Dying City
Closed 1h 25m
Dying City

Dying City NYC Reviews and Tickets

(174 Reviews)
Members say
Slow, Great acting, Disappointing, Absorbing, Confusing

About the Show

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Colin Woodell star in Christopher Shinn's intimate and compassionate play, where a young widow receives an unexpected visit from the twin brother of her deceased husband. 

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Member Reviews (174)

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945 Reviews | 386 Followers
Disappointing, Relevant, Intense, Absorbing, Great writing

See it if You want to see a well written play, still relevant today even though it deals with headline topics (war) more than ten years old.

Don't see it if You expect unforgettable performances. This play is written better than it’s performed here. Draws you in but leaves you unfulfilled.

794 Reviews | 215 Followers
Relevant, Insipid, Absorbing, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you'd like a study in how death affects people differently & how people once close can ignore you. There is something good here but lacking!

Don't see it if it gets a little tedious with the back and forth, though it is well done and the actors are great. Triggers include war and 9/11.

506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Nice acting. Fascinating story re: twins Being a twin myself, gave it an extra punch and more thought)) Script leaves many "whys?"

Don't see it if A two hander. Minimal set. Avoid 1st two rows for this show as stage has been remodeled.

454 Reviews | 127 Followers
Strikes many 21st century keys, A "do you remember?" play, Winstead & woodell outstanding, Thought-provoking, Timely

See it if desire 21st century look at relationships, therapy & hot button issues, like time played with & actors playing twin roles, & ideas addressed

Don't see it if don't like conflict & dredging up past, need everything carefully spelled out, & happy ending, don't care for Long Days Journey references

467 Reviews | 70 Followers
Bad sight lines, Really boring, Good acting, Pointless, Boring

See it if you need to come in out of a monsoon. Otherwise save your time and money.No idea what the point of the whole play was.Acting is good.

Don't see it if you have ANYTHING else to do.Root canal is preferable to sitting through this one.Sight lines were awful.It just doesn't go anywhere.

432 Reviews | 93 Followers
Frustrating, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You like plays with small casts that act well. You like the actors.

Don't see it if You want a story that makes sense or directing choices that don't leave you gritting your teeth in frustration. Read more

379 Reviews | 229 Followers
Confusing, Well acted, Thought-provoking, Slow, Uneven

See it if Interested in toxic cultural climate, therapy, twins upbringing, masculinity, war, PTSD, secrets, reveals, political divisiveness.

Don't see it if don't like shifting timelines, 1 actor playing 2 parts ( though very well), not being sure of what the playwright is trying to get across. Read more

399 Reviews | 202 Followers
Ambitious, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Cliched

See it if A look at the survivors of a tragic soldier story. The actors are likeable. The story is so-so.

Don't see it if 2 actors for 3 parts is confusing at times. The denouement was not a surprise. Honestly, I had a hard time remembering this 2 days later.

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
June 3rd, 2019

"Woodell and Winstead register as comfortable and natural on stage. Then again, this a play about discomfort and unnatural acts…The same matter-of-factness extends to the production as a whole…This ‘Dying City’ feels less like a haunting than an exorcism. Mr. Shinn’s play remains of topical urgency, speaking eloquently to the abiding traps and dangers of American manhood. But you register its points intellectually and dryly, when what you really want — and need — is to be chilled to the bone.”
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Time Out New York
June 4th, 2019

"Although Shinn is a hugely gifted playwright, he is an inexperienced director; the result is a middling production that feels detached from the play’s insightful examination of how trauma can misshape lives. Winstead...barely musters more than a shrug in her tricky passive-reactive role, which leaves Woodell floundering...Shinn's craft as a writer still shines through...But at its most potent, 'Dying City' should leave you anguished, not analytical."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 3rd, 2019

"Shinn relies solely on the writing and the performances for dramatic impact, and the results are stultifying...While Winstead delivers a sensitive turn as the grieving widow plagued by demons, her lack of theatrical experience becomes apparent…But the evening's lack of emotional impact is not so much the fault of the actors as of the play...By the time its brief but seemingly endless running time is over, all we feel is impatience and frustration."
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The Wall Street Journal
June 6th, 2019

"It’s one of the finest new American plays to open in this century, a deeply serious drama of overwhelming emotional impact...It’s Ms. Winstead who will surprise you, though: Lately of FX’s 'Fargo,' she is making her stage debut in 'Dying City,' but there is nothing at all unsure or unformed about her acting, and she clearly belongs on Broadway...Mr. Shinn's staging is simple, transparent, and utterly true to life...Even on a first viewing, it already looks to me very much like a masterpiece."
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The Observer
June 6th, 2019

"I’m glad that Shinn wants to map the ways our social selves interact with inherited trauma and culture’s dominant mythologies. But the combination of high emotional stakes and contrived dramatic release skirts close to melodrama. The charismatic and poised Winstead is convincing...The film star’s thoughtful, low-key style fits her material, for the most part. In the more angsty dual role, Woodell is effective, if a little bland. Shinn directs his script with focus and clarity."
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June 3rd, 2019

“Supportive of the text, unobtrusive to the performances, and slightly dull, this is very much a production directed by a playwright who wants total focus on his words. Luckily, Shinn has a lot to say, and much of it has appreciated in value over the last 12 year…Shinn weaves the personal and political to create a rich tapestry of American life, complete with the ugly parts...Shinn's script benefits from the performances of two excellent actors.”
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June 4th, 2019

“This is a play where the author slowly reveals information about the past in order to determine how the characters got to where they are today...While there are still American troops serving in the Middle East, ‘Dying City’ certainly contained more immediacy and relevance to a larger number of playgoers when first seen a dozen years ago. Shinn's production seems to settle into its own subtly a bit much and though the capable actors work hard, the results are minimal.”
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Lighting & Sound America
June 7th, 2019

“In its best moments, ‘Dying City’ is deeply thoughtful about the toxic cultural climate that is twenty-first-century America...But for all its painstaking construction, ‘Dying City’ remains a static piece of work...Still, under the author's direction, this three-way psychological deadlock is far more engaging than previously...A great deal of good work results in a tricky, tantalizing, yet not really successful piece. Individually, many plot points feel trenchant; collectively, they feel contrived.”
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