By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Closed 2h 30m
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark NYC Reviews and Tickets

(152 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

About the Show

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s fast-paced, sly satire takes you on a seventy-year journey through black actress Vera Stark’s life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (152)

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266 Reviews | 27 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if you love Lynn Nottage's work; it's okay with you if a very funny play turns serious

Don't see it if a 2 hour 25 minute non-musical is too long for you; you don't want to see a play involving the struggles of black women in theater

762 Reviews | 422 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if Telling story of Hollywood from an African-American experience.

Don't see it if You think there is no discrimination Hollywood.

127 Reviews | 13 Followers
Delightful, Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like plays that look at things from a different perspective and allow you to form your own opinion.

Don't see it if you only want a rose colored world.

352 Reviews | 72 Followers
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You want to see a well written, funny play that tackles significant social issues, delivered by a great cast.

Don't see it if You don’t like comedies that make you think.

509 Reviews | 338 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Very well done, unique and surprising play. Lots to think about. Fantastic acting, I was impressed.

Don't see it if you want something short. You definitely need to stay for both acts and it is fairly long.

88 Reviews | 12 Followers
Entertaining, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you love traditional theater with great acting. A maid becomes a star in early cinema. Societal and personal relations complicate.

Don't see it if you aren't into a rags to riches story where more is happening than first appears. Interesting focus on human nature, race, and society.

221 Reviews | 44 Followers
Great set, Great acting, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a great production of one of Nottage's earlier works - with great acting and a great set.

Don't see it if You're not willing to pay attention! While the first act seems light and fluffy, the dialogue holds some key facts you can't miss!!! Read more

56 Reviews | 2 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Intelligent, Thoughtful and provocative

See it if You are up for a smart show with relevant themes and great acting.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in ruminations on racism in the theater and movies. Read more

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
February 19th, 2019

"Though the director, Kamilah Forbes, doesn’t always nail the fouetté-on-a-dime rhythms and not all of the actors are on the same page it’s still a delight...For a play about a former maid, 'Vera Stark' is not especially orderly. But it is such a good show — so clever, so playful, so keen to shapeshift and timeslip and whiz through half a dozen separate genres...that I spent the next several days trying to figure out why it isn’t an absolutely great one."
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Time Out New York
February 19th, 2019

“Although production often misses its step, it’s a welcome reminder that Nottage has a tricky pinball brain, capable of whanging through the decades and lighting us up with humor and rage...Forbes’s staging slow things down instead...Forbes’s experience is mainly in dramas, and so the tonal balance is wonky here...Forbes elicits exaggerated performances; it often seems like the actors are playing to a nonexistent balcony.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 19th, 2019

"Directed with zingy energy by Kamilah Forbes, can at times feel like a revue by an aging vaudeville star—a bit broad, a bit padded—but it’s anchored by a crackling central performance by Jessica Frances Dukes. And it’s a compelling reminder of Nottage’s playful inventiveness...Dukes keeps the center of 'Meet Vera Stark' sharp and shining, and of her fellow performers, Simms is there with her, dexterously walking the line between the satirical, the farcical, and the humane."
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The Wall Street Journal
February 28th, 2019

"A comedy with a sharp satirical kick, but one that is at bottom commandingly serious. It’s also one of the smartest plays, by Ms. Nottage or anyone else, to open in New York in recent years...'By the Way, Meet Vera Stark' would profit from a slightly less frenetic production, one that allowed the play’s comic punches to land on their own instead of being telegraphed to the viewer. The cast, however, is splendid."
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February 19th, 2019

“Nottage switches styles from screwball comedy to backstage realism, and director Kamilah Forbes effortlessly keeps in step. The comedy is still plenty tasty, but the style is much more cutting...The second act...retains its jarring shift in style...This switch to satire bears out Nottage’s cutting point...But these one-dimensional parodies are too mean and obvious to offer either intellectual enlightenment or belly laughs."
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February 20th, 2019

“It was only eight years ago when two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage's terrific show-biz social satire,’ By the Way, Meet Vera Stark’ was first seen Off-Broadway, but director Kamilah Forbes' crackling good new mounting for Signature Theatre makes for a welcome return...The playwright's fictional story takes its inspiration from the groundbreaking work of early black film actors.”
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Lighting & Sound America
March 1st, 2019

“’Not for lovers of more conventional comedies: Its humor may be too barbed, its skepticism too all-embracing. amuses and dismays in equal measure...Forbes, allows the cast to play too broadly in the early scenes...Things improve enormously as the play goes on...with the cast markedly more at home in the second act...’By the Way, Meet Vera Stark’ remains a knockout, an inventive work that sheathes some very provocative ideas in a riotous package.”
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Talkin' Broadway
February 19th, 2019

“A visually stunning revival...The fictional melodrama presents a Hollywood version of Southern gentility and nostalgia-infused slavery...As a satirical comedy, there are a lot of laughs, but sometimes at the expense of rich character development...Still, as directed by Forbes, this is a topnotch production...The play does not try to conceal the underlying dark truths, but they are made palatable (and immensely entertaining) as if projected with the gloss and panache of a 1930s film epic.”
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