Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Cardinal

From 170 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

About the show

Second Stage's world premiere comic drama tells the story of what happens when a small-town girl decides, quite literally, to paint the town red. More…

Paint it red. So begins Lydia's wild idea to invigorate her Rust Belt town. But when a whip-smart entrepreneur co-opts her scheme, a precarious rivalry is born. A battle for the town's soul ensues, causing its obsessive mayor, its defiant matriarch, and the rest of its residents to question who they are and where they're headed.


Member Reviews (170)

MEMBERS SAY:

Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
65
Avg Score

72
Entertaining, Great acting, Uneven, Funny

See it if It's cute and entertaining. First half is better, funnier and more focused. Chlumsky is especially great.

Don't see it if Mostly unlikable though mostly​ funny characters. Some resembling reality TV trainwrecks.

Also This is light fare. Not much thinking required. Entertaining enough.... Read more Read less

75
Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if You find quirky & off-beat characters entertaining. Chlumsky is very funny.

Don't see it if Some of the humor isnt mainstream & some may view certain characters as unlikable. I however found a lot of comedy in these characters.

72
Disappointing, Uneven pacing, Relevant, Interesting, Good acting

See it if You want to see a couple of stars from TV turn in good performances of a story that’s interesting but moves at an artificial pace.

Don't see it if You want a perfectly paced, well written show. This is an interesting relevant topic but not quite realized.

62
Banal, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if It is a story about a town that makes a transformation. Locals do not like foreign Chinese moving into there town. It has a good story to it

Don't see it if It is not well acted, directing is okay but not enough to make the show appeal. Slow at times the lead was weak in it.

68
Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Confusing, Thought-provoking

See it if Tonally confused satire/rom-com reflecting class divisions in Trumpian era. Good actors often adrift; Pally's sad-sack mayor fares best

Don't see it if Veers wildly between ironic exaggeration to borderline offensive Brave Chlumsky remains unsympathic throughout A hot mess of a play

44
Bland, Disappointing, Dull, Meandering, Slow

See it if you want to see a play that tries hard to be topical/relevant, dealing w/racism, xenophobia, gun violence, depression, urban renewal, sexism

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play fail miserably at being topical/relevant, aimlessly drifting from one topic to another, one style to another.

75
Thought-provoking, Fascinating, Complicated, Engaging, Great writing

See it if you're interested in a thoughtful examination of introverts and extroverts and the ramifications of their actions in our current culture.

Don't see it if you don't want to have to spend some time after the show thinking about what you just saw to put it all together.

63
Ambitious, Disappointing, Eh

See it if you really want to see Anna Chlumsky or Adam Pally on stage, or are looking for an "easy" watch.

Don't see it if you prefer challenging writing.

67
Uneven acting, Banal, Entertaining, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Interesting, well acted segments by Baker and Hurt; interesting premise on how to make a small, sleepy town desirable to new residents.

Don't see it if Small town with little to offer remains a small town with little to offer. Unfortunately, a good premise goes nowhere; unfulfilling.

78
Better than i thought

See it if You want to see a fresh new interesting and exciting play

Don't see it if You need your plays to have a clean ending where you have all the answers.

Also After reading a lot of the reviews on here I was not planning to see t... Read more Read less

72
Entertaining, Great staging, Quirky, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy interesting but light fare. Great acting, interesting story line, not super deep, but entertaining regardless.

Don't see it if You need deep emotional toil to be entertained. Funnier at the beginning but still good throughout.

65
Needs tv stars to sell seats, Muddled, First draft?, Accidental gunshot wound?, Paint the town red, indeed

See it if TV personalities, attempted relevance, supporting new work, are your reasons for going to the theatre

Don't see it if non-compelling story lines, forced performances, TV personalities, strange plot points, would keep you from enjoying going to the theatre

80
Relationships, racism, gentrification, disability explored in upstate town

See it if great ensemble cast tackles a host of issues in this dramedy. Perhaps overstuffed, but the dialogue is so clever and the actors so engaging

Don't see it if perceptive take on attitudes on gentrification fueled by anti-Asian racism. Nice set. Could have used an intermission

72
Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid, Slow

See it if you like shows about modern problems.Relationships don't make sense. Acting is very uneven. Set is terrific. Book is weak.

Don't see it if you are looking for exciting theatre or interesting issues.This takes an important problem and doesn't really address it. Not worth the time

30
Excruciating, Indulgent, Racist, Manic, irritating anna chumsky

See it if Attempted suicide, ethnic slurs, sleeping with your sister's ex, voyeurism, "yellow peril", mentally disabled character, debts as humor????

Don't see it if And that was the good part. The bad part was listening to Anna Chumsky screech through every scene. I very much like male lead.

69
Ambitious, Great acting, Funny, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if fluffy sweet comedies are what you enjoy

Don't see it if you are looking for quirky edgy comedy

68
Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if A nice play, entertaining, but not much else.

Don't see it if Doesn't really add anything.

48
Indulgent, Insipid, Just not good

See it if Fan of Anna Chlumsky, although far from her best. Part of subscription.

Don't see it if Meh, just skip it

60
Ambitious, Relevant, Great acting, Disappointing, Directionless

See it if You like Adam Pally (he's great!) and want to see a play dealing with relevant issues to today - immigration vs nativism, etc.

Don't see it if You want satisfying conclusions or a clear cut moral "right answer" in your shows. Cardinal bites off a bit more than it can chew.

75
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if like dramedy's; it's amusing, with some excellent performances; well written, but at times it's hard to tell if it's a comedy or a drama

Don't see it if Want a bit production or a hilarious romp

75
Clever, Edgy, Raunchy, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if It was thought provoking. It was somewhat about the lengths towns, especially smaller towns, will go to "revitalize", but with that comes

Don't see it if people getting pushed out. I liked the actors, but I thought it veered into racism about Asian people. And in the end, the town wound up

Also up where it started. It gave new meaning to "paint the town red".

60
Great acting, Fluffy, Quirky, Confusing

See it if you are fans of these actors. They do a good job, but the script is all over the place. The characters are pretty unlikable.

Don't see it if you want a clear point/story. There were so many unresolved and unnecessary subplots.

50
Disappointing, Slow, Overrated

See it if You are a subscriber and already paid for it.

Don't see it if You can get tickets to X- Betty Shabazz or Eve Ensler inThe Body of the World.

62
Disappointing, Slow, Good acting, Relevant

See it if you're interested in the plight of dying cities in America.

Don't see it if you have something better to do, like watching traffic go by.

77
Funny, Relevant, Ambitious, Cliched, Confusing

See it if you’re curious of play that deals w/ urban renewal, racial stereo-typing & politics in 90 mins, or want to see Asian representation on bway

Don't see it if you get confused w/ multiple subplots in a play or if you don’t enjoy diversity in actors or easily offended by foreign language spoken

Also I went without high expectations since the critics weren’t too thrille... Read more Read less


January 30th, 2018
"It so outstrips its gears — trying almost anything to keep the story heading toward the author’s themes — that you may experience severe bumps if you stick around for the whole ride...Perhaps we should see 'Cardinal'...as a fable; that would certainly explain the way the characters have been pai...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"'Cardinal' is a bit like its own central character. Both are cute at the outset, both probably mean well despite cynical tendencies, and when you get down to it, both are pretty awful...The story’s dependence on stale devices betrays its would-be hopeful messaging...Pierce might have had noble g...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"Simultaneously attempts to be satire, drama and rom-com, failing dismally at all three...While its absurd plotline would seem to hold the promise for satirical humor...'Cardinal' instead goes in so many different and unfulfilling directions that it flounders aimlessly...Bouncing around from one ...
read more
January 30th, 2018
"A dark vein of cynicism churns Pierce’s blood that keeps pulling 'Cardinal' back from the edge of cutesiness...Whoriskey isn't as fully in control of the work as I expected. As likable as the two stars are, they swallow some of the best lines and haven't quite got the rhythm of the repartee...Ab...
read more