Downstairs
79

Downstairs NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(119 Reviews)
Positive
84%
Mixed
13%
Negative
3%
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. 

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Member Reviews (119)

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942 Reviews | 225 Followers
67
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.

703 Reviews | 213 Followers
85
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.

MJK
677 Reviews | 186 Followers
77
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. Read more

687 Reviews | 113 Followers
71
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

don
506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
88
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?

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
80
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 say...er...uh....

481 Reviews | 317 Followers
79
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! Read more

463 Reviews | 128 Followers
69
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.

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
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 convincing...It’s actually quite entertaining...Procaccino’s Gerry is a magnificent villain — belligerent, dangerous, and so habitually, casually vicious.”
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Time Out New York
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 often kills the chills. The play toys with intriguing ideas...but the denouement doesn't induce an epiphany. Like its central siblings, 'Downstairs' still seems to be trying to find itself."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 narrative momentum from taking hold...The Daly siblings deliver complex, nuanced performances that somehow keep us guessing about their characters even while we're losing interest.”
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The Observer
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, 'Downstairs' doesn’t add up to much, but what’s there is riveting and suspenseful."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 30th, 2018

“Primary Stages gets into the star-vehicle business with ‘Downstairs’...Poised halfway between an enigmatic Pinterian power struggle and a conventional thriller, ‘Downstairs’ is not without its plot holes...If some plot points dangle preciously, the climax features a couple of too-neatly arranged developments...Nevertheless, if you enjoy the Dalys at their considerable best -- and you don't mind an oversupply of exposition – ‘Downstairs’ packs some extremely potent thrills.”
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New York Stage Review
November 18th, 2018

“’Downstairs’ is not an entirely satisfying drama. Before the story twists into suspenseful mode, it gets downright sleepy. Campbell-Holt...should have punched up that soft spot in her otherwise solid staging of the play. Still, some distinctive charm and subtle comedy arises amid Rebeck’s chitchat between Teddy and Irene as they fondly reminisce about growing up with their batty parents...While the play is not among Rebeck’s finest, it certainly delivers satisfying dramatic moments."
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New York Stage Review
November 18th, 2018

“There’s good news and bad news about ‘Downstairs’...Good news: It stars the dynamite real-life brother and sister Tim and Tyne Daly...Though they’re cast as siblings, both actors...are playing terrifically against type...Bad news: Despite the Dalys’ best efforts, ‘Downstairs’ is almost as adrift as poor Teddy. It starts as a quietly intriguing dysfunctional-family drama...Takes a whiplash-inducing turn into thriller territory, then settles back very briefly into the brother-sister story.”
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TheaterScene.net
November 25th, 2018

“Ostensibly about domestic abuse, the evidence is all offstage and we must surmise this from the defeated condition of the heroine Irene played by Ms. Daly. Her husband Gerry (John Procaccino) is involved in some shocking, nefarious business revealed to the characters on stage but never revealed to the audience, nor is the confidential project her brother Teddy (Mr. Daly) claims to be working on which will make his fortune. As such, the thrills are all a matter of guesswork, rather than actual.”
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