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Engagements

Members say: Cliched, Banal, Funny, Entertaining, Disappointing
62
Critics
59
13 reviews
Members
63
38 reviews
 

Second Stage Theatre presents Lucy Teitler's dark comedy about ugly feelings in an age of beautiful self-images.

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It’s summer in New England and every weekend is someone else’s engagement party. The wildflowers, specialty cocktails, and artisanal appetizers are totally Instagram-worthy, but the people are not quite so perfect. One night, Lauren decides to make sure that her best friend doesn’t marry an inadequate suitor...a drunken mistake that incites a cascade of calamities, threatening to expose all of her secrets. Presented at Second Stage Theatre Uptown

 

Cast & Creatives (12)


Reviews (51)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
59
Avg Score

65
The New York Times

"A bitingly funny but overly sour comedy...Teitler writes tangy dialogue rich in sharp-witted repartee...The slim plot seems stretched thin by the end of the play, which runs only 80 minutes. And with principal characters as unrelievedly bitchy as Lauren and caddish as Mark, there’s little chance of the audience’s becoming emotionally engaged. Still, it has been crisply directed by Kimberly Senior and the cast members bring a bright sheen to their performances that energizes the proceedings." Full Review

65
Theatermania

"There is something classical about Teitler's style, a trait that director Kimberly Senior takes full advantage of...'Engagements' is a fascinating mess, overflowing with big ideas that are only half-conveyed. Formally, it cannot quite decide what it wants to be. By the second half, the plot seems to jump the tracks. Still, it is never boring. On top of that, by the end Teitler takes a loathsome protagonist and makes us actually like her (or at least understand her)." Full Review

45
Variety

"The acting is polished. The direction is smart. The production values are excellent. But all this well-crafted effort seems wasted on showcasing this deadly comedy by Lucy Teitler about the childish antics of a group of shallow people with nothing better to do than knife each other in the back...While the scribe does have a modest gift for snarky dialogue, she’s squandered it on an aimless play about deeply unlikable characters that give their generation a very bad name." Full Review

35
Time Out New York

“Finger-food theater: tasty enough in nibbles but leaves you wanting more and is forgotten soon after eating...Teitler’s bitchy banter and metatheatrical asides strive for wit and pathos but mainly prod along an ordinary tale of epigram-spouting narcissists who behave badly and learn to own their damage. During the scene changes in Kimberly Senior’s leaden production, the actors groove to DJ standards. Those dance sequences look like the most fun they have all night.” Full Review

35
Lighting & Sound America

"'Engagements' is little more than 90 minutes of snark posing as wit…The director, Kimberly Senior, manages to establish a hard, artificial style, but she can't supply the missing humor or character interest…A fair amount of talent is being put to extremely trivial use...'Engagements' wants to be an acid-washed study of modern sexual manners, but it ends up being a reverse etiquette guide, a study in rudeness that quickly wears out its welcome." Full Review

70
Front Row Center

"In lesser hands this would not be of interest, but this more than competent cast and director are stealthy in their approach. The action is simple because everything underneath it is so complicated...There are some stunning gems in this play, and there are some equally obscure clunkers. But the production itself is buoyed by the cast and director...This play deserves a closer look. Ms. Teitler could not ask for a better production from which to take lessons and plunge forward." Full Review

65
Talkin' Broadway

"'Engagements' is both deeper than you might expect and shallower than you might hope for...Despite the abundance of fine detail in the writing, much of the dialogue has a stilted, scripted quality that dispels a fair amount of the contemporary magic the play otherwise works so hard to generate. Even so, Kimberly Senior has directed with sharpness and an ear for comedy, and the actors generally follow her lead." Full Review

55
CitiTour

"The pair spend...many minutes exchanging the kind of love-hate banter reserved for second-rate sitcoms and rom-coms; some of it is very funny, but who really thinks that quickly? Still, there can be little question that there’s more chemistry between these two...Which doesn’t mean their actions are justifiable, or even completely interesting for an entire 85-minute play, despite some very funny one-liners...Director Kimberly Senior tries to gussy up this obviously slight script when she can." Full Review

75
Reviewing The Drama

“It is a tidy and engaging play, well-written and well-executed. Though literary allusions abound, the dialogue sounds natural, and the detours into inner-monolgue-land offer fun and funny diversions. (Also fun diversions: the on-stage dance parties during scene transitions.) I like that Teitler is unafraid to show women behaving badly, reminding us that it's OK to be complicated; to not have it all figured out; to be a little messy.” Full Review

65
Theater Pizzazz

“Teitler’s concept is a clever one. ‘Engagements’ cruises along at a clipper pace when it sticks to its basic premise, but when it tries to work in Ryan and Catherine it slows to a crawl...The witty banter becomes a one-way street, making it a lot less witty. Director Kimberly Senior has not figured out how to attain equilibrium when Ryan and Catherine are onstage...At its best, ‘Engagements’ is outrageously funny, but as it progresses it shows less and less of its best.” Full Review

85
CurtainUp

"Teitler invites you to see the darker side of romantic relationships and how marriage commitments can be undone in a wink...The play comes off, largely because of the creative acting and directing...Kimberly Senior, who helms this production, knows how to move things along, and executes seamless transitions from one scene to the next...This New York mounting is excellent. By all means, go with a date, or go alone to this provocative play." Full Review

35
Village Voice

"We get it: Love is a battlefield. But such well-trodden territory demands a fresh approach, and Teitler flounders trying to mold this quirky satire into a theatrical event…There's a whiff of 'Heathers' in 'Engagements'' female rivalries, and the suggestion of political critique in its contempt for the boring, wealthy khaki-wearers of this world. But neither of these elements fully takes shape, leaving the guest at Teitler's party wishing she could abscond with a few jalapeño poppers and leave." Full Review

85
Epoch Times

"A remarkable, taut, spicy satire of contemporary manners...The ultimate solution of the mystery throws the whole set of characters into free fall, with a resulting unexpected and striking changing of partners. Just like sometimes happens in real life. To some of us. Along the way we are treated to some terrific and imaginative staging by director Kimberly Senior, including several sharp and beautifully executed dance sequences by the cast." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
63
Avg Score

51
Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you don't require any of the below.

Don't see it if you want it to actually be an original, quirky rom com that makes a statement in 21st century relationships.

76
Clever, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if Like shows about relationships.

Don't see it if Are easily offended.

57
Banal

See it if Recently in a ( bad ) relationship or have two faced friends.

Don't see it if You want more relevant theater.

75
Raunchy, Refreshing, Entertaining, Flip

See it if To support and celebrate young female voices. Thrilled by open-minded casting. Beautiful set, lighting, and projection design.

Don't see it if Intimidated by smart, sharp tongued women, annoyed by millenial/gen Y ennui and self-destructiveness. Oppose stylized inner thought monos

49
Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Fluffy

See it if you enjoy shallow plays about infidelity among upscale preppy friends.

Don't see it if you want a play with some substance, are offended by sexual profanity

75
Great acting, Quirky, Great staging

See it if You like plays that are very quirky and deal with relationships of the 20 something crowd.

Don't see it if You want a living room comedy kind of show

70
Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if like seeing social conventions upended; like morally dubious characters "winning"; questioning of accepted gender roles

Don't see it if snarky dialogue & morally questionable behavior rubs the wrong way; plot lines get shaky

65
Occasionally funny

See it if you like some funny lines. Somewhat predictable. Don't take this too seriously.

Don't see it if want serious theater.

55
Ambitious, Indulgent, Banal, Insipid, Fluffy

See it if Have time to waste.

Don't see it if Any self respect

21
Disappointing, Cliched, Slow, Fluffy

See it if if you have never seen a Neil Pepe play before.

Don't see it if If you have seen a play by Neil. This write wasted such a good opportunity here, I would love to see what Neil could have done with this.

83
Funny, Delightful, Great staging

See it if you relate to millennials' challenges with navigating love, or you want a good, devilish laugh in a sharp, crisp production.

Don't see it if you might be easily bothered by the show's cynical tone. While it's a comedy first and foremost, that cynicism feels very real.

78
Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want a show about relationships and deception. Main character is a terrific actress. Rest of the cast can't keep up with her.

Don't see it if you want a well paced show. This should be a 3 character show with no additional sub-story.

59
Banal, Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if You like shallow plays about shallow people. They tried to make it good though.

Don't see it if It didn't live up to expectations. Didn't like or connect to any characters or themes... But also not worst thing I've seen.

55
Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if you're interested in watching privileged narcissists sleep around with each other in this less than original, cliched, failed RomCom.

Don't see it if you're interested in serious theatre, uniquely theatrical experiences, or theatre that doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator.

81
Funny, Romantic, Fluffy

See it if You enjoy romcoms even if the characters are shallow.

Don't see it if You don't like comedies about self-serving 30 somethings.

65
Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Fluffy, Mildly entertaining

See it if you're intrigued by the banality & misbehavior of privileged 20-somethings. Some decent, realistic performances elevate the material.

Don't see it if you're not interested in "Lifestyles of the Rich and Millennial". Though amusing & mildly enjoyable, it's really just people behaving badly.

62
I was not the target audience

See it if You are under 30 and you find nervous, rapid speaking women cheating with their clueless best friend's fiance a good time.

Don't see it if you think men might have some integrity. you think women can be friends. you are tired of dumbed down characters.

20
Banal, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you miss Sex & the City themes & want to see them on stage

Don't see it if you love original, engaging theater. Save for a few cute young actors, this thing is TERRIBLE

80
Funny, Original, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy light comedy about infidelity in relationships, don't need a serious theme

Don't see it if you are offended by sexual topics and vulgar language

80
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You want laugh

Don't see it if You don't like cursing

78
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Light

See it if You want a frothy, sometimes realistic comedy about millennials and their social whirls and world. It has some clever dialogue.

Don't see it if You are looking for a thought-provoking evening of totally original ideas. You don't enjoy plays about the 20-30's urban professionals.

40
During previews
Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Slow, Unimportant

See it if Cannot think of any reason to see it - overacted, weak story, boring, two dimensional characters saying nothing of importance or interest.

Don't see it if See something else.

73
During previews
Confusing, Cliched, Slow, Entertaining, Good acting

See it if You are a fan of millennial dating situations; are desperate to be in a relationship; great acting by Jennifer Kim

Don't see it if You expect great drama and a happy ending; Are over the age of 50

48
During previews
Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Mis-cast, Trifle

See it if You need time to organize your shopping list in your head; whether tomorrow is a good day for laundry; should I have Chinese for lunch?

Don't see it if Just don't see it.

73
During previews
Quirky, Cute, Light, Uneven

See it if Cute enjoyable light fare. Well acted,as you notice text is at times lacking. Good staging. The poster matched the play. Don't expect more.

Don't see it if You want to think. This is CW. The ending is rushed & not thought out. 1st dancing transitions are embarrassing.