New York | 2h 30m | Already closed

Curse of the Starving Class

From 27 critic and 179 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.

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.

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.

Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Dizzying

See it if You like unconventional drama by a master playwright with terrific acting and a plot you won’t soon forget.

Don't see it if You like a more conventional, straightforward type of drama where everything follows a linear pattern.

Also I felt as if I were in the surreal world of Sam Shepard where deep mea... Read more Read less

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.

Sad, Stressful, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you have not seen this Shepard play before. Great cast, Great set. Tough story.

Don't see it if you want something upbeat.

Overrated, Great staging, Slow, Banal

See it if are a fan of Sam Sheppard, want to see new interpretation of show, can appreciate symbolism in a show.

Don't see it if You want a "feel good" show, need a show wrapped up neatly, are not a fan of Sam Sheppard, want a fast paced show (this was NOT that show).

Also The beginning of the show has the biggest "Bang". I'm not necessarily ... Read more Read less

Slow, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You're a fan of Shepard or portrayals dysfunctional families or the rot of American idealism. Great staging and committed acting.

Don't see it if You can't stand symbolism or jagged plots. Some of the acting/monologues are uneven, and I'm not ultimately sure what the play wanted to say

Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like Shepard and are in the mood for a dark, intense play.

Don't see it if you want one genre in a play - at times this is play is funny, and at other times, excruciating. This is not a happy story.

Intense, Intelligent, Great writing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you are a fan of Shepherd or this play.

Don't see it if Production is slow, some perfromances are indulgent and the long first act is too long.

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.

Slow, Overrated

See it if enjoy the Sam Shepard canon then go see this. well acted.

Don't see it if no characters that one really cares about in a one-note play

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, Intense, Dizzying, Dated, Disappointing

See it if Intense special effect opens show. Respectful Sam Shepard rendering. One interesting performance. A friend recommends it.

Don't see it if The actor who has the first poetic monologue is so dull you almost miss the the lyricism of the lines. His later full-frontal nudity does

Also nothing to dispel that first impression and gets the play off to a bad... Read more Read less

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if An early Sam Shepard play

Don't see it if I thought the entire cast was miscast and could not bring to life this poorly produced and directed show

This shepherd play hasn't aged great on its own, and this uneven production doesn't help it along too much

See it if you are a Sam Shepherd completist.

Don't see it if you want to see an ideal presentation of his play brought to you by a cast who fully has a hold on it.

Also I had only ever read this play and seen the film adaptation, so I was ... Read more Read less

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


See it if you want to see a sam shepherd classic poorly directed, poorly cast and poorly staged

Don't see it if you don't want to be disappointed

Long, Repetitive, Insipid, Disappointing, Dated

See it if You want to catch Maggie Siff . You haven't seen a pithier version.

Don't see it if You have seen a dense, well acted, meaningful production of this play.

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

Slow, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You want to see a pretty good community theater production, an expensive set, a real sheep onstage

Don't see it if It felt un-directed: the ensemble struggles, indicates, and over/underplays their way through scenes of disconnected shouting

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

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Like Sam Shepherd. A masterful production on one of his greatest plays. Absurd and astute at the same time. Beautifully executed and acted.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of absurd and sometimes violent actions. Can be disturbing.

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

Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to be shocked

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

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Cast & Creatives (3)