Already closed | 1h 45m | West Village


From 119 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

About the show

Theresa Rebeck returns to Primary Stages with the a new family drama, starring real-life siblings Tyne and Tim Daly, who will be appearing together for the first time on the New York stage.  More…

In "Downstairs," Teddy is a bit lost and has found himself staying in his older sister Irene’s unfinished basement, which has infuriated her husband Gerry. As Irene and Teddy struggle with this less-than-ideal living arrangement, they quickly find themselves grappling with the burden of their family’s troublesome history. While trying to mend the past, the pair unearths a foreboding danger threatening to break the perilously thin bonds holding them together.

Member Reviews (119)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Disappointing
Avg Score

Disappointing, Slow, Great staging, Funny

See it if If you want to see a family play that deals with family issues. The two Dailey's are good in their roles.

Don't see it if If you want an upbeat fast play that is consistent throughout.

Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Suspenseful, Intense

See it if Bro & sis plumb their childhood abuse as they confront a desperate predicament. A thriller with depth & humor. Loved the brother character.

Don't see it if You are not interested in the theme of how childhood abuse affects adult personality. The sister and husband characters are simplistic.

Great acting, Disappointing, Intriguing, Unsatisfying

See it if u want to see the Daly siblings deliver wonderful perfs as damaged siblings menaced by a cruel husband in a middling psychological thriller.

Don't see it if u want more than a mere acting vehicle for the real-life sis & bro's joint stage debut; u hope for a taut, revealing, original family drama.

Also I didn't love this play, but it's all relative...

Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Quirky

See it if Three powerhouse performances - the Daly siblings & Procaccino - ease some of torpidity of Rebeck's domestic thriller but to little avail

Don't see it if Serious issues - mental illness & spousal abuse given usual superficial treatment by Rebeck; punched up pacing by Campbell-Holt doesn't help

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if The two great Daly siblings in atypical roles, Great acting by all 3. Great set .Sound & lighting were perfect. "Sleep is overrated'

Don't see it if At first I was disappointed with the ending but after much thought, I loved it.....How can Primary Stage get more of the young theatergoers?

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Slow, Intelligent

See it if Traced to sins of the parents, suburban suffocation and mental illness figuratively imprison two siblings named Daly. Tyne Off-B'way is rare

Don't see it if When an inspired scribe drops an uninspired work in your lap that was written specifically just for you, you

Good set, Great acting, Intense, Stressful to watch as the play goes on

See it if Great acting by all. . I particularly loved Tim Daly in this. Great set (of a basement).

Don't see it if You want a clear storyline. This is very suspenseful. Not relaxing to watch this!

Also No intermission. An hour and 45 minutes.

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Suspenseful, Uneven writing

See it if You want to see great acting by the Daly siblings. You enjoy plays that develop at a very slow pace until suddenly the plot speeds up.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays that Telegraph a strong palpable sense of menace. You can’t watch a man emotionally abuse a woman.

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

See it if You like mysteries with slow building suspense. Tyne and Tim Daly as siblings who harbor a back story never fully revealed. John Procaccino!

Don't see it if You want an easy to understand storyline without twists and turns. Dislike an ambiguous ending. Dysfunctional! family drama.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You like slow burn plays with a small cast that tells a powerful story about family and mental illness and the power of belief.

Don't see it if This was a hard play to LIKE but was incredibly good. Great acting and story, but hard to LIKE due to the intensity.

Absorbing, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Pointless

See it if you would like to see Tim and Tyne Daly onstage together.

Don't see it if you have seen enough disappointing plays by Theresa Rebeck this season.

Also Other than as a showcase for the Dalys, this play seems to have very l... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great set, Uneven writing

See it if Tim and Tyne Daly and friend portray brother, sister, and husband in odd, dysfunctional family, mystery, suspense drama. Still wondering.

Don't see it if You want coherent plot rather than nebulous view thru fuzzy, fogged glass that only comes into focus at the end. Immature, unstable, vicious

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like serious plays that have a heart.Characters are all very real.Acting, set design, directing are top drawer.This is a touching story.

Don't see it if you want something light,frothy.All 3 actors are at the top of their games.This play is important in what it has to say about women/marriage

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Masterful

See it if The cast of 3 were amazing. A real edge of your seat thriller. Serves up no easy answers. The claustrophobic set adds to the menace.

Don't see it if In parts hard to guess what’s happening. The end was not the strongest or clearest.

Great acting, Quirky, Intense

See it if If you are fan of the actors, if you like stories about families and dysfunctional marriages.

Don't see it if If you are sensitive about mental health issues, mental abuse and do not care for the actors.

Absorbing, Great acting, Convoluted, Edgy, Great staging

See it if you want to see some terrific acting -- from all three. The story certainly holds your attention.

Don't see it if you're looking for a clear resolution. There is ambiguity with the ending.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You like the idea of siblings playing siblings , even in dysfunctional families

Don't see it if Wish the play was sharper , good, not great Rebeck.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Intense, Slow

See it if you find the opportunity to see Tyne Daly and her bother actor Tim Daly an opportunity not to be missed.

Don't see it if you are NOT a fan of playwright Theresa Rebeck. Only a fan of the playwright could love this DARK tale.

Also I became a one man town crier after seeing the 2003 production of Play... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Daly siblings! Strikingly real. Looked for the message, until realized that the piece was an entertaining yarn á la Hitchcock.

Don't see it if Resolution never fully realized. Disquietude by the end of night.

Great acting, Intense, Edgy

See it if Admire Tyne & Tim Daly & John Procaccino - all terrific in this intense drama.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with mental illness or psychotic behavior.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a small play that challenges, with lots of unanswered interesting questions on reality, and relationships and illness. Great acting

Don't see it if You need all questions answered, need a tidy ending, have preconceived notions of what the play is about. It was a joy to watch it unfold.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a psychological thriller piece that’s got a hidden message. Tim Daly interaction with Tyne and the evil husband is great.

Don't see it if You don’t like drama pieces. You want lighter fare.

Edgy, Intense, Taut, Slow, Great acting

See it if you want to see brother and sister Tim and Tyne Daly in a play written for them; perhaps a once in a lifetime experience

Don't see it if you don't want to see a drama with almost no humor; you want to come out feeling happy; you prefer musicals

Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Riveting

See it if you want to see SUPERIOR acting from absolute craftsmen. A spellbinding production that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Don't see it if you have issues with domestic abuse or mental instability. The action is intense and therefore can be intimidating to squeamish audiences

Also This dark and disturbing production works exceedingly well due to the ... Read more Read less

Really superb acting, Great staging, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you'd enjoy three fine actors engaged in a taught family drama; this kind of a "Get Out" for women in a bad marriage

Don't see it if you're triggered by domestic abuse, or you want a political message for our times. It's a good, tight play and the acting is lovely

November 18th, 2018
“Directed with striking clarity and command by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, 'Downstairs' is a well-constructed play of whipsaw moods that have much to do with Teddy’s instability — a restless volatility that Mr. Daly struggles to embody in a performance that is the production’s most amusing yet least ...
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November 18th, 2018
"Rebeck wrote 'Downstairs' expressly for the real-life Daly siblings...As an acting showcase, it serves its purpose—especially for Tyne...But as a play, 'Downstairs' needs some renovating. The suspense is hit-and-miss: Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt injects some nifty jolts, but slack pacing oft...
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November 18th, 2018
“Although the production offers the welcome opportunity for...Tyne Daly and Tim Daly to make their first joint appearance on a NY stage, it offers them little more than a gimmicky acting vehicle...Rebeck ratchets up the tension slowly...The play feels repetitive...its slackness preventing narrati...
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November 19th, 2018
"It’s a dark, talky, somber evening by uneven, prolific playwright Theresa Rebeck that will not please anyone seeking a coherent, well-written play in a naturalistic style, but the performances by the Dalys are well worth a trip...Directed with balance and vision by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, 'Downs...
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