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.
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.
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.
See it if Powerful, thought-provoking and painful.
Don't see it if Not the show for you if you want a light hearted comedy
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.
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
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
See it if you want to see a show where the characters are forced to deal with who they are and who they aren't - it isn't pretty.
Don't see it if writing that runs away from the most powerful ending makes you want to run from a production. Read more
"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.”
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“Though primarily laugh-free and contemporary, Shinn borrows a technique from Victorian drawing room comedies...Shinn does an admirable job of serving up his own words. But it is a loss not having another sensibility in the mix...Though Woodell does excellent...in handling the dual roles, individual actors handling the parts would have made for a more satisfying evening...Shinn’s gimmickry works against him in this staging.”
“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.”
“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.”