Evening at the Talk House
Closed 1h 40m
Evening at the Talk House
58

Evening at the Talk House NYC Reviews and Tickets

58%
(162 Ratings)
Positive
32%
Mixed
40%
Negative
28%
Members say
Confusing, Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

About the Show

The New Group presents two-time Tony winner Matthew Broderick in Wallace Shawn's drama about a group of friends gathering to celebrate a past theatrical endeavor in a dystopian future. 

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Show-Score Member Reviews (162)

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55 Reviews | 12 Followers
61
Absorbing, Confusing, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy good performances by quality actors in a confusing show. Many in the audience weren't sure at the end what happened.

Don't see it if You don't like extraordinarily talky dramas. Matthew Broderick gives an opening monolog that lasts for many minutes and "sets the stage".

184 Reviews | 377 Followers
60
Disappointing, Slow, Boring

See it if If you area fan of any of the highly talented cast & must see them perform on stage regardless of material.

Don't see it if Are easily bored or are expecting an exciting play.

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
60
Confusing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Slow, Good acting

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

216 Reviews | 911 Followers
60
Confusing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Great acting

See it if You are open to a bizarre post-theatre, dystopian world; enjoy an ensemble piece on an intimate setting

Don't see it if You want a clear story or to fully understand the themes; a well crafted production or an escape from the horrors in the world Read more

416 Reviews | 66 Followers
60
Indulgent, Slow, Challenging, Dull, Good acting

See it if you want to see an ensemble piece that appears to be theatre motivated but turns highly political.

Don't see it if you want a clear plot or some kind of message with no pretense. There's a lot of wasted talent on that stage/area.

349 Reviews | 57 Followers
58
Pretentious, Vapid, Slow, Uneven acting

See it if Dystopian, yes, but distasteful as well. Lots of "inside" references, none of which make much sense. The plot wherein a person's life is ...

Don't see it if ..valued by his standing in television success is revealed in the first 25 minutes and then you wait for the inevitable. A puff piece.

99 Reviews | 21 Followers
55
Ambitious, Funny, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if if you love Wallace Shawn's intellectual talkiness and some lovely performances from a stellar cast riffing on the importance of the arts

Don't see it if you are NOT into talky verbose plays where nothing happens and arguments are diffuse in an overlong intermissionless takfest

414 Reviews | 70 Followers
55
Slow, Confusing, Ambitious, Disappointing, Verbose

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

Critic Reviews (46)

The New York Times
February 16th, 2017

"'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."
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Time Out New York
February 16th, 2017

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 17th, 2017

"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."
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Deadline
February 17th, 2017

"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."
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New York Daily News
February 16th, 2017

"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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 16th, 2017

"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."
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AM New York
February 16th, 2017

"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."
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NY1
February 16th, 2017

"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."
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