New York | 2h 30m | Ends Jun 02

Curse of the Starving Class

From 22 critic and 136 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking

About the show

Last produced in NYC by Signature more than 20 years ago, this new production of "Curse of the Starving Class" honors Pulitzer Prize-winning Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard, who passed away in 2017.  More…

Living a stagnant, unhappy existence in rural California, the struggling Tate family is desperate for change, but every family member has a different way of trying to improve their station in life.

Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see gripping Sam Shepard play

Don't see it if Seen this genre - dysfunctional family in dysfunctional society - too often

Indulgent, Quirky, Edgy, Ambitious, Dated

See it if Some wonderful social insights expressed brilliantly. Shephard is keen observer of the disenfranchised, play still speaks for them

Don't see it if Without realism or concise storytelling. Play is strangely relevant though storytelling is dated. Repetitive and verbose but fascinating

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You are a fan of Sam Shepard’s Americana. Although the acting was well done, this play is quite dark.

Don't see it if You want to see something uplifting. This play is difficult to watch and the conclusion is unsettling.

Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you like Sam Shepard's work and want to see great acting that brings the classic to life.

Don't see it if don't like dark splays.

Also Great acting, particularly Lizzy DeClement was amazing. Very impressed... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if You love Sam Shepard’s plays. You don’t mind a confusing ending.

Don't see it if You object to animals being used as props ( and upstaging the actors). You don’t like to see dysfunctional families.

Also I will never forget the analogy of the eagle and the cat, which haunts... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate the plays of Shepard. This one has great scenic design, a sheep in a cage, and urination on the stage.Quirky,with great cast

Don't see it if Unusual play that may not be for everyone. Shepard's plays are never dull or boring.

Relevant, Slow, Overrated, Funny, Disappointing

See it if You Love Sam Shepard it’s funny and eloquently poetic at times

Don't see it if Uneven acting, Slow, it gets bogged down and loses the impact of the prose and tragedy

Overrated, Great writing, Disjointed, Hopeless, Depressing

See it if you want to see Sam Shepard's most autobiographical play in the wonderful Signature Theatre. The lamb is adorable. Everything else is ick.

Don't see it if you want to care about the characters -- some I hated and others didn't understand. It's full of sadness and anger from start to finish.

Misfire, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if You don't mind a sub par revival of classic Sam Shepard play. The writing & themes still have value even in this somewhat anemic revival.

Don't see it if This is your first introduction to Sam Shepard.

Slow, Disappointing, Dated

See it if You are a fan of Sam Shepard's writing and are unfamiliar with this rarely produced play.

Don't see it if you prefer naturalism to absurdism.

Also Shepard once seemed the quintessential theatrical voice of the counter... Read more Read less

Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you like the theater experience to provoke you Into thinking and feeling other people’s struggles,.

Don't see it if If you are looking to relax and have lighthearted fun or if you do not like nudity on stage

Raw, Visceral, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Bleak

See it if You enjoy a real glimpse into others’ struggles. You like a bit of shock factor.

Don't see it if You are not ok with male nudity or live animals pooping on stage. You’re looking for a light date night show.

Over the top, Quirky, Cliched, Great acting, Great set

See it if You want to see a truly awesome set, or are a fan of Shepard's work or a classic dysfunctional family story

Don't see it if If you want something dramatically new or different with surprises.

During previews
Masterful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Anything showing at Signature is well worth it. This was great play at excellent venue. All characters/actors were exceptional. I loved it.

Don't see it if Many twists. Some humour. Staging may make it hard to focus. Some nudity.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience an intense drama written masterfully and acted superbly. Fantastic set design literally from start to finish.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with dramas dealing with family and societal dysfunction. Not for everyone. In your face violence and intimidation.

During previews
Funny, dark, moving, do not miss., Great writing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if you enjoy seriously funny, deep and dark theater

Don't see it if you are looking for light entertainment

Also Shepard was a genius taken from us too soon. This is a tribute to his ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great writing, Edgy, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy edgy dark comedies. The work of Sam Shepard.

Don't see it if fluffy, light-hearted is only for you. Are bothered by nudity.

During previews
Intense, Dated, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you love Sam Shepard's work and you're prepared for an intense 2+ hours of grit.

Don't see it if you want something quick, light, funny, forgetable.

Also This is classic Shepard. Nobody is sweet. Nobody laughs much. There is... Read more Read less

During previews
Riveting, Quirky, Intense, Fantastic set and tech, Stellar acting

See it if An incredible production ! I was riveted from the very first surprise image of the crumbling house. It crumbled as we watched ! Black comedy

Don't see it if You are in a Mary Sunshine mood, this play will play havoc with any feelings of sunniness ! You don’t wish to see male nudity.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Profound, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You admire Sam Shepard & his writing & are open to his often distressing though sometimes funny story lines. This is a classic of his.

Don't see it if You prefer plays that don't haunt you after you leave and have happy endings.

Also It is very worth seeing, especially if you like a show that you contin... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You admire Sam Shepard, serious modern tales laced with humor, and great acting and staging. It’s a first-rate production!

Don't see it if Tales of uniquely American sorrow and woe have no appeal,

During previews
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Quirky, Intense, Ambitious

See it if you are able to connect with flawed characters and can tolerate sometimes over-the-top behavior; or you appreciate commitment to an idea.

Don't see it if you are easily offended and like things tied up in a neat package.

Also The acting of the principals is excellent, and the set design inspired... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience raw emotions through the lens of poverty and alcoholism. A classic reimagined.

Don't see it if You dislike melodrama and unhappy endings.

During previews
Brilliant production of a deeply disturbing play

See it if for a rarely produced early work by an exceptional writer; superb acting, amazing set; frighteningly relevant themes; disturbing, eloquent.

Don't see it if you want neatly tied up story lines, happy endings and Ozzie and Harriet families

During previews
Great writing, Resonant, Refreshing, Intense, Funny

See it if Enjoy Sam Shepard plays. There is amazing set pieces and lots of action and disfunction, but with a lot of humor too.

Don't see it if You don't like plays that deal with unpleasant topics like poverty, addiction, dysfunctional families, etc.

Cast & Creatives (3)