Bull in a China Shop
Closed 1h 25m
Bull in a China Shop

Bull in a China Shop NYC Reviews and Tickets

(72 Ratings)
Members say
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent, Disappointing

About the Show

Lincoln Center Theater presents a history-inspired comedy about Mary Woolley, the early 20th-century president of Mount Holyoke College, and her long-time partner, Jeannette Marks.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (72)

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95 Reviews | 28 Followers
Romantic, Resonant, Great writing, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if a smart & gutsy feminist history play, bruising & eloquent on love and politics. Wears its big heart on its impeccably-costumed sleeve.

Don't see it if don't go expecting kitchen sink naturalism. It's beautifully grounded, but presented in a way that's powerfully theatrical.

270 Reviews | 63 Followers
Relevant, Educational, Smart, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate women's history Enjoy flawed characters

Don't see it if You are homophobic Read more

262 Reviews | 57 Followers
Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if you are interested in learning about a pair of women whose names you've likely never heard.

Don't see it if are easily offended by profanity, lesbians, anachronisms or light staging.

58 Reviews | 12 Followers
Disappointing, Clever, Great acting

See it if Want to know about powerful women in American History.

Don't see it if Want interesting dialogue rather than monologues. Read more

812 Reviews | 132 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Great acting

See it if At first a show about 2 women, their relationship and the women's movement. Their relationship changes due to the women's movement.Clever!

Don't see it if You like a predictable show. These women change toward each other and sometimes sad to watch.

291 Reviews | 716 Followers
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Enlightening

See it if you like straight historical plays with anachronistic language, feminist themes and stellar performances.

Don't see it if you're offended by the "f" word. I myself found its liberal use here bracing and pretty darn funny. Read more

122 Reviews | 34 Followers
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you are interested in women's education formation or lesbian issues. You like historical pieces. You like thought provoking plots.

Don't see it if You don't like women or lesbians. You don't like linear plays. You don't like sparse sets.

444 Reviews | 89 Followers
Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky

See it if You are interested in historical issues concerning the women's movement at the turn-of-the-century.

Don't see it if If you prefer light musicals and simple dramas.

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
March 2nd, 2017

"A pugnacious, tender and gloriously funny new play...Inspired by letters between the real Mary Woolley and Jeannette Marks...'Bull in a China Shop' blows every last speck of dust off these two women and their compadres. Onstage in Lee Sunday Evans’s warm, lucid, handsomely designed production, they are radiant with life...The company of five is impeccable. Ms. Turner’s fusion of the historical and the contemporary doesn’t always result in alchemy, but nearly."
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Time Out New York
March 1st, 2017

"With a light hand and welcome irreverence, Turner neatly dispenses with two hoary shibboleths: that history is perforce dry, and feminists unfunny...Turner limns the power issues that can persist, heteronormatively, in a relationship of presumed equals...Not only does Turner prove she has the requisite touch, the cast delivers fine performances all around: They do the sisterhood proud."
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March 9th, 2017

"Turner’s is a new voice and one worth paying attention to, even if this play has the didacticism and crudeness that betrays a writer still finding her voice...There’s a ratatat quality to the choppy scenes that undermines the story, as does a subplot involving a student with a crush. Still, I never lost interest in either of these uncelebrated (at least until now) women."
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March 1st, 2017

“Ultimately, the play makes for an intriguing 90 minutes, and it introduces a voice that will no doubt go on to impress even further. But ‘Bull in a China Shop,’ vibrantly directed by Lee Sunday Evans, is crucially lacking in forward motion and character development. As a result, it never rises above feeling like a piece of fan fiction…We walk out yearning for a greater understanding of what made these two powerful, pioneering women tick."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 1st, 2017

“Turner and her director, Lee Sunday Evans, do sketch the outlines of a fascinating and important bit of pre-suffrage history...Whenever they drill down, though, ‘Bull in a China Shop’ strains to find and maintain its footing…For their parts, Graham and Qian are troupers, trying to make flesh-and-blood figures from lines and situations that aren't much interested in such things…The other actresses...keep switching between performance styles to find one that works, but none ever does.”
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Front Row Center
March 2nd, 2017

"Their exchanges about love and commitment, about courage and challenge, are constant if a tad pedantic...There are two riveting speeches...The first is capriciously funny; the second brought me to tears...While not a perfect play, it has several remarkable performances, two searing soliloquies, and some true dialogue...This play is not for everyone. But, if you are up for 'an odd little evening' with a piquant take on just how complicated it was to suggest women might be whole humans—go."
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March 5th, 2017

"Mary Woolley led such an interesting life that it is hard to imagine that it could be turned into a boring play, but playwright Bryna Turner has managed just that...What Turner has written came across to me as scattered chapters from a Cliffs Notes summary of a biography. There was very little enlightenment and not much emotional involvement...As I experienced the play, it shed little heat or light. I must confess that I had to fight nodding off a few times."
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Broadway & Me
March 4th, 2017

"It's all fascinating stuff. But it's also too much. 'Bull in a China Shop' might have worked better if, instead of trying to squeeze the full arc of Woolley's life into 90 minutes, Turner had focused on a particular moment in Woolley's life that revealed the essence of who this remarkable woman was...But don't let my quibbles put you off from seeing 'Bull in a China Shop.' Stories that showcase the lives of women, especially gay women, still rarely get told onstage."
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