Already closed | 1h 10m | East Village

Before Your Very Eyes

From 23 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing, Original

About the show

The Public Theater and international avant-garde troupe Gob Squad present the US premiere about the lives of seven individuals living in fast forward. More…

UK and Berlin-based Gob Squad returns to the Public with the ambitious 'Before Your Very Eyes,' created over the course of the past two years with 9-14 year olds from around New York City. From behind the safety of one-way mirrors, the audience witnesses seven lives lived in fast forward, from angst-ridden teens to hunched geriatrics. As we adults try to stop the process of aging and preserve youth as long as we can, the children peer into the future and back at their recent past, as they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

Member Reviews (23)


Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing, Original
Avg Score

Like watching a bad home movie

See it if you enjoy watching high-spirited young actors moving and acting spontaneously

Don't see it if you don't think good theater is provided by observing young actors in unstructured play while contemplating the mystery of death; huh?

Absorbing, Original, Creative, Inventive, Profound

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre at its finest. The cast I saw were all astonishing, no mean feat from actors so young.

Don't see it if you do not like experimental theatre and do not like being moved and forced to think about your choices made in life.

Absorbing, Great acting, Original, Intense, Disappointing

See it if Interesting concept, energetically presented by a young, engaging cast.

Don't see it if Ultimately depressing. I wondered what the point was.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Quirky

See it if you like watching talented preteens with a lot of energy

Don't see it if you like unusual concepts that hit.

Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you want to see something innovative and experimental.

Don't see it if you want a clear plot. Don't see if you feel uncomfortable with children tackling challenging subject matter.

Shallow, Amateurish, Indulgent, Plotless, Overlong

See it if You'd be satisfied seeing the staging of an okay idea presented with decent use of video but lacking anything else of interest

Don't see it if You expect time and money at The Public to deliver a fleshed-out performance instead of a "project" better suited to a fringe fest

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Slow, Banal, Clever

See it if You love seeing children on stage

Don't see it if You need a clear plot

Boring, Experimental, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you like media integration in a performance, watching kids do nothing interesting for 70 mins, like shows that try too hard to be cool.

Don't see it if i pulled muscles from rolling my eyes so much...hopefully that tells you something.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Original, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you like being in touch with your humanity; you enjoy devised work/nontraditional theater experiences; want to see something different.

Don't see it if you want a linear plot; you don't care to watch an all-children cast; you don't want to think too much about the meaning of life.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you enjoy children, and you enjoy big ideas about time and growing up

Don't see it if you don't enjoy experimental theatre

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you're interested in watching children age through their entire lives over the course of an hour and 15 minutes

Don't see it if you don't want to be faced with the idea of mortality, especially presented by young children

Ambitious, Original, Slow, Great music

See it if you want a really unique theatrical experience.

Don't see it if you want an entertaining night out.

Ambitious, Clever, Original, Refreshing

See it if extremely inventive and surprising theater, void of cliches [kids playing grownups could be dangerous]. Experimental theater at its best.

Don't see it if you're expecting A Chorus Line

Banal, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Insipid

See it if Engaging cast

Don't see it if Depressing

Clever, Profound, Resonant, Quirky, Enchanting

See it if you like experimental work, you are a parent, you want to be reminded of the joy/mystery of life, you are a kid

Don't see it if you hate kids, you need a plot that is spelled out, really love realism

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Exquisite, Edgy

See it if You enjoy experimental theatre. You are want your eyes to be opened. You aren't scared to leave the theater thinking darkly.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy experimental theater. You don't enjoy a strait show with no intermission.

Clever, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if you want to take a minute and have art help you look at the finer things in life. The things worth paying attention to.

Don't see it if Don't want to think about art. This play makes you think and it's going to raise questions.

Absorbing, Clever, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Original

See it if you like non-traditional narrative theater. refreshing contemporary theater experience

Don't see it if you prefer conventional theater with strictly linear story lines and formally scripted plays.

Clever, Delightful, Banal, Thought-provoking, Fluffy

See it if you love kids. Watching the youngsters in this piece often borders on the sublime.

Don't see it if Overworked metaphors about life, aging, and death aren't your cup of tea.

Exquisite, Delightful, Great writing, Intense, Profound

See it if One who likes good production

Don't see it if You can't follow the plot

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Original, Quirky

See it if you want a new experience in the theatre. It's crazy.

Don't see it if You don't want to watch kids die?

During previews
Enchanting, Funny, Must see, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if you enjoy a theatrical challenge.

Don't see it if You want a clear, linear story.

For a previous production
Must see, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You love theater!

Don't see it if Small children with you

October 26th, 2015
"'Before Your Very Eyes' is a downer with an upper of a cast. That contrast is pretty much the entire point of this ingenious but ultimately unsurprising theatrical essay... Moments throb with a palpable human pulse and, implicitly, our awareness that all human pulses eventually stop...In stressi...
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October 28th, 2015
"'Before' concerns itself with speed and time and death; it does so even before it asks the children to pretend to be teenagers or adults. Parts of this are heartbreaking...Gob Squad is poking fun at its own milieu here, and that self-critique fits poorly on these small shoulders. What fits bette...
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October 26th, 2015
"'Before Your Very Eyes' is basically 70 minutes of watching kids play dress-up, but not the cutesy version that most adults would like to imagine. The Gob Squad's take on make-believe feels a lot more truthful. It's downright disarming in its honesty...While the show ostensibly depicts the very ...
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October 27th, 2015
"'Before Your Very Eyes' never quite reveals a purpose for its existence. The kids are terrific and fun to watch, but while the 70 minute experimental study is reasonably entertaining, it's not especially enlightening."
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