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.



79
During previews
True shepard! well-acted, great set, no recovery from the desperate straights the central character has gotten his family into.

See it if If you know and like Shepard this is a do-not-miss production. If you don't know Shepard, this is as good an introduction as you can find.

Don't see it if you can't abide a dark tale of family disintegration.

78
During previews
Wes (giles geary) standout, Slow in spots, Edgy, Ella miscast, Great set & lights

See it if you enjoy Sam Shepard, wild characters and nice sets/lights.

Don't see it if Nudity, stage pee, yelling and some miscasting don't bother you.

Also Role of Ella miscast - giving show a limp. Wesley and Malcolm (mostly ... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Resonant, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You are a Shephard fan and love his symbolic, expressionistic early work; this is dark and sad (at times funny) with great staging & acting

Don't see it if Its a bit long and themes of family dysfunction, unfairness of capitalism, secrets and lies are difficult ; well done production neverless

77
During previews
Edgy, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy works by Shepard, a story involving an extremely dysfunctional over-the-edge family, a good set.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a story about a very dysfunctional family, with lots of yelling, cursing & perverse actions; don't enjoy very long

Also Not sure of the purpose/value of the dramatic opening minutes of the s... Read more Read less

76
During previews
Dark, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting

See it if a family "cursed" with poverty, rage & alcoholism in a downward spiral both literally& figuratively is of interest. Or a Sam Shepherd drama

Don't see it if you're not ready to see an dysfunctional family screaming at each other as they rage at their lives although each dreams about a better one

76
During previews
4 star classic play, Classy design, Starving for meat n potato vitality, Cursed by abstraction

See it if you want to see one of the greatest plays of the past half-century on a big stage, crafted by very talented people.

Don't see it if you're greatly disappointed by a vital play of great desires stretched thin by a dry abstract take spread out on a wide stage.

76
During previews
Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Confusing

See it if you like highly symbolic tales of the pathologies of struggling families. LIke a strong cast performing a well regarded play in a good venue

Don't see it if you want all messages to be clear, want a variety of settings. Mind nudity or dark stories in general.

76
During previews
Quirky, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting by some of cast, Disappointing

See it if you'd like to see a seminal work by an important American playwright;you're a Sam Shepherd fan; you like "talky," character-driven plays

Don't see it if you dislike plays about dysfunctional families, gore, "talky," character-driven plays.

Also The staging of this was excellent. So was much of the acting. However,... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Quirky, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Shepard's writing and his crazy, dysfunctional families.

Don't see it if you prefer characters that are likeable and easy to understand.

75
During previews
Slow, Quirky, Intense, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Everyone in this family is dysfunctional, and it real show thru the whole play.

Don't see it if 2 1/2 long, if you dislike Sam Shepard style of his plays.

Also The opening of the play with the stage set breaking is excellent. Sam ... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Intense, Long, Excruciating, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of Shepard's work and enjoyed True West - very much in the similar style.

Don't see it if you don't care for verbose stories of dysfunctional families. Full male nudity, lots of screaming, "gross-out" factor in Act II.

Also I think the best part of this play was the excellent set - and you'll ... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like the plays of Sam Shepard. Great acting with characters not always likable but well developed.

Don't see it if you like a play that is very clear cut. The plot gets a little complicated and one scene is a little gross.

Also The set is used very cleverly. Shepard's characters are always interes... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Great acting

See it if Outstanding opening set "destruction". Act II far better & shorter (35 min). Act II has full male nudity, huge food mess, car blown up.

Don't see it if Act I drags at 90+ minutes and has many lethargic talky scenes that could be sped up. Cast, however, is outstanding & professional.

75
During previews
Classic sam shephard, Thought-provoking, Slow, Intense

See it if Epic downtrodden family saga--lots of misery, great acting and incredible​ sets.

Don't see it if Imbalance of misery and humor, loads of pathos, and a very long first act will turn you off.

Also This was the first in the saga of family plays Shephard wrote and won ... Read more Read less

73
During previews
Slow, Thought-provoking, Good acting, Long, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of Sam Shepard or his plays.

Don't see it if you don't like stories of dysfunctional families or Shepard's plays.

72
During previews
Slow, Overly long, Great acting

See it if You enjoy flawed and quirky characters.

Don't see it if I enjoyed the characters and story however I felt it dragged on for too long. Would have liked it better if it were condensed.

72
During previews
Overly long, Slow, Great staging, Interesting, Great acting

See it if interesting play with great plot twists. Great set gimmick. Solid acting.

Don't see it if some of the storytelling elements really distract from the story and only arcanely relate to the plot. Unsatisfactory conclusion.

70
During previews
Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you need to complete the canon of Sam Shepard's work and want a great opening moment.

Don't see it if you are frustrated by unrealistic characters behaving in even more unrealistic manners. Also quite graphic and stomach turning.

70
During previews
Uneven, Intense, Intelligent, Profound, Great writing

See it if Shepard is the man, a playwright whose confrontation w/ American identity was a lifelong quest. Also, "Mad Men" fans: Maggie Siff slays.

Don't see it if you're upset by farm animals who clearly don't want to be onstage being onstage; you find expensive sets built around a single gag enraging.

Also Memorable Quote: "My poison scares you."

70
During previews
Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like all things Shepard, the world he explores, the power of his language.

Don't see it if You're just not interested in fucked-up people from fly-over country.

70
During previews
Squalor and ignorance

See it if The agony of ignorance and squalor is something you can bear. Brilliant set.

Don't see it if You find the damage done by an eternally adolescent, unsympathetic pater familias unwothy of your attention.

70
During previews
Relevant, Absorbing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Intense

See it if You want to see how Sam Shepard influenced so many playwrights, including (and especially) Martin McDonagh.

Don't see it if You want and expect realism at all turns.

Also Big mistake to not have an intermission between the first and second a... Read more Read less

70
During previews
Without humor, Of a different era, Dated, Slow, Good acting

See it if you appreciate Shepard dramas of despair with self-indulgent long-ass monologues and a hard-working cast without a pay-off.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate Shepard plays and his take on life as an existence of despair.

70
During previews
Edgy, Slow, Disappointing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy edgy dysfunctional family dramas that focus on the downtrodden as opposed to well-off.

Don't see it if You’re done with Shepard plays and can’t stand his slow, gnarly, character-driven/mostly plotless, heavy dramas.

69
During previews
Disappointing, Intense, Excruciating

See it if These characters were to me obnoxious.While their characters were truly defined or not is being left to the viewer?Too much dysfunction for

Don't see it if IF YOU WANT TO SEE A FUNCTIONAL FAMILY IN A LOVING SURROUNDING.

Also me to really enjoy this play,however,i felt that the acting itself was... Read more Read less



Cast & Creatives (3)