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New York | Ends Dec 16

Apologia

From 29 critic and 161 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

About the show

Direct from London, this new, biting play makes its New York debut with Stockard Channing as a woman facing the repercussions of her past. More…

You do not mess with Kristin Miller. In the 1960s, she was a radical activist and political protester. Now a celebrated art historian, the publication of her memoir threatens to split her family apart. But Kristin has never been one to shy away from a fight.  A lively look at yesterday’s rebels living in today’s reality. 



93
Front Row Center

"Stockard Channing. That’s why 'Apologia' is currently running here in the US, having just got off the boat from London’s West End. It’s a vehicle to showcase her talents, to show the world that at 74 (go girl!) she’s very viable as a person, as a woman, as an actress, as an artist, possessing depth, appeal, strength and power. She’s why I signed up to review. I’m glad I did." Full Review

88
TheaterScene.net

"'Apologia' must be seen for Stockard Channing's impressive and multilayered performance. But the stalwart actress, at the peak of her form, is far from the only reason for seeing this new, richly resonant play by Alexi Kaye Campbell, which first played in London last year." Full Review

86
Front Mezz Junkies

“The clash between a mother’s duty and a woman’s passion and intellect is what is on that table...The battle for a better world is what matters to Kristin, and as portrayed by the always fierce and determined Channing, with rebuttal by the wonderfully diverse Darcy, the heart-wrenching exploration slams hard, shattering glass and thrusting the shards deep into everyone’s skin. The last few moments might not be the strongest residual, but the verdict is decidedly clear.” Full Review

85
Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Family and personal issues are at the root of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s perceptive play...The problems encountered are expertly spotlighted by the fine cast...The direction by Daniel Aukin builds tension with cumulative effect...’Apologia’, for all of the humor it contains along with the outbursts, is a sad play marked by the impressive acting of a well-chosen cast, but it is Channing’s skillfully modulated performance that is especially affecting.” Full Review

80
DC Theatre Scene

“In ‘Apologia’, the well-acted, finely directed...play, Channing portrays Kristin Miller, a long-time activist, American expatriate and noted art historian...Is Kristin’s idealism defensible; what are the personal costs of public idealism? That is a question that the playwright in effect asks in 'Apologia,' but in many ways it’s the least interesting aspect of his witty and engaging play...The contrast between past idealism and present-day reality is a well-trod subject on stage." Full Review

80
Gotham Playgoer

“If you are a Stockard Channing fan like me, you will enjoy this play...No one plays a smart, sharp-tongued woman of a certain age better than Channing...As a showcase for Channing’s prodigious talents, the play succeeds. If, however, you start to look at things too closely, there are many flaws...Channing in action definitely outweighs all these shortcomings for me. The other actors are fine as well...Aukin’s direction is unfussy.” Full Review

80
Towleroad

“An art historian played with cunning grace by Stockard Channing...Her defense of the Gothic artist...distills the insightful thrust of Campbell’s elegant and deceptively simple play. Everyone has their own concept of value...It’s different for every character on stage as it is for each member of the audience. Our individual conceptions of value reflexively dictate how we measure our own — drama is born in the discrepancies." Full Review

80
On and Off Broadway

"In Kristin, Stockard Channing has found a role in which she can fascinate us with the complexities in the character who is the center of the play...Gripping and seasoned with surprise. There is some awkward exposition; and some of 'Apologia’'s conflicts involve incidents that should have been dealt with long before this cathartic celebration; but nevertheless we are intrigued...A powerful play, one in which ugly truths are confronted, and consequences are paid." Full Review

80
This Week in New York Blog

“Successful art historian and proud humanist Kristin makes no apologies for the choices she’s made...Channing is passionate and unrelenting as Kristin...She manages to keep the selfish, smug, and snarky writer from becoming too villainous or a mere relic from a different time...Dancy excels as both sons...Tillinger does his best with Hugh, a thankless part that merely serves as comic relief...Aukin guides the actors through some familiar, clichéd territory that is too straightforward.” Full Review

80
The Observer

“Dominated by Channing’s tremendous energy and well-acted by a gifted supporting cast, but directed with a somewhat uneasy focus...the play is ultimately about a woman with ideas, opinions and insights who established her independence before it was fashionable—and the high personal price she paid for doing so. The toll celebrity has taken on Kristin, who chose success in a male-dominated society over the needs of her own children, has a relevance today that stings.” Full Review

75
Lighting & Sound America

“The disastrous first-act meal scene is slickly written; the dialogue is loaded with amusing barbs...But there's something a little calculated and mechanical about it, a sense that a series of opposing temperaments have been pitted too obviously against...But the cast, under Aukin's brisk, often acute direction, offers solid support...’Apologia’ sometimes seems assembled -- admittedly cleverly -- out of a kit of devices, but Kristin, especially in Channing's hands, is the real thing.” Full Review

75
Talkin' Broadway

"Let us heap accolades upon Stockard Channing, who finds a pulse and thrillingly breathes life into Alexi Kaye Campbell's 'Apologia,' a somewhat squishy play...While there is no getting around the weaknesses in the play's thin plot and characterizations, what a showcase ‘Apologia’ is for Channing, who gives as textured and layered a performance as you are likely to see for a very long time.” Full Review

75
New York Stage Review

“’Apologia’ is very much The Stockard Channing Show...Campbell seems so intent on creating a monster mother that there is no glimmer of an alternate view...All we can do is sit back and enjoy Stockard’s monstrous machinations...Stockard is razor-sharp and immensely entertaining...Let her plant her teeth in a juicy role, and she is likely to wipe away any complaints about dramatic flaws...She is ably supported by a cast of five...The play is not nearly up to the star.” Full Review

75
Stage Left

"Channing smolders and terrifies in this moody, atmospheric production directed with haunting élan by Daniel Aukin. Overpowering Mr. Campbell’s sparring dialogue, though, are the stunning tableaus...The play doesn’t quite make the grander statement it purports to...Campbell paradoxically doubles down on a sexist trope, inviting the audience to judge Kristin’s parenting, or lack thereof...Channing does make a chilling and lasting impact in her performance.” Full Review

75
SusanGranger.com

"So – at this festive gathering, filled with crackling confrontations – is there a chance for a reconciliation? A solid emotional payoff? Not much...While director Daniel Aukin has imported most of London’s West End cast and (director) John Tiillinger returns to the stage as an actor, the focus is clearly on sharp-tongued, yet acutely vulnerable Stockard Channing, whose provocateur performance is riveting." Full Review

70
CurtainUp

“While we've certainly had our share of dysfunctional family dramas another London production gained traction...And it's that rather too neat and talky merger of political and family drama that's now in its NY premiere...Channing, who does imperious women with a streak of vulnerability extremely well, plays the feisty Miller...Though Channing unquestionably has the hostess with the mostest star power, the actors playing the five other party guests do excellent work.” Full Review

65
The New York Times

“Ms. Channing's performance in 'Apologia'...goes some distance in disguising the labored exposition of a work that never quite achieves a natural flow or moves you as much as it should...The layers of Channing’s interpretation, with its core of lacerating anguish, are more intriguing than the plot that builds to an anticlimactic reveal...The dialogue only rarely feels organic...But it is Ms. Channing’s complex, contradictory Kristin who keeps us thinking long after the play is over” Full Review

65
Theatre's Leiter Side

"Mildly entertaining if unexceptionally conventional…Primarily attractive for its memorable portrait (and Channing's performance) of Kristin…Structured around character revelations rather than plotting. Some of it seems familiar from other plays (especially the Seagull-like scene between Simon and Kristin as she tends to his hand), and not a little comes off as phony and cliched…It's never boring, has some worthwhile moments, and, when you get right down to it, Stockard Channing." Full Review

65
The Hollywood Reporter

“Aukin has put together an elegant production with a uniformly fine cast, and the writing is laced with poignant Chekhovian shadings. But thematically, we've been down this road many times before, with more penetrating insights...Miller is a juicy role for the inimitably acerbic Channing. Or she would be if the complex character hadn't been shortchanged by the playwright...The writing makes it tough to care about her...This 10-year-old play still needs work.” Full Review

65
City Cabaret

“Channing becomes the focal point...And here she makes the most of her signature dry delivery...Even if the material she is given is not always worthy, Channing's depth and appeal gives it gravitas. 'Apologia' is basically a family drama, insightful but rambling and talky, yet it still has Channing to captivate the viewer plus a winning supporting cast...A play of self-explanations, complaints, provocations and no real conversation but plenty of spiked comments." Full Review

65
StageZine

“Channing is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Even when the material is sub-par and not to her level of expertise, she still captivates you. There are very few stage actresses left of Channing’s caliber who can dazzle you from the first moment to last...Unfortunately, Aukin doesn’t do much for the proceedings; he just lets the scenes ramble by themselves...You are left with an unfulfilling drama, and stock characters that are not fully developed." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"Channing manages to make a compellingly conflicted figure, but the play doesn’t give her a lot to work with. It creaks with contrivances and clunky, expositional dialogue...Aukin doesn’t seem to know how to handle the play’s schlock factor...The play means to examine the costs paid by women who open their own doors...But it’s not grounded deeply enough in reality to tell us much about those women—except to remind us of the pleasure we still seem to take in making them cry.” Full Review

60
Theater Pizzazz

"In Campbell's 'Apologia,' Stockard Channing reminds us how much we've missed witnessing her onstage since her last outing. Better still, that feeling never leaves us during our two-and-a-quarter hours at the Laura Pels. The arched eyebrow, the razor-sharp, martini-dry delivery of a barb, the barely concealed hurt traveling across her face, the deep emotional connection to a character: all of these qualities come to the fore in Channing's superb portrayal of Kristin Miller." Full Review

60
Theater Life

"The template is a familiar one: a disconnected family reunites around a dinner table...Quieter confrontations, further revelations, and soul-searching occur after intermission with an ambiguous resolution for the final curtain...The characters are too predictable...Campell’s wry script and Daniel Aukin’s tidy production offer many pleasures such as tight, well-paced staging and crackling dialogue...But there are too many loopholes and cliches." Full Review

60
Theatermania

“Channing gives a powerful performance...Unfortunately, ‘Apologia’ doesn't reveal enough of its characters' lives for us to be invested...Aukin tries to ignite Campbell's sometimes stilted dialogue...but the action never really gets above a smolder...In the end, ‘Apologia’ has some tasty morsels to offer about the need to forgive ourselves rather than coming up with arguments to justify our shortcomings, but the play never gets warm enough to cook up a satisfying meal.” Full Review


100
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Relevant

See it if you want to see the personal sacrifice(s) given for public change.

Don't see it if you don't like the dynamic between mother and her sons.

100
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting

See it if You love US history, hip hop, love stories, competition

Don't see it if US history bores you, you hate hip hop, can’t sit for theee hours

95
Dark, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you enjoy smart, rich, meaty, relevant plays with interesting characters, outstanding lead performance by Ms. Channing and great direction

Don't see it if you're tired of those family plays where parents are confronted by their children with the tough life choices they were forced to make

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy great acting and a play that beautifully meshes the personal and the political in complex ways.

Don't see it if you like plays with tidy emotions or in which the characters have to be likable.

Also Stockard Channing is giving the performance of her life in an already ... Read more Read less

95
Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Great writing, Great staging

See it if It's a complete artistic vision with great staging and acting and the lighting and set are exquisite. Great characters with great lines.

Don't see it if It's not an action oriented show with a strong plot.

94
Great acting, Intense, Great staging

See it if you are enjoy intense family drama, acted by extremely talented actors.

Don't see it if you do not like conflict or snide remarks.

93
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if A woman of lettres sacrifices for causes larger than self and is dismayed when others do not. Sons resent being cast-offs. Terrific cast.

Don't see it if At its core, it's just another tale of mummy-can't-have-it-all. Dimly-lit second act.

Also Title refers to defending one's life without apology.

92
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if Pitch-perfect Channing and Dancy with strong support peel layers away from their armor as play develops

Don't see it if Family dysfunction may hit close to home; intellectual play as some #FirstWorldProblems connotations

92
Absorbing, Thoughtful slow-yet-steady build of emotions, Channing is exceptional and particularly riveting, Tragi-comedic, "kitchen drama" with the aura of a thriller (even when not the latter)

See it if you don't mind yet another "domestic drama" unfolding around a kitchen table (i.e. If I Forget; The Humans) but with more grit and feminism.

Don't see it if uneven pacing, at least one miscast actor, and an unsatisfying use of Hugh Dancy's second role will bother you; seeking something flashy.

Also Creative, career-driven women seldom make the best mothers. While Apol... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You love anything Stockard Channing does. She's excellent in in the role. Brilliant writing and very thought provoking.

Don't see it if You want something light that can wash over you.

90
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like smart, relevant shows. The acting is wonderful and Stockard Channing is worth seeing. Thought provoking about feminism and family

Don't see it if You want a musical or big production. This is a play based on conversation and ideas.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great staging

See it if You like stockard channing in a well written well acted provocative play

Don't see it if you dislike intense emotional family drama

90
Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you enjoy family drama and angst. Easy to understand and enjoy.

Don't see it if you want happy families.

89
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Responsive

See it if heartened by # of new plays praising female valor outside the home (Gloria, Bern/Ham, Doll's House, Pt. 2, What the Constitution Means...)

Don't see it if you’re anxious that at this rate there’ll be no more room left for Arthur Miller revivals

Also I for one am happy the show lives up to the title. Traditional theater... Read more Read less

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a mixture of contemporary and modern plays. This play resembles something in between with an old set but fairly modern topics

Don't see it if You want a straight forward plot and dont want to contemplate and think about the lot along the way.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You want to have another dysfunctional family dinner with people you don't really like, but portrayed by a stellar cast

Don't see it if Your own dysfunctional family is enough for you to handle

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like top-notch acting (Stockard Channing, Hugh Dancy, John Tillinger) and plays that make you think.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy considering the price that mothers inevitably pay for being ambitious.

85
Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you are looking for a well rounded play, dramatic yet funny and entertaining. A must see.

Don't see it if you don't like family drama or dysfunction.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You like family dramas, that mix in a liberal amount of inspired comedy, you love Stockard Channing (great), and enjoy a phenomenal cast.

Don't see it if You’re looking for BIG drama. This touches on big issues, but without soaring drama or emotional histrionics. The subject matter was timely.

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you really want to catch Stockard Channing in a drama on stage. Play involves family drama.

Don't see it if you do not like intense family dramas and includes one gay character as well as crtical comments of evangelical Christianity.

84
Thought-provoking, Channing lands stinging quips, Dancy shines in dual roles, Talky dysfunctional family and political drama

See it if Apologia: Formal, intellectual defense of beliefs and actions. Activist mother with illustrious career confronted by sons who felt abandoned

Don't see it if You don’t think brilliant Stockard Channing delivering interesting intellectual dialogue can redeem an unnatural dysfunctional family drama.

Also Giotto: A Renaissance painter known as the first to paint realistic, n... Read more Read less

82
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You are a fan of Stockard Channing. She is wonderful as is the rest of the cast. It is at times very funny. An interesting play.

Don't see it if You are not interested in family dramas. Act one is stronger than Act two, which is a little slow going.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if you are in the mood for family dysfunction, a good play to see during this thanksgiving season. Its a visit with the family. Great writing.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy sleepers with a slow burn.

82
Intelligent, Masterful, Profound

See it if you like Stockard Channing, great plays or to see family relationships play out on stage.

Don't see it if you have issues with your mother, or do see it for a different perspective...

82
Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you appreciate strong ensemble dramatic acting; if you enjoy dysfunctional family plot lines; if you're looking for strong performances.

Don't see it if you're looking for a light comedy or musical.


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$59
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$59 Select Orchestra & Mezzanine

Terms

Regular price is $99. Discount price is $59 select orchestra and mezzanine. Discount tickets valid for performances through 12/16/18. Must order by 12/16/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final - no refunds.

Playbill Club
$59
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$59 select orchestra center and side (reg. $89)
$49 select orchestra rear and mezzanine (reg. $79)

Terms

Regular prices are $79-$89. Discount price is $59 select orchestra and front mezzanine and $49 select side rear orchestra and mezzanine. Discount prices are valid for performances through 10/21/18. Must order by 10/21/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final – no refunds.

Theatermania
$59
through 12/16
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Details

$59 select orchestra and mezzanine (reg. $99)

Terms

Regular price is $99. Discount price is $59 select orchestra and mezzanine. Discount tickets valid for performances through 12/16/18. Must order by 12/16/18. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. All sales are final - no refunds.

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Cast & Creatives (12)