Can You Forgive Her?
Closed 1h 45m
Can You Forgive Her?
69

Can You Forgive Her? NYC Reviews and Tickets

69%
(166 Reviews)
Positive
58%
Mixed
30%
Negative
12%
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Funny, Slow, Disappointing

About the Show

Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Gionfriddo brings her signature style of dark humor back to the Vineyard in this sharp comedy of lost souls grappling with the costs of love, money, and the American Dream.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (166)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
60
Unconvincing, Unsatisfying, Uneven, Uninsightful

See it if you want interesting issues raised (the role of money in relationships/society) and are willing to have the discussion terribly muddied.

Don't see it if you want a coherent plot and consistent characters. The dialogue drags. For the Vineyard's stage, unsuitable.

85
Entertaining, Smart, Great acting

See it if You want a clever, fun character piece in a tight one act show. Amber Tamblyn was fantastic. Easy show to digest and enjoy.

Don't see it if You don't like funny character plays. or plays about our inner dysfunction.

Critic Reviews (29)

The New York Times
May 23rd, 2017

“The characters speak a kind of bad-faith dialogue, often mechanical or contrary to logic…‘Can You Forgive Her?’ does not, over the longish haul of its 95 minutes, make much drama out of its question mark…The tone is so wobbly that the play draws laughs when it wants to be taken seriously. The opposite is sadly true as well…Despite its perceptiveness about women and marriage today, the play as a whole suffers from the same self-cancelling vagueness as its heroine.”
Read more

Time Out New York
May 23rd, 2017

“Gionfriddo’s new play is called ‘Can You Forgive Her?,’ and after 95 punishing minutes, the obvious answer is no. We cannot forgive the playwright for a haphazard drama knocked together out of unbelievable situations. We cannot forgive the lame characters and thin dialogue…DuBois's direction has no zip or style…Barely a single thing on stage seems right: actors are miscast...The play lingers briefly and sourly in the mind, waiting to be forgotten—if not, you know, that other thing.”
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
May 23rd, 2017

“This dark comedy proves far too inconsequential to justify spending time with its mostly unlikable, weightless characters…The play, sluggishly directed by Peter DuBois, sporadically succeeds in showcasing Gionfriddo’s talent for pungent dialogue...The charismatic Tamblyn provides much needed sparks and Wood garners consistent laughs…Their efforts are probably not enough, however, to prevent theatergoers from wishing they had made the life choice of seeing a different play.”
Read more

Variety
May 23rd, 2017

“A whimsical piece of work…For all its honorable ambitions, it turns out to be more of a party than a play…The banter between Graham and Tanya is clever and yet sober enough to make us think that we’ve got a handle on the playwright’s intentions...Miranda (Tamblyn) shows up and the whole play switches gears…All her stories are jaw-droppers…Despite DuBois’ savvy helming, none of this brittle conversation leads to a plot, let alone a resolution, but it is what it is—great gallows humor.”
Read more

Deadline
May 23rd, 2017

“Tanya and Graham are the central, and least likable, characters…Things get even less interesting with the arrival of David, an emotional blank who wouldn’t be worth our time were he not being played with a cunning edge by Frank Wood…The coincidences beggar the imagination…Ella Dershowitz grows harder and less sympatico...Darren Pettie all but disappears as Graham. Eshan Bay has wild eyes as Sateesh, but he isn’t threatening for a moment in this blunt-edged play.”
Read more

New York Daily News
May 23rd, 2017

"Life is all about hard choices. The same goes for this disappointing contemporary dark comedy...Over 90 minutes that feel longer, characters name-drop Robert Frost and Shakespeare and gab nonstop about choices, money, morals and class as they try to figure out their next moves. The evergreen themes are worth exploring. Too bad they don’t connect in satisfying ways."
Read more

Theatermania
May 23rd, 2017

“Not entirely cohesive, but it does give Gionfriddo space to break new ground on the topics she writes so well…Tamblyn makes an outstanding off-Broadway debut…Unfortunately, despite the glowing jack-o-lanterns that punctuate her entrance, nothing particularly haunting happens for some time following Miranda's arrival. We even forget the supposed stakes of the situation…The story does finally come to a chilling climax complete with spooky shadows and lighting.”
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
May 31st, 2017

"The dialogue has the hard, bright quality that marks it as the playwright's work, but the details are largely dreary, dealing as they do with absent fathers and incompetent, needy mothers...Tamblyn needs to work on her voice; she navigates the play's lengthy exposition on a single strident note...There are memorable moments...but too much of the time 'Can You Forgive Her?' feels rather flat and rudderless, a series of confrontations in search of a cogent theme."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
May 23rd, 2017

“A work still finding its footing…The problem isn't Gionfriddo's ear for snappy dialogue, which is on full display…It's the outlandish characters she's created combined with the situations she's placed them in which defy credulity…Gionfriddo's writing takes on an absurdist quality that, while amusing in Wood's capable hands, is at odds with the play that's come previously…By the time we get to the end of ‘Can You Forgive Her?,’ we've stopped caring.”
Read more

TheaterScene.net
June 3rd, 2017

“While most of the audience remained stony-faced, my companion and I were laughing hysterically throughout much of ‘Can You Forgive Her?,’ a black comedy if ever there was one, by Gina Gionfriddo, at the Vineyard Theatre. It may be that many in the audience failed to recognize it was a comedy, and took it far too seriously, which is somewhat understandable, given the seemingly earnest yet cockamamie story--or rather stories--that unfold.”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
May 23rd, 2017

"A sharp dissection of the American dream, and digging into what that means, in the guise of a dark comedy...The dialogue is witty and well-crafted, and each member of the ensemble brings their own strengths to round out the characters...Tamblyn gives a truly great performance, gracefully steering the play and its ensemble...This complicated web of characters keeps the drama high at an almost farcical pace...Certainly worthy of attention."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
May 24th, 2017

“Among the most colorful, quirky characters you’ll see on the stage this season…Suffice it to say that it’s delightful to spend an hour and a half with these zany folks, whose antics have been directed with skill and precision by DuBois. ‘Can You Forgive Her?’ addresses substantial themes like love, money, work, commitment and parenthood...Gionfriddo takes us for a wild, entertaining ride and at the same time gives us a meaningful moral."
Read more

CurtainUp
May 23rd, 2017

“Neither Tanya nor Miranda are especially engaging or witty characters...A rather silly, unbelievable and way too talky farce…If all this sounds loaded with comic potential, it is. But that potential is only sporadically realized and the farcical proceedings are too muddled to work as either farce or satire…The actors all do their utmost to make us care about their not especially sympathetic characters.”
Read more

Front Row Center
May 24th, 2017

“Two-thirds of the way through 'Can You Forgive Her,' the excellent character actor Frank Wood turns up as David, a slightly sociopathic plastic surgeon. If only his character had been around earlier to perform an emergency nip and tuck on the scene that precedes his entrance, this would have been a breezy 75 minutes of offbeat fun. But, a 20-minute expository back and forth between its two leads bogs down the proceedings…The actors all find their moments of subtlety.”
Read more

Front Mezz Junkies
May 23rd, 2017

“Gionfriddo assembles a complicated group of characters together with hopes that the alcohol and drama will erase some of the idiosyncrasies within the story. The script rides well and fast through the middle of the play, but stumbles at moments of transition and engagement. We are left scratching our heads in befuddlement as the drunken drama escalates...The actors are all doing their best finding the solid emotionality within the dynamics, but the view is never clear.”
Read more

T
May 28th, 2017

"The bulk of Gionfriddo’s improbable play centers on conversations between Graham and Miranda—most of them convoluted and improbable and not terribly engaging...'Can You Forgive Her' seems unfinished, unresolved...The characters are less than believable and less than interesting...There’s a lot to forgive here and it might start with the playwright. There is not much director Peter DuBois and the talented cast can do to fix what ails 'Can You Forgive Her.'"
Read more

New York Theater
May 23rd, 2017

“Some plot developments couldn’t really withstand a test of plausibility. But you can forgive her–or at least I can–because of all that’s worthwhile...Gionfriddo has a terrific ear for dialogue, and an eye for comic touches…I found much of the script quite funny…Underneath the farcical proceedings, the play allows us to glimpse ourselves in the characters’ differing perspectives on—and ambivalence toward—their obligations: to their parents, to themselves, to money, to love.”
Read more

Broadway Blog
May 23rd, 2017

“This slow-to-get-started piece, despite socially relevant thoughts couched in passably entertaining gambits, is structurally shaky and fraught with character and plot implausibilities; its most provocative feature is its title…'Can You Forgive Her?' too often bogs down in exposition, has a ludicrous premise for why Miranda opens up to Graham, makes Miranda both insightful and clueless, and, among other things, takes forever for us to care about the stakes, if we ever do.”
Read more

C
May 23rd, 2017

“Sadly, the admitted strengths of Gionfriddo’s work, including some very funny lines and an intelligent examination of a provocative subject, are undercut by DuBois’ oddly unenergetic and slightly miscast production…The burden of making the play work rests squarely on the shoulders of the character of Miranda. And there lies the biggest problem of this production…Unfortunately, Tamblyn proves to have too little stage technique...She is clearly acting, rather than inhabiting the role.”
Read more

The Clyde Fitch Report
May 23rd, 2017

“‘Can You Forgive Her?’ hardly calls for any rating. It earns polite dismissal with a sincere wish for better luck next time…The dialogue makes little sense and becomes increasingly tiresome…When material is so unmoored, audiences may wonder if the actors suspect that what they’re saying and doing is as bad as it is...The performances were misshapen, the result of a shared attempt to make their individual and collective assignments more palatable or understandable.”
Read more

Village Voice
June 2nd, 2017

"'The play is driven by the soul-shriveling contest between happiness and solvency, and how marriage is rarely the solution..These are not new issues, but Gionfriddo works hard to wring postfeminist laughs from them...As we head to a climax, you might be wondering whose story this is, anyway: Graham’s or Miranda’s? Some of that focal blur, and an overall sense of sketchiness, are mitigated by Peter DuBois’s shrewd, compact staging and a feisty, well-balanced ensemble."
Read more

B
May 27th, 2017

"Despite the dubious premise that brings these four characters together, despite the awkward structure...the play has its redeeming features, including some wonderful dialogue...I would have guessed that the play was a piece that needed further work, but learned that it was produced in Boston a year ago. Maybe its problems are resistant to further improvement. In any case, I forgive the playwright for not being at the top of her form. Even her second-drawer material can be entertaining."
Read more

The Wrap
May 23rd, 2017

"The most fascinating character in Gina Gionfriddo’s new play, ‘Can You Forgive Her?,’ doesn’t show up until about two-thirds of the way through...The dialogue crackles whenever Miranda, David and Tanya are going at each other. It almost never does when Graham is involved, and that’s the first 60 minutes…With the exception of Wood, Peter DuBois directs his actors to bring a sit-com bounce to their performances, which diminishes the material.”
Read more

Broadway & Me
June 7th, 2017

"Nowhere near as entertaining as the earlier works that twice made Gionfriddo a Pulitzer finalist...None of this makes much sense...'Can You Forgive Her?' is only 90 minutes but the first hour seemed like two. Tamblyn works hard (perhaps too hard) to make Miranda an irresistible kook but the play only comes alive in its final third when Wood arrives...Wood's character isn't any more convincing than the others but this actor is such a master craftsman that he truly is irresistible."
Read more

DC Metro Theater Arts
May 23rd, 2017

“The tone of the play lies halfway between overblown TV sit-com and absurdist satire, with convoluted plot points, unlikely conversations, and unlikable stereotypes that are less amusing or engaging than they are exaggerated and aggravating…The cast is unsympathetic in its characterizations of the unappealing and profoundly flawed personalities…‘Can You Forgive Her?,’ the answer is a resounding no. It’s hard to forgive, to laugh at, or to care about any of these irritating characters."
Read more

Off Script with Dan Dwyer
May 24th, 2017

“Gionfriddo’s carpentered play is nailed together with so many contrivances it defies credulity. Worse, the bulk of its 90 minutes is consumed with dialoguing about the past, which does not make for much action...Tamblyn is OK, and manages to elicit a few chuckles from the audience, but I’m not sure even a great actress with magical comic powers could do much with the part…There isn’t much dramatic or particularly amusing about this really blah situational melodrama.”
Read more

BSonArts
May 23rd, 2017

“Nonsensical, pretentious, and ill-conceived play...There is little that is amusing…There is also very little in Ms. Gionfriddo’s writing that makes these characters believable and the structure of the play anything more than a very forced set of circumstances…Each of the actors appears to make a decent effort toward creating believable characters even though the writing is so broad and their actions so inconsistent that the viewer cannot help but say ‘come on now, really?’”
Read more

The Culture Mom
May 24th, 2017

"The play carefully weaves together pieces of the past and present through farce and character interaction...There’s a lot of dysfunction between this small cast of characters...The results are funny and jarring at the same time. Tamblyn is very good at a playing a self-absorbed woman...With Gionfriddo’s snappy and witty dialogue, the play moves quickly. There are plot devices that aren’t fully recognized...But the playwright had a lot of characters to deal with in a short amount of time."
Read more

Z
May 29th, 2017

"Amber Tamblyn delivers a delightful and often wickedly funny performance in Gionfriddo’s engaging play...Gionfriddo’s characters have a heightened quality that is both satirical and sincere. Not only do they say exactly what is on their minds with seemingly no filter, the other characters accept this in a way that you rarely find in real life. The cast, under Peter DuBois’ astute direction, take well to this style, resulting in dialogue exchanges that positively crackle."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

90
Excellent
200+ Reviews
Ends Jan 2022
NYC: Midtown W

A theatrical concert of David Byrne's iconic music.

Buy
83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
17 Reviews
Opens Oct 04
NYC: Midtown W

A companion piece to Pulitzer Prize-short listed playwright Rajiv Joseph’s play "Animals Out of Paper."

Buy