New York | 2h 30m | Ends Jun 02

Curse of the Starving Class

From 22 critic and 123 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, 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.



85
During previews
Intense, Resonant, Great acting

See it if You like Sam Shepard’s quirky, unsettling writing done really well. Excellent acting!

Don't see it if Post-modern, expressionist drama.

85
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You like the prolific Sam Shepard. A family doomed by curse"that is invisible but it is always there, it comes into us like a nightmare"

Don't see it if You do not like gloomy plays.

Also Struggling family oscillating between realism and fantasy with black h... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Great acting, Riveting, Profound, Intelligent, Powerful

See it if you are interested in a show that entertains as it relays a strong message about society and human nature. Impressive effects.

Don't see it if you don't like family dramas built around unlikable characters and sad but poignant themes.

85
During previews
Great acting, Dark & disturbing, Pitch black seriocomic, Some uncomfortable laughs, Heavy

See it if you can handle Sam Shepard's seriously dysfunctional family & heavily metaphoric play on food, clothing, shelter & the sacrificial lamb

Don't see it if you do not want to be challenged by a night at the theater with some very uncomfortable lines crossed between stark realism & symbolism

Also Sam Shepard is an acquired taste & not for everyone: he was a fearless... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate Shepard's take on the downfall of the American dream, this done with more humor than usual . And there's a lamb.

Don't see it if You want a traditional comedy or need to be done in under 90 minutes . This is more like 150.

84
During previews
Riveting, Profound, Masterful, Ambitious

See it if If you like sam Shepards writing. Good acting and direction in this play about a dysfunctional family and there relationships with one anoth

Don't see it if 2/12 hours long and some long diatribes are not your thing.

84
During previews
Dated, Quirky, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You want a classic play that, while of its time, has something to say about today. You like absurdism. You want great staging & performances

Don't see it if You want a contemporary play. You dislike absurdism. You don't like extended monologues. You don't have the patience for a 2 & 1/2 hr play.

84
During previews
Profound, Visually stunning

See it if you enjoy Shepard plays and masterful, transcendent scenic design.

Don't see it if you can only handle literal, straightforward, realistic narrative.

Also Shepard’s text transcends any acting and/or directorial hiccups. Set a... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Intelligent, Edgy, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Fan of Sam Shepard or Maggie Schiff, enjoy family dramas with a hint of the absurd, cruelty or violent, enjoy noisy family confrontations

Don't see it if Don’t like slightly twisted family relationships or plays where the message is not specifically clear or absurd situations, lamb on stage

83
During previews
Resonant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You’re a Sam Sheppard fan. Dysfunctionfest galore!!

Don't see it if You’re looking for something light and breezy!

82
During previews
Edgy, Intense, Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you love great American playwrights. Shepard is not easily accessible but worth the effort esp this play. An utterly timeless play.

Don't see it if ugly raw dramas leave you cold. Shepard's grasp of messy American life is brutal and honest. Written in '76 the Curse is every bit today.

82
During previews
Quirky, Funny, Surprising

See it if you're a Shepard fan and will be delighted to have quite a few laughs thru-out, which is unusual for Sam's usual darkness.

Don't see it if You want light fluff and have had enough dysfunctional family plays.

Also The staging is amazing! And the live sheep nearly steals the show.

82
During previews
Intelligent, Intense, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if See it if you like Sam Shepard plays Very well acted. Great Set! Explores dysfunctional families dealing with addiction and poverty.

Don't see it if You want to see something uplifting. You will not leave feeling hopeful about the human condition.

81
During previews
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if I have mixed feelings about Sam Shepard's work, but this production showed me why I should care. Come see a star-making performance by

Don't see it if Gilles Geary, who plays the brooding Wesley. From the second the set takes its place, you know you're in for something that will challenge

Also you and make you uncomfortable. Maggie Siff is perhaps the weakest lin... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Ambitious, Great staging, Great writing, Intense, Edgy

See it if to witness scathing commentary on family [esp fathers], America and capitalism, in the form of amazing poetry. It is as timely as ever.

Don't see it if Curse is absurdist and extreme; don't go if you want a straightforward play. It's very funny in parts but this is not a lighthearted work.

80
During previews
Resonant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if a lovingly rendered revival of one of Shepard's key plays. a brutal elegiac symbolist tone poem about family, poverty, class.

Don't see it if if symbolist realism is not your cuppa tea, then perhaps this is not for you

80
During previews
Thought-provoking, Great set, Disturbing, Timely, Satirical

See it if Dark satire works for you. Shepherd presents the American Dream as a sucker's game that the little guy is likely to lose.

Don't see it if Dark satire just makes you sad. It's pretty grizzly. The humor cuts deeply. Run time is long-2 1/2 hours. There is full frontal male nudity.

80
During previews
Intelligent, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if You want to see a classic Shepard play that is crazily absurd and totally unrealistic but brings to light many important family dynamics

Don't see it if Shepard surrealism is totally not for you. Can't handle exaggerated situations, nudity a live lamb on stage! Direction scenic design great

80
During previews
Great staging, Overrated, Intense, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like Sam Shepard. I think the production does justice to his writing. If you like family tragedies.

Don't see it if you don't like slow pace and long speeches. if you are easily disgusted by dirt and food being thrown all over the place and on the actors.

Also The play makes it clear how social mobility is practically impossible ... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Poetic, Heartbreaking, Fascinating characters, Funny, Sizzling

See it if To see an excellent staging of this play, a classic Pulitzer worthy piece of drama that still rings so true, beautifully written characters

Don't see it if You are expecting something fast, this is a slow burn, still just as powerful, if you’re not a fan of Shepard, or looking for something new

Also I feel like it is such a gift that Signature has brought this fantasti... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intense, Absorbing

See it if You can deal with an extremely dysfunctional family that screams at each other - think about the plight of those living on the edge

Don't see it if looking for a lot of of laughs want a quiet evening have ill will towards lambs

80
During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you like Sam Shepard, family dramas and poetic realism. Great set, well staged, well acted, much to ponder afterward.

Don't see it if You need humor in your drama – doesnt have much – or don’t care for Sam Shepard.

79
During previews
Great directing, Some terrific monologues, Edgy, Ambitious, Great set

See it if you're a fan of Sam Shepard's angry, boozy, violent family dramas. It's a gripping story, filled with plot twists and some great acting.

Don't see it if you don't want to spend 2-1/2 hours (90 mins. first act) with these people. Lots of screaming and some (fleeting) male nudity.

Also I was most impressed to see Maggie Siff play a role so diametrically d... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Thought-provoking, Well done, Dated

See it if You like Shepard & even if you tire of his particular kind of angst - keep in mind that the Signature always has fine productions

Don't see it if You aren't comfortable with dysfunction or you are done with Shepard & want something more contemporary

79
During previews
Quirky, Intense, Great staging, Great acting

See it if The first act is masterful with great acting and provocative writing

Don't see it if The second act falls apart. The play ends without a satisfactory conclusion



Cast & Creatives (3)