sweetness with sorrow.”
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February 6th, 2019

“It takes an especially nimble company, aided by an equally adept director, to bring out the melancholy highlights in this otherwise nostalgic, sun-splashed comedy and, in truth, Dobbins and his troupe aren't really up to the job. In this play, more than most, nuance is everything, and it is a quality that is noticeably missing here. Most of the cast members find a single note and strike it, repeatedly...Even in this somewhat rickety staging, the play's homey, yet insightful, humor comes through at times."
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February 4th, 2019

"Shorter than his dramas but still feels long at two hours and 40 minutes with an intermission but it is absorbing nonetheless. That’s due to its novel perspective...The youthful Peter Atkinson is outstanding as Richard and is the production’s centerpiece...Director Peter Dobbins’ solid yet sensitive staging settles in after the slack opening sequence...This tender production demonstrates the enduring beauty of 'Ah, Wilderness!'"
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February 4th, 2019

“While ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ is definitely a comedy, don't go in expecting broad jokes about sex and politics. The humor here is more subdued...Dobbins stays true to O'Neill, giving a straight-forward rendition to honor his legacy. The one thing that stands out is the commitment of lead actor Peter Calvin Atkinson...Even if the subject matter does not entice, 'Ah, Wilderness!' is still worth seeing for the committed acting of Atkinson.”
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February 10th, 2019

"One of the big problems is that things never go that sideways...Any problems that crop up somehow conveniently go away. The result is a sort of uneasy disquiet for the audience...Unfortunately direction and acting don't help these matters. Peter Dobbins' direction is ponderous, and keeping the script almost untouched does the production no favors. And most of the actors can't pick up the slack on their own."
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February 3rd, 2019

“O’Neill’s coming-of-age play is sadly so outdated, because very few people remember the world, when it was that innocent...Dobbins direction is slow paced and he does not bring out the best in his cast which is inconsistent, with women faring better than the men. As the lead Atkinson has the looks, but not the acting chops...This is a period piece where the time seems long gone and innocents a thing of the past. ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ made me weep for that realization.”
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January 31st, 2019

“The casts’ delivery of the outdated dialogue, idiosyncratic slang, and old-fashioned values, forced laughter and feigned intoxication is generally stilted and unnatural. Combined with O’Neill’s offensive ethnic and gender-based stereotypes, the period piece, at present, is more cringe-worthy than humorous...Despite the renown of its author, the current production...begs the question, ‘Why?’ This is one O’Neill play that would have been better left in the vaults.”
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February 1st, 2019

“The piece is as stageworthy as ever, and it works fine in a smaller house...What’s striking about this production is the generation gap...The younger actors are more impressive than the grown-ups...Dobbins keeps the pacing suitably leisurely and lets the piece speak for itself...The older generation really might work on sharpening their characterizations, and there are probably better productions of ‘Ah, Wilderness!’ out there, but it’s a pleasure to have this one around.”
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February 5th, 2019

“Life for teens in today’s word is fast-paced...Nevertheless, carving out a few hours...to see...’Ah, Wilderness!’ can be worthwhile...A really great play with a compelling story...The dialogue is the original dialogue of the play – no need to dumb it down for us, although some of it is outdated and definitely not politically correct for our time. All things considered, it’s great to be able to take your pre-teen to a show...I could not have asked for a more perfect ending!
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