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Everybody

From 175 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent

About the show

Signature Theatre presents the world premiere of Obie winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' new drama, a modern riff on one of the oldest plays in the English language. More…

Directed by Lila Neugebauer, this exploration of the 15th-century morality play 'Everyman' follows Everybody (chosen from the cast by lottery at each performance) as he or she travels down a road toward life's greatest mystery.


Member Reviews (175)

MEMBERS SAY:

Clever, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent
78
Avg Score

80
Delightful, Quirky, Clever, Funny, Refreshing

See it if Medieval morality play redone as a 4th-wall breaking comedy. Questions about how death gives meaning to life are presented brightly.

Don't see it if You would not enjoy characters that represent abstract ideas. You want something deeper. This is a light fun time.

88
Absorbing, Resonant

See it if you want to see a new version re:" the meaning of life" There are some nice lighting effects and set design.

Don't see it if if you wish to avoid a dark, dark play fear of death fear of the unknown etc. Note; playbills distributed after the performance

76
Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you follow the playwright, curious how the morality play "Everyman" is adapted for modern audiences, seeing actors switch roles each night

Don't see it if you expect a lot of meat in your story, have forgotten a lot about "Everyman," not interested in archetype characters,

91
Great writing, Profound, Dizzying, Immersive, Existential

See it if you think you've seen it all. You've likely never seen a show quite like this. The method of storytelling is fresh and not formulaic.

Don't see it if you don't like to be preached to (heavy moral here about how to live life) or have a bad neck (the action happens all around you).

Also The actors learn what parts they'll be playing during a lottery that t... Read more Read less

5
Boring, Overlong, Disappointing, Excruciating, Poor writing

See it if you want to see a Playwriting 101 project (that should have received an "F") given a full-blown production.

Don't see it if you have admired some of Jacobs-Jenkins past work like "An Octoroon," or "Gloria."

Also "Everybody" only runs 90 minutes, but you feel as if you have been in ... Read more Read less

75
Great staging, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like unique staging and a new take on a 15th century morality play about death. Do we have to die alone? Interesting characters appear.

Don't see it if You like formula drama and want your ancient plays performed as written. Do not like the lead actor chosen at random before the play begins.

Also There is a lot... Read more Read less

65
Clever, Great staging, Refreshing, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if you want to see the latest effort of one of our most talented young playwrights and if you like gimmicks, e.g. random assignment of roles.

Don't see it if you don't like symbolic characters, meta-theatrical devices and crave something that appeals more to the emotions than the intellect.

Also It's clever and has its moments, but I think the people in the product... Read more Read less

85
Clever, Funny, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Meta

See it if you want to see a fresh and bold play based on an old morality story that will make you ponder, laugh, and be overall entertained.

Don't see it if you hate unconventional staging which forces a lot of head turning and self-referential/meta elements. Preachy depending on interpretation.

79
Clever, Intelligent, Profound, Indulgent, Dizzying

See it if you want to experience the work of playwright Jenkins. He's a genius and should be heard though not his best play.

Don't see it if you are looking for a conventional play. This is not for you.

76
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny

See it if an unusual play based on 19th cent. mortality play, where man is in dialogue with actors playing concepts such as Friendship & Stuff

Don't see it if didactic although sometimes dialogues are often in humorous skit-like form but sometimes long-winded; you are expecting quality of Octoroon

Also I Think this does have potential & I was often entertained. I found th... Read more Read less

61
Gimmicky, Disappointing, Boring, Slow, Great lighting

See it if you're young and haven't fully developed your thoughts about what living, and dying, is all about.

Don't see it if Your philosophy of life is intact and you're not impressed with gimmickry on stage.

65
Creative

See it if You enjoy the options beyond the traditional, the proscenium staged straight plays. This is exciting for a while in its playing with forms.

Don't see it if You know what a play is, that is what you paid for, and that is what you want. Stop with all this running around breaking the fourth wall.

83
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Unusual,, Best skeletons ever

See it if You are willing to feel a bit at sea at first. You like more experimental forms of theater. You too ponder death and how we get there.

Don't see it if You like clear story lines, characters with real everyday names. In this play they curtain only opens for the last few minutes. What gives

25
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Dizzying, Excruciating

See it if you must, but I suggest that you tear up your tickets, then burn them, and then bury the ashes somewhere out of site and mind.

Don't see it if love the theater. Seeing it will darken your soul FOREVER!!!

68
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting

See it if Unique concept of having actors pick from lottery balls to determine who will play the main role at each performance.Cast excels.

Don't see it if You prefer traditional plot.Action often took place all over the venue,making it necessary for audience to turn around to view the actors

82
Ambitious, Dark, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Hilarious

See it if Appreciate non traditional staging and casting. You are interested in morality plays and tales. Are excited Byrne element of chance.

Don't see it if You are afraid of the dark or surprising lighting effects. You need a linear of predictable play. Bothered by thoughts of death.

Also Loved the notion of every cast being determined at the beginning of ev... Read more Read less

85
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You enjoy being comically entertained during the show and are willing to think a bit afterward

Don't see it if You want to walk out of show and think you've "seen" everything the show offers without additional thought required.

Also The lottery for the actors parts, although an interesting concept with... Read more Read less

82
Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You want to see one of the great upcoming playwrights exercise his writing chops in a thoughtful provoking play

Don't see it if you are looking for a laugh riot comedy

82
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Dizzying

See it if you like to see plays that take really large swings and writers who know how to make messiness entertaining (instead of stultifying)

Don't see it if you don't have tolerance for imperfection in the pursuit of originality. You can't bear gimmicks, even when expertly deployed.

78
Great staging, Allegorical, Unusual structure, Ancient meets modern, Rough but interesting

See it if You're up to be challenged by new, ambitious work with a few flaws among the great stuff. Wonderful performances and great set.

Don't see it if You don't like overtly preachy moralistic tales, you're looking for a conventional plot and character development, you can't forgive flaws

94
Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You're in the mood for something that is less of a story and more of a thoughtful meditation on life.

Don't see it if You're easily distracted or have trouble listening as much as watching. There are several scenes in pitch black so you need to pay attention

Also The version of the performance I saw had everyone playing the roles I ... Read more Read less

79
Ambitious, Great writing, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like BJJ; you want to see an experimental, challenging reworking of a very old theme: how to live while facing death.

Don't see it if you like only traditional, predictable theater. The staging is unusual and mostly very successful, but the show is overlong.

92
Immersive, Edgy, Entertaining, Didactic, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd like to see a successful attempt of an experimental theater concept.

Don't see it if you wouldnt enjoy twisting your upper body from your seat to keep up with the action.

65
Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy your play like a choose-your-own-adventure book! How incredible for the cast & audience to have a different experience each show!

Don't see it if You aren't willing to listen, pay close attention to detail and allow your self to be a part of the experience of Everybody.

75
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Ambitious, Serio-comical

See it if you can laugh at the prospect of man's final journey.

Don't see it if the subject of death is off-putting.


February 21st, 2017
"Much painstaking rehearsal and synchronization of cues, for the tech crew as well as the performers, has gone into 'Everybody.' Yet it still feels like a work in progress, waiting to be sharpened into focus...Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins has made a virtue of his anxieties about identity in meta-theatrical...
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February 21st, 2017
"Apart from the cast’s charm and visual coups engineered by director Lila Neugebauer, the 100-minute experiment feels overlong and talky...Lord knows we don’t need a 'faithful' revival of this theatrical fossil, but I’m not sure this slangy, digressive gloss adds much substance. Stranded between...
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February 21st, 2017
“A terrific production…The play is trenchant, certainly, and often quite moving…By the end, despite Jacobs-Jenkins’s tricks and Neugebauer’s staging savvy ‘Everybody’ offers only its destabilization, and a decidedly weak-tea moral…That’s the problem with genre writing: Most of what can be said m...
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February 21st, 2017
"Despite clever moments, 'Everybody' proves a trial to sit through...For all its artistic ambitions, 'Everybody' turns out to be confusing and disjointed, filled with stylistic diversions that more often than not prove underwhelming...The revolving casting feels like a gimmick and has some unfort...
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