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Evening at the Talk House

From 163 member  reviews
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.  More…

In 'Evening at the Talk House,' everyone's invited to join the company of Robert's (Broderick) underappreciated masterpiece, 'Midnight in a Clearing with Moon and Stars,' at a get-together to commemorate its 10th anniversary. To recall that wonderful creative atmosphere which they all miss so much, Nellie (Jill Eikenberry) will host this celebration at their old haunt, the Talk House (which, despite everything, remains open). Remember when you felt you could do anything, when there was still nothing to fear? Yes, things have changed a bit, haven't they? Please come. We need each other.

Member Reviews (163)


Confusing, Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

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

Ambitious, Disappointing, Quirky

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

Also Broderick uses the 2 sided seating to perfection. Some others do as we... Read more Read less

Great staging, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid

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.

Dizzying, Confusing, Indulgent, Excruciating, Quirky

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

Cliched, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow, Boring

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.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

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.

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

Also difficult to have appropriate feelings about the dystopian world when ... Read more Read less

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.

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

Also Ok, I originally gave this a 42 but increased it to a 60 - This play p... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy watching paint dry.

Don't see it if you are expecting something other than sitting and watching paint dry. You will be SADLY DISAPPOINTED, SADLY!!!!

Also What ever happened to Matthew Broderick's stage acting? He was so damn... Read more Read less

Confusing, Slow, Great acting, Indulgent, Challenging

See it if you like absurdist (& challenging) theater on dystopian themes such as Ionesco's RHINOCEROS, Genet's THE BALCONY, Pinter's THE DUMBWAITER.

Don't see it if you want a clear story, action, or theater that won't leave you confused. It's good acting, but a slow and often not-engaging piece.

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Thought-provoking

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.

Also Not sure I would go a second time, but I thoroughly enjoyed this produ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Confusing, Indulgent, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you're a fan of Messrs. Shawn or Broderick—or nostalgic about LA Law's fab couple (Tucker, Eikenberry); very odd concept that never gels.

Don't see it if you want a cohesive story or to connect with the material, or are averse to dystopia genre or wary of feeling clueless for 100 minutes.

Also I wanted to like or at least grasp what this play was about; I've seen... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like to hear people talk. I honestly thought Matthew Broderick was a pod person after Sylvia, but he returned to planet earth in this.

Don't see it if You're looking for a big revelation. It's a lot of talk, and can be entertaining, but doesn't add up to much.

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.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like a great cast and don't care what the play is about. You enjoy mingling with the actors before the play begins.

Don't see it if You don't like dystopian plays.

Confounding, Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Mercury fur: senior citizens

See it if You already purchased a subscription to The New Group for Sweet Charity and this was included. Honestly, just let the ticket go to waste.

Don't see it if You're expecting Matthew Broderick to become engaging again or there to be an interesting take on post-apocalyptic life in the theatre.

Also Wallace Shawn attempts to build this post-apocalyptic world but you ha... Read more Read less

Banal, Cliched, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you have patience for indulgence

Don't see it if you want plays that make sense and have something to say.

Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you are a huge fan of any of the cast who are very good.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play with a coherent plot. It was only 100 minutes but it seemed like an eternity.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Profound, Slow

See it if like Wallace Shawn's writing; want a semi-comedic, dark look at the near future with a very good cast; staged so you feel like part of show

Don't see it if don't like Matthew Broderick (I don't, but he's ok here), want a real plot; the script is verbose; there's alot of talking

Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing, Indulgent

See it if you have absolutely nothing better to do. There is nothing here to recommend. The play is drivel, the acting tedious and no meaning apparent

Don't see it if you care about theater and expect craft or meaning for your time spent. What a waste of acting talent

Banal, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to mingle with great cast who serve beverages and food prior to show.

Don't see it if you are looking for a plot or to be entertained

Also The cast was great but the show was boring and tedious. Difficult to f... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if You want to feel a part of a show & you enjoy seeing pros in a small theater.

Don't see it if You want a straightforward plot or likable characters

Slow, Relevant, Disappointing, Confusing, Talky

See it if you can attend a talk back afterwards that illuminates the intention behind the show (which was otherwise lost); you like a serious subject

Don't see it if you are bored by monologues or are seeking a show with variation in emotional expression with highs and lows - this is more one note

Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Resonant

See it if I found this play fascinating and was totally absorbed by it. It worked on many levels : I especially loved the sinister doings just below

Don't see it if the surface interactions. The New Group gave it a fine production w/ Matthew Broderick plowing charmingly through gobs of text. 8 actors A++

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 fo...
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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 cry...
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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...
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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 th...
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