Closed 1h 30m
Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties
West Village
78

Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(186 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
13%
Negative
5%
Members say
Funny, Great acting, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining

About the Show

In MCC's unpredictable new comedy, five women collide at the intersection of rage, love, and the “thea-tah,” provoking each other to take a look in the mirror and face the person they didn’t know they could be. 

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Member Reviews (186)

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90
Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky, Great acting

See it if You like quirky, raw, HONEST storytelling with some fierce actors all hitting every note. Very timely, topical and sincere.

Don't see it if You’re homophobic or misogynistic...I mean...you’re exactly who SHOULD see this...but you’d hate it. Read more

85
Quirky, Surprising, Delightful, Silly, Romantic

See it if Betty Betty Betty Betty & Betty seek their identities while developing an absurd play. Much talk of pussy. Creative and fun. Made me happy.

Don't see it if You won’t like a crazy chick relationship play about growth, love & self esteem. You won’t enjoy a mix of straight, lesbian & bi Betties.

Critic Reviews (26)

September 12th, 2018

“If you’re wondering whether you’ll enjoy the revolution, Silverman’s 'Collective Rage' makes an excellent (and hilarious) test case...For all its political and aesthetic cred, the production is entirely a delight...A trenchant and snappy production; even the props get laughs. The best revolutions are, after all, clear of purpose and expertly timed...The same could be said of the cast, which radiates the kind of gusto that actors working with enjoyable material don’t need to fake."
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September 12th, 2018

“It’s not that ‘Collective Rage’ is a very bad play...it’s a very normal one...The show’s five actors are its saving grace...Donahue does confident, compassionate work with his ensemble — pushing the comedy but retaining the characters’ humanity — and he and his designers keep the show swift and clean...’Collective Rage’ might want to reveal its heart, but like many a hipster, it waits too late and, despite its sassy exterior, is a little too scared.”
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September 12th, 2018

“Forced and repetitious. As demonstrated by the cutesy subtitle, the playwright seems tickled to death with her own cleverness...There are some funny lines...But the unfocused work adds up to much less than the sum of its parts...The actresses throw themselves into their roles with admirable fearlessness and energy, while Donahue's staging seems designed to keep things moving quickly enough to help us overlook the writing's scattershot elements.”
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September 12th, 2018

“With touches of absurdity, this play...can feel thin and representative at times, but the journey remains a wacky romp underpinned with emotion...Donahue’s colorful production is mostly zippy...The director embraces the play’s unpredictability...With moments of hilarity and poignancy, 'Collective Rage' offers a broad spectrum of queer voices rarely seen on stage, and Silverman and these performers make sure we hear them each distinctly.”
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September 12th, 2018

“’Collective Rage:’ is an indefinable creature that knows exactly what it is — a rare breed that leaves you with the best combination of befuddlement, curiosity, and delight...Silverman and Donahue confidently guide us through the simultaneous creation and destruction of the metaphorical boxes in which our five Betties live...Each of the five women embrace their theatrical characters, gaining inspiration from their assigned roles to seize what (and who) they want."
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September 13th, 2018

"Delightful bit of heartfelt absurdism...The story is told through Silverman's series of quick, sharply-written vignettes, played by a stellar cast in director Mike Donahue's slickly energized production...Verson's tender, empathetic performance will have audiences laughing, crying and cheering her on every step of the way...'Collective Rage' is a little weird and a lot of wonderful."
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September 14th, 2018

"So confidently do all five cast members skate along the play's thin surface, they make it seem better than it is...In any case, Donahue's direction goes a long way toward keeping things buoyant...At best beguiling and at worst harmless, 'Collective Rage' is sufficiently of the moment that it is likely to bring pleasure and relief to an audience starved for new female voices. But it would have been even better if it had something to say...It's a cute idea--but where is the collective rage?"
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September 15th, 2018

"'Collective Rage' looks at the intersection of race, class, gender identity, and sexual politics through the prism of five women named Betty. They've got a lot to say and watching them meet and compare notes is a hilarious delight...Cleverly directed by Mike Donahue...Granted, Silverman's play needs some fine-tuning and fleshing out. It's easy to enjoy it in Donahue's inventive production with a strong cast, but one suspects it would pale in lesser hands.
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September 12th, 2018

“It’s no insult to four of the five smart, funny, highly capable actresses...to say that just one of them walks away with the show....Verson, whose extraordinary performance in Silverman’s titillating, frustrating new play is the most compelling reason to see a production that may feel a lot longer than its 90 minutes...The play is at its best when we’re allowed a peek at something recognizably human beneath the winking caricatures, and here’s where Verson’s presence is crucial.”
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September 12th, 2018

“All five of the Betties are pretty freaking fantastic women...’Collective:Rage’ is an actor’s dream: Silverman has created smart, go-for-broke characters with wit and depth; she gives everyone a chance to shine; and she has a wicked way with a one-liner...She also has a way with transitions...But the storyline—what there is of one—sags under the weight of such commanding characters.”
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September 19th, 2018

"These women may have choices, but they must find themselves first in order to make use of them. Mike Donahue along with five hugely talented actresses create delicious fun as the play satirizes a great many issues for women today, with feelings we all share. The language and anarchy of 'Collective Rage' may be too liberated for some, but the work is persuasive, original and witty. With this play, Jen Silverman becomes a unique and new voice in the American theater."
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September 12th, 2018

"Despite occasional lulls, Silverman’s dialog, staccato and often hilarious, helps deepen and evolve the five Betties. Dane Laffrey’s set and Dede Ayite’s costumes add festive, whimsical elements to Mike Donahue’s strong direction. Wayans, Delany and Verson’s delightful performances make it pop all the more...We’re here to explore. And what a wonderful and enlightening exploration it is."
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September 12th, 2018

“There's no avoiding that the material pushes too hard on the aren't-we-clever and shock appeal buttons...For all the cleverness and fine performances, the real star is the design. It starts out deceptively simple but keeps surprising us...Silverman's portraying the Betties as wildly over-the-top good-hearted but brainless Betty Boops made it hard for me to care about them or find their doings consistently hilarious.”
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September 13th, 2018

"Jen Silverman’s 'Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties' is as smart and unflinching as it is funny. The New York premiere is a riveting rollercoaster, powered by the sensitive direction of Mike Donahue, and the dazzling performances of all 5 Betties...All the actors are superb. Adina Verson absolutely stole my heart with her skillful, sensitive, no-holds-barred portrayal of Betty 2...While I’m praising the cast of 'Collective Rage,' I have to give a shout out to the talented production team."
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T
September 28th, 2018

“A welcomed examination of gender and sexual status in the attainment and celebration of equality. Although Silverman’s new play adds little in content to the discussion, her method(s)...is/are somewhat unique and engaging...One wishes to know more about each Betty...Less humor and more opportunities to care about these Betties seems needed here for a more satisfying result.”
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September 12th, 2018

“Silverman’s playful, bawdy, and episodic genderqueer/feminist/lesbian comedy...The five good actresses playing the Betties deliver some memorable moments of oddness and hilarity...When ‘Collective Rage’ ends, with a pairing-up that feels like the too-pat resolutions in Shakespearean comedies, Jen Silverman’s point becomes clearer. Each of the Betties has been in pursuit of happiness, which they were able to achieve only by changing their assumptions about life.”
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September 12th, 2018

"A unique feminist comedy leaning precipitously toward farce…Sure to gain attention from the gender specialists, it's cute and quirky but, despite the frequent bursts of laughter, somewhat shy of hilarious… Silverman's characters are more frustrated or disillusioned (with life, their mates, their careers, etc.) than furious at some identifiable systemic entity…Each actress offers a masterful performance that helps to cover the play's general lack of substance or focused point of view."
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C
September 12th, 2018

"Here are a few of the collective (or perhaps merely individual) reactions audience members can expect to feel while watching Jen Silverman's provocative, intentionally messy 'Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties,' now being presented by MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theatre: laughter, surprise (in part due to Dane Laffrey's very clever set design), and, perhaps, shock (as no playwright has been so obsessed with a women's nether regions since Eve Ensler)."
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September 12th, 2018

“On the plus side, all five characters are vivid and the actors portraying them are a pleasure to watch. On the minus side, much of the material is banal and the overuse of the 'P' word rapidly becomes tiresome...Donahue’s direction keeps things moving along briskly, but cannot disguise the play’s weaknesses..,Ayite’s costumes aptly suit each character...I wish the material were up to the level of the performances.”
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September 12th, 2018

"In the beginning, its charms appear to depend on the excellence of the cast and the dazzling direction...In the end, however, Silverman’s play emerges as neither slight nor dependent on clever staging. ‘Collective Rage’ takes us on not one but several extraordinary journeys with breathtaking speed and insight. The play’s logic is delightfully skewed every which way, but in the process of being nonsensical, it manages to expose five fiercely beating human hearts.”
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T
September 14th, 2018

"Silverman’s wildly funny script, Mike Donahue’s imaginative, brash direction, and five incisive performances make 'Collective Rage' a hoot of hilarity, a howl of anger, and a celebration of the power of theater to awaken spirits and provide connections...Thanks to Donahue’s clear direction and the centered acting, we are never unsure at which Betty is which. The play is simultaneously a broad cartoon and a moving portrait of women shattering the limits set by a male, heterosexual society."
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September 17th, 2018

"Blazingly brilliant and uproariously funny new comedy...This is, hands down, one of the best plays I’ve seen all year...The genius of Silverman’s writing—as smartly directed by Mike Donahue and joyously performed by this stellar cast—is that it is really funny, yes, but also grounded in truth...'Collective Rage' is a giant entrée of pure feminist, queer, intersectional theatre—a play that is so urgently now, so fresh and evocative, that it feels like nothing else I have seen on stage."
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September 12th, 2018

“Donahue has assembled a dream cast of stage and screen stars and he basically lets them have at it as the action unfolds in a series of vignettes, props flying from the ceiling of Laffrey's versatile set...The play explores the relationships among these women in vivid, extremely sexual terms that may be off-putting to some in the audience. There is a lot — really a lot — of talk about intimate parts of the female anatomy.”
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Z
September 13th, 2018

"There are plenty of laughs, since Ms. Silverman has a sitcom writer’s ear for a funny punchline. And there is much discovery: of anger and power and sexuality and, oh yes, of that 'down there' that you need a hand mirror to meet. There are even moments of real sadness, as some Betties don’t get what they want, or need, or even deserve. The cast is as snappy and clear as the simplified set, which drops chairs, balloons, and and anything else a scene might need into the waiting hands of a Betty."
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October 4th, 2018

“’Collective Rage’ is structured in a way that's kind of Shakespearean, kind of postmodern, and--given the frequency with which the word ‘pussy’ is used...kind of vaginal: it's basically a play within a play, even if the narratives of both aren't especially linear or totally cohesive...I'm not convinced that this is the deepest, most profound play about contemporary women I've ever seen in my life, but it's great fun and, for all the havoc, curiously reassuring, which goes a very long way lately.”
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September 12th, 2018

"It’s a travesty. That’s not a criticism; it is, in fact, a source of delight. A travesty paints an absurd or distorted representation of something, in this case the worship of the female sex organ. 'Collective Rage' is very funny and totally off-the-wall...Clearly, Ms. Silverman does not expect the audience to connect the dots. We are just supposed to sit back and enjoy the antics of five actresses set loose in a hellzapoppin look at pussy appreciation."
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