See it if you're interested in interactive theater, a great ensemble and a sarcastic view of the art world. Have fun with those sitting around you.
Don't see it if you take the business of the art world so seriously you cannot laugh at it. The shenanigans get a little tedious by the end of the play.
See it if you know little about the art world and auctions; you want to spend time being amused; enjoy unusual choreography, audience participation.
Don't see it if you prefer a serious play without a lot of clowning around and audience participation; the art world doesn't interest you.
See it if You are interested in art and its creation, valuation, and collection, focussing on art auctions.
Don't see it if You dislike participatory theatre, even if your participation is not actually required. Read more
See it if you are familiar or just fascinated with art auctions and finance and yearn for behind the scenes lessons and insight with a touch of charm
Don't see it if you prefer action to "talky" and didactic drama and do not appreciate dance interspersed with dialog and flash forwards and backwards
See it if You're interested in what art auctions are all about, and how they influence art itself. Fine acting by this cast set in a fascinating world
Don't see it if The world of auction is not interesting. This show had a avant-garde moments that might be a turn off
See it if you are knowledgeable about the art auction market. Too many insider references ruin it for the uninitiated. Some fun moments, though.
Don't see it if you are not privy to the art world.
See it if You want to learn more about how art is valued and how to run an auction. Not very effective as a play. Not much of a story.
Don't see it if You don't care about paintings and auctions.
See it if you enjoy the contemporary art world and pseudo-immersive theatre.
Don't see it if half baked execution of a pretty good idea frustrates you.
“An ungainly hodgepodge of a play…The auctioneer (Missy Burmeister) does a fine job with the set pieces. She’s got the timing and the patter down…Ms. Lieberman directs this art world roundelay with vigor, and pricey artworks flit by in zippy video projections...But both Weisenberg, the collector, and Zeigler, the artist, are underdrawn, and much of the second act is devoted to an Art History 101 costume party…The dialogue is riddled with commonplaces and groaners.”
"This fascinating, fast-paced production is a rare glimpse into the art world...Not only vastly entertaining but realistic and informative...'Beneath the Gavel' has a multi-talented troupe...The cast deftly also assumes multiple roles to create the mood and setting for the show...For the cost of a show ticket, you'll be able to experience the thrill of being a part of a high-end art auction the likes of Sotheby's or Christie's. This is an enthralling piece of finely tuned theater."
“A disorganized collage of scenes and styles, all of them deployed to make the same rather obvious point…There's not enough narrative to hold it together and it's a stylistic mishmash. It also seems to think portraying the art world as populated strictly with phonies and pretenders is the freshest of ideas…I do wish everyone involved had employed more stylistic rigor and aimed for sharper satire."
"'Beneath the Gavel' is a fascinating interactive performance piece about the world of Modern Art from the points of view of the dealer, the collector and the artist. The audience gets to bid on masterpieces as well as watch a painting being created. Not all of it works and some of the avant-garde effects are rather obscure like the symbolic ballet. However, give the Bated Breath Theatre Company an A for effort as the evening is unique in its way."
"One is subjected to a convoluted 'lesson' on the art of making a deal in the 'art world'...Although the fictional account of artist and his subject has some moments of fun, and 'mocking' the art world can be the subject of a play, the effort does not coalesce here in 'Beneath the Gavel.' The piece is perplexing and overwrought, and the dizzying dance of actors climbing ladders and bouncing on trampolines simply does not add anything to the weak dramatic arc."
“Fun. This immersive theatrical experience takes you inside the art world and gives you a chance to bid on art using paddles and play money…The show also attempts to unmask the art world, as they give facts about the ins and outs of art auctions…This show only skims the surface. ‘Beneath the Gavel’ offers a rather entertaining evening without much substance. At times the text is confusing as well. The cast are all extremely talented...The design elements are all well done.”
“An innovative production...The ensemble, directed by Lieberman, does a fine job in representing Ziegler’s difficulties in New York, with various interesting bits to represent the art icons, the insider business of the art world, and more. The music selections are excellent and the production employs the talents of the cast in dance, movement and mime; their skills are obvious…The themes about contemporary art examined in ‘Beneath the Gavel’ are excellent and leave one thinking."
"There are glaring omissions of female representation, many of whom were contemporaries of the aforementioned artists...In a male-dominated profession, Lieberman may wish to consider including them in future rewrites of her play. Lieberman, who also directs, has assembled an able cast who keep the action brisk and lively. There are no real stand-out performances but collectively, this ensemble is able to deliver the goods."