Final Follies
Closed 2h 0m
Final Follies
77

Final Follies NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(169 Reviews)
Positive
81%
Mixed
14%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great writing

About the Show

A uniquely curated selection of three one-act plays by celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney.

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Member Reviews (169)

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80
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Romantic, Edgy

See it if 3 satires full of little twists. Gurney punctures your expectations while tickling your funny bone. Romantic yearning triumphs.

Don't see it if You don’t want to go on a journey outside the cultural norm. The second play drags a bit, and wasn’t as funny as the first and third.

75
Disappointing, Great acting, Quirky, Resonant, Clever

See it if Despite crackerjack comedic actors (esp Aidem & Marek) aided by Saint's slick direction, these one-acts about WASP mores only shine dimly

Don't see it if The professionalism of the evening only heightens the feeling of this being sub-par Gurney All three playlets feel like stylish rough drafts

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
October 9th, 2018

“The three plays...allow Gurney fans a rare chance to compare the playwright at the beginning and the end of his career. They have been directed, broadly but affectionately...’Final Follies’, which was finished only weeks before his death...is a charming benediction and farewell to the caste whose demise he chronicled so faithfully. The other offerings, first published in the 1960s, suggest a writer still clearing his throat in the process of finding his own voice.”
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Time Out New York
October 3rd, 2018

“’Final Follies’s' ap1peal is limited to those who enjoy watching male establishment types engage in vigorous back-slapping about questionable behavior...Saint plumps the program with two chestnuts from Gurney’s under-heralded salad days...Gurney makes the most of his deep knowledge of procedural folderol and preening male ego—themes that show no signs of falling out of date."
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The Observer
October 4th, 2018

"I must truthfully confess I found this compilation the second-rate output of a talented man on an off day with nothing better to do...A disappointing compromise, and not his finest work...The evening is a triptych of need, desire and stupidity that underscores the frustration of an author who unwisely surrendered to the charge of being 'passé' when he had nothing to prove, improve, or apologize for."
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Theatermania
October 2nd, 2018

“Served like a loosely themed sampler platter intended to add up to a meal. In terms of both quantity and quality of the performances, the evening is a perfectly satiating experience. Mustering an appetite for this kind of menu, however, is another matter...’The Love Course’ is by far the most entertaining of the three...You can't help but wish ‘The Love Course’, along with the rest of the fare, were slightly meatier.”
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Lighting & Sound America
October 11th, 2018

"If 'Final Follies' proves anything, it is that the one-act form wasn't the playwright's métier...These offerings consist of thin premises, lame jokes, and nothing much in the way of payoff...'The Rape of Bunny Stuntz': The saving grace of this smug, predictable piece is Deborah Rush, who makes Bunny into a solid satirical portrait of an upper-middle-class matron, complete with a melodious voice, come-hither-but-not-too-close expressions, and velvet-over-steel manner."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 2nd, 2018

“The first short play: Comes off as a bit of fluff...The two plays that follow pack more of a punch...Saint generally keeps things spinning at a rapid pace, especially with the more richly constructed 'Bunny Stutz' and the comical 'Love Course'. The best thing about the evening is the opportunity it presents for audiences...To get a sense of...his shorter works that manage both to puncture the upscale WASP world Gurney grew up in and to lament its passing."
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New York Stage Review
October 2nd, 2018

“In theory, the program is meant as a thoughtful tribute to a distinctive author. In actuality, it doesn’t work out well. None of these slim plays represent Gurney in his funniest or wisest modes...Saint gives the plays a tidy staging...Fostering an ominous edge to ‘The Rape of Bunny Stuntz’ might have lent that piece some needed dramatic weight, but there was little else that Saint could do with the flimsy others than to move them along quickly and lightly, which he ably does.”
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New York Stage Review
October 2nd, 2018

“The prolific playwright possessed a vastly underrated, and all-too-rare, ability to craft characters without caricature and comedy without condescendence...So it’s hard to be too terribly disappointed in Gurney’s ‘Final Follies’, an uneven but amusing triptych of something-old, something-new shorts. Even when Gurney was off his game, he still knew how to land a well-placed barb...Saint has set up his show like a relay: Start the race with your weakest runner, and finish with your strongest.”
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TheaterScene.net
October 10th, 2018

"It would be a pleasure to report that A.R. Gurney's last play entitled 'Final Follies' performed with two early works, is one of his best, but that is not the case. As directed by David Saint on a triple bill celebrating the work of this major satirist who died in 2017, this comedy is minor Gurney. In fact, part of the problem with this evening produced by Primary Stages is that Saint has used three separate acting styles, one for each of the plays, all of which are wrong for the material."
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Front Row Center
October 9th, 2018

“‘Final Follies’ felt like a draft of a great one-act to be and starts us off with ringing the clear-toned familiar Gurney bell of the demise of the WASP culture...The ambiguity of action in ‘The Rape of Bunny Stuntz’ leaves room for the audience to add their own lives to an interpretation, and the title refers to a life lived, as much as to an act committed...’The Love Course’, is a hilarious romp through the western literature of tragic love...An enjoyable evening."
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Exeunt Magazine
October 5th, 2018

"While the plays are not exactly subtle, they do prove an intriguingly timed look at Gurney’s dark, distinctive voice...The ensemble is strong, the laughs are all there, and the pacing is snappy. Still, it’s hard to not feel that, in throwing these three plays on stage without much perspective, Primary Stages has ultimately done Gurney a disservice. His plays are not relics, but a little mining is needed to hit on how they can live and breathe today."
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T
October 4th, 2018

"'The Love Course' is the most entertaining part of the evening, filled with exaggerated characters and unrealistic circumstances...The entire cast is more than competent under the careful direction of David Saint who moves the evening along at a steady pace. Saint does what he can with the new and antiquated scripts, as do the actors, but they all fall short of covering up the obvious flaws. Most of the work seems shallow, without substance, mostly because of weak character development."
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New York Theater
October 2nd, 2018

“At the time of Gurney’s death, he had written a new play, ‘Final Follies’...The theater has chosen to produce this short play with two of his earliest plays...These three plays are not Gurney at his best; they are not so much dramas as comic skits. But they are also not for the skittish – showing a mischievously blunt side of Gurney with which even some of his fans might not be familiar. If all three plays are implausible in the extreme, that seems to be largely the point.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
October 15th, 2018

“The program has its occasional pleasures, mainly because of several performances…I'm sorry to report, though, that neither Gurney's ironically titled final play nor those from his salad days is particularly memorable…For a play written so recently, 'Final Follies' has a curiously naïve, even dated quality…The best performance of all belongs to veteran Deborah Rush in the vapid 'The Rape of Bunny Stuntz.'…'Final Follies' does nothing to further polish A.R. Gurney's reputation.”
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Gotham Playgoer
October 2nd, 2018

“An evening of three of his one-act plays...Each satirizes one of his favorite targets: the decline of WASPdom, suburban ennui and academic shenanigans...The actors are all attuned to Gurney's sensibilities. Saint, a frequent collaborator of Gurney’s, directs with assurance...Two out of three isn’t bad. I think the evening would have been better without the second play, but it didn’t spoil things for me.”
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Off Off Online
October 5th, 2018

“If you thought you knew Gurney, you’re in for a bit of a surprise...His willingness to explore unfamiliar horizons is evident from the first of the one-acts, the eponymous ‘Final Follies’...’The Rape of Bunny Stuntz’...is an odd one...Then, finally, some top-flight Gurney—'The Love Course’...The other two titles aren’t up to this one, but the acting throughout is splendid. And if the three one-acts aren’t all keepers, mixed-bag Gurney is still better than none.”
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