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Curse of the Starving Class

From 185 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Great staging, 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.


Member Reviews (185)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Great staging, Thought-provoking
77
Avg Score

90
Riveting, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you are drawn to stories of intense family dysfunction presented at the brink of total dissolution.

Don't see it if Sam's Shepard's style of slow-burn, edgy, extreme writing isn't your thing.

82
Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Very dark as only shepard is, Prescient

See it if You don’t mind Shepard’s dark vision which seems to still be bearing fruit in Trump’s America.Surprising insights into developers.

Don't see it if If you looking for light entertainment.

90
Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a seldom done Sam Shepherd play exquisitely acted and directed and an amazing set

Don't see it if understanding everything is important

81
Riveting, Another show with another sheep, Intense, Great staging

See it if you want to be blown away by a set designers perfectly imaginative place for this family breakdown; you want to see destruction in all forms

Don't see it if you can't see real animals in plays if they face hard endings

87
Riveting, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a visceral staging of a play by one of America's quintessential playwrights. The actors go all in! Direction is great.

Don't see it if You don't like intense dramas and people eating food sloppily on stage. ;-)

77
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

60
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

80
Disappointing, Masterful, Intense, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You like great acting and famous people on stage. Donald Sutherland was in the audience! Great direction. Plot confusing so I bought script.

Don't see it if Don’t sit at the back you need to be close to follow it. Sam Shepherd v wordy deep, full of allegories. If you want a light comedy don’t go.

80
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like quirky plays, great acting, Sam Sheppard

Don't see it if You don't like plays that have absurd elements to them.

79
Scatological, Intense, Raunchy, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you want to see the work that launched playwright Sam Shepard into the stratosphere in 1976. It contains the DNA of all his work.

Don't see it if you're sensitive to scatological staging. This is raw. It's dark, very Shepardian, offering no redemption. It delivers an American theme.

91
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if You like being challenged in the theater while seeing great acting performances

Don't see it if You don't like serious dramas

69
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.

74
Intense, Great acting

See it if you love Sam Shepherd--this is a faithful production. Good performances and interesting set

Don't see it if you don't like Sam Shepherd--this is full of dysfunction and screaming that'c characteristic of his work.

81
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if A strong prod of a complicated (that is Shepard) play.Realistic-symbolic.Still relevant.Warshofsky stunning as drunk father.

Don't see it if you prefer a straightforward story, don't care for symbolism or "message" in your theater, don't like Shepard.

49
Disappointing, Dated, Cliched, Banal

See it if you can stomach rural, ignorant folks spouting cliches and spleen venting. God, I wanted to bolt from the theater. Outdated and trite

Don't see it if I reiterate what a previous reviewer said Don't see it if this is your first introduction to Sam Shepard. Words never more resoundingly true

Also I never expound in a showscore review but I am going to make an except... Read more Read less

81
Relevant, Intense, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a creative production with a wonderful play. It was one of the best of ‘19 summer.

Don't see it if You have no interest of regular folks getting by.

81
Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Terrific performances and a good story. Rousing music.

Don't see it if You really hate musicals

80
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like Sam Shepard and his wonderful American plays

Don't see it if You don't like plays that take a poetic turn and become shakespearean in their necessity to listen and interpret their verse

80
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if It's worth it for the first five minutes alone, which I won't spoil by revealing what happens (although The Times did). The acting is superb

Don't see it if The play (like the rest of Shepard's oeuvre) is not exactly fluffy. The play does have some very funny moments, but, it's really depressing

77
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

81
Quirky, Enjoyable, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like live animals, great set and strong acting! A captivating story about inner demons and desires,& at the moment of change, no escape

Don't see it if the alluding to domestic abuse would be painful. You want a play that travels in a straight line.

82
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Shepard's work. The production is very faithful to the play and consistent with Shepard's tone and regional flavor.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Shepard's work, and tire of eccentric character behavior..

Also While I've considered "Curse", in just reading the play, to be a good ... Read more Read less

84
Relevant, Profound, Funny, Intense, Great acting

See it if You like Sam Shepherd plays, you want to watch a well acted play, with great staging

Don't see it if You don’t like monologue heavy plays or plays that focus on poverty

85
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if You are a Shepard fan and like dark shows centered around family issues

Don't see it if You like comedy and musicals cannot tolerate voilence and blood and do night like seeing livestock used in shows

79
Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to be shocked

Don't see it if You want to see happy people be happy


May 13th, 2019
"Watching the very entertaining first half of Mr. Kinney’s interpretation of 'Curse,' I wondered why it doesn’t come around more often. I had stopped wondering by the end. 'Curse' features some beautiful, signature Shepard writing, in which primal desperation becomes fervid poetry...The plot, tho...
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May 15th, 2019
“Kinney and his cast find memorable moments in Shepard’s darkly satirical play...Time has diminished some...shock value and the Signature’s production doesn’t dig deeply enough into the feeling the play seems to be after: It doesn’t pulse with the agony of stunted existence. But Shepard’s potent ...
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May 13th, 2019
"It should heave and churn with bitter discontent and sloppy ambition, delusion and shame. But it’s a tough, flawed nut, and it’s not profiting from Signature Theatre’s current revival, which mostly plays the unwieldy material straight down the middle. As a result, the play feels diffuse and almo...
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May 13th, 2019
"Shepard's plays are tricky balancing acts. They need to be staged by directors and actors in touch with the late playwright's distinctive, off-kilter vision. That's certainly the case with this production...Kinney could have picked up the pace faster, and the decision to condense the first two a...
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