See it if Shawn's latest is a muddled mash-up of a venal dystopian society & theatrical gossip fest Good acting from ensemble fails to illuminate
Don't see it if Talky & banal without Shawn's usual piercing wit or intelligence. Should strike at target points much harder to have desired effect
See it if You really enjoy Wallace Shawn's crazy/weird style, or like talky plays that don't actually have a plot.
Don't see it if You haven't liked Shawn's past work or dislike plays that don't really have anything to say -- or nothing that you can easily decipher.
See it if you wish to see M. Broderick play M Broderick for the first 10 minutes. The set is wonderful.M.B is superb in that time period (see more)
Don't see it if Talent is wasted. The premise is not realistic.. The 75 minutes is more like 100 minutes (should be an intermssion but alas it would (see m Read more
See it if you need a place to take a quick nap. Although at 100 minutes, it felt like a long winter's sleep. Dull beyond words. Interesting set.
Don't see it if you have a way to avoid it.Most of the actors are good. Way overwritten. Too wordy. Dull as dull can be. Avoid like the plague.
See it if You love Wallace Shawn plays. He is an actor and playwright of this opus. You enjoy plays that go nowhere.
Don't see it if You dislike plays with almost no action. You can't enjoy a play unless it resonates with you and makes sense ! Indulgent playwriting this is
See it if Interesting show about a dystopian future that sounds all too plausible. Some nice performances.
Don't see it if Too much Matthew Broderick. The show opens with a 15-minute monologue by him. I nearly fell asleep. No sure what the point was.
See it if to mingle with a star-studded cast on the set before the show; catty dialogue about the entertainment industry in dystopian world
Don't see it if the play more important than mingling; Broderick & Shawn good, others underutilized, one really miscast; the wordiness is tiring Read more
See it if You are a Wallace Shawn or Matthew Broderick fan. You enjoy interactive theatre (get there early to hang on the set with the cast).
Don't see it if You would rather avoid challenging ideas--including some that are prescient. Read more
"'Talk House,' which features a talent-stocked ensemble led by an excellent Matthew Broderick, covers territory that Mr. Shawn dug into more deeply in his harrowing 'Designated Mourner'...The insiderly conflation of theater-world superficiality and the depths of institutionalized evil can feel forced and gimmicky. And the ensemble hasn’t yet fallen into the natural common groove that might mitigate that impression...Ms. Shear stands out...Mr. Shawn is as good...And Mr. Broderick is first-rate."
"Watching 'Talk House,' I had the uncanny sensation that Shawn has turned his theatrical nightmares into our waking reality...Staged with sly humor and creeping perversity by Elliott, 'Talk House' is elliptical, weird stuff. Unless you’re already a fan, you may find it opaque or off-puttingly cryptic. Those of us who’ve loved Shawn for years, however, will simply note that he’s moved into documentaries."
"A terrific production...Where 'Talk House' achieves its unique power is in the slippery subtlety of its contradictory arguments. Surely Shawn would not waste his time writing a cautionary tale for a world beyond caution, or making it so deceptively funny (until it isn’t) if he did not believe in the power of words to do more than moo...And yet 'Talk House' is uncommonly pessimistic about the theater: It’s late in the day and it’s all gas. Worse, plays may be a part of the problem."
"Unfortunately, 'Evening at the Talk House' lives up to its title by being a monotonously verbose exercise whose provocative themes are too muddled to make much of an impact...Never proves compelling with its vague, futuristic scenario. Shawn's understated dialogue becomes quickly tedious, and the oblique story line doesn’t reach any satisfying conclusion...The talented cast fails to breathe much life into their underwritten roles."
"Framing the best performance by Broderick since 'The Producers,' 'Evening At The Talk House' plows terrain familiar to us onlookers at The World According Shawn...It’s a horrific, unsettling worldview...Even more frightening, it seems to have been outpaced by the real events Shawn is commenting on, turning satire – fake news – into documentary – real news. 'Evening' loses focus and doesn’t seem to know how to end. That simply adds to the horror factor, however."
"Too bad the play doesn't give you that much to chew on...While Shawn's play stirs up a bit of dread, especially considering current affairs, it’s played so bluntly that it's not that disquieting...Under the direction of Elliott, performances in this New Group show are mostly fine, but Broderick struggles to sound like just a regular guy talking in the show’s long opening monologue. The physical production also nags...Furnishings, like the talk in this house, could have been more lived-in."
"Elliott’s production is a laid-back, intimate affair with little movement and dim lighting...About halfway through, the dialogue becomes increasingly strange and there is mention of a government sanctioned 'program of murdering'...It’s as if Shawn sensed the play was becoming a bore and responded with a dystopian twist. A handful of moments are interesting...But it’s a challenge to stay engaged with this slow-moving, maudlin and ultimately bewildering piece."
"Though overwritten, Shawn’s play is a shrewdly pointed satire about civilization's tectonic shifts both culturally and politically…The performances are all first-rate…The production, directed by Scott Elliot, takes far too long to hook us in. But when it does, we're fascinated. Unfortunately, the ending comes too abruptly, and many in the audience are left shaking their heads. Bottom line, Wallace Shawn is a great thinker. I just wish his playwriting could match his intellect."