Gently Down the Stream
Closed 1h 40m
Gently Down the Stream
79

Gently Down the Stream NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(217 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
10%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

About the Show

The Public Theater presents Tony winner Harvey Fierstein in this world premiere drama about Beau, an expat pianist living in London who meets Rufus, a young lawyer, at the dawn of the Internet dating revolution.

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Member Reviews (217)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
75
Touching, Unambitious, Mildly funny, Clunky, Engaging

See it if you like livingroom drama-dies about (male) gay lives, past and present. Some moving moments, but the action mostly feels artificial.

Don't see it if you want sophisticated structure. GDS cheats, using monologues of "video" sessions and a toast. And it doesn't miss the baby trick (awwww). Read more

539 Reviews | 1873 Followers
77
Great writing, Slow, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if I appreciated the work as a whole. Performances were absorbing. That said, it was slow. Listening to Harvey's voice for 100 minute is TOUGH.

Don't see it if Gay-themed shows bother you. Shows with heavy monologues bother you. Harvey Fierstein bothers you.

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
67
Indulgent, Great set, Disappointing

See it if You are a fan of Harvey Fierstein. Very nice, realistic set.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Harvey Fierstein.

510 Reviews | 129 Followers
75
Intelligent, Uneven writing, Moving, Great set, Slow

See it if you want to see a riveting Harvey when performing his well crafted monologues; you're interested in gay history and a glimpse into the past.

Don't see it if you want all three characters to be as well defined and well written as that of the main character; you enjoy a play with a sense of drama.

504 Reviews | 56 Followers
74
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Funny

See it if You want a thought provoking play dealing with the history of the gay movement.

Don't see it if You don't want to see another play about the history of the gay movement.

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
80
Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You're a Harvey Fierstein fan as he really carries the show. Poignant drama - what do you do when a man proposes to you, etc?

Don't see it if You can't listen very closely as some monologues can be confusing & lengthy.

431 Reviews | 127 Followers
75
Great staging, Relevant, Cliched, Slow, If you luv harvey

See it if you enjoy yet another show about the problems of gay men of a certain age and their young lovers; the only reason 2 C this show is Harvey.

Don't see it if you can't stand Fierstein's scratchy voice doing a passable New Orleans accent; you are bored to death of gay issues. Read more

432 Reviews | 93 Followers
80
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

See it if You want to see Harvey Fierstein live, being awesome. A solid story with a real heart and awesome set.

Don't see it if You need things to move quickly. It's a gentle trek down the stream and you have to enjoy the view.

Critic Reviews (29)

The New York Times
April 5th, 2017

"For a show about the transmission of gay culture, casting the creator of 'Torch Song Trilogy'...means that your lead actor’s baggage (in the best sense of the term) becomes an integral part of the story...This may all sound like peripheral information, but it’s impossible to ignore as it places the audience in a hall of mirrors that refracts and amplifies the new play’s modest charms. The show’s allure derives almost entirely from Fierstein’s fairly restrained, impeccably timed performance."
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Time Out New York
April 5th, 2017

“Since Beau is played by the marvelous Fierstein, the time we spend in his history is engaging—at least until Sherman places him, Forrest Gump–like, at the scene of a real-life 1970s tragedy. Will younger audiences to whom this cultural-preservationist work seems tacitly oriented—much of it will be familiar to older ones—find it interesting? I’d like to imagine so. But the play is essentially passive. It doesn’t sink or swim; for better or worse, it bobs in currents of the past.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 5th, 2017

“Sadly unconvincing…The effervescent, compulsively ingratiating Fierstein is hardly credible as a dour downer…Hampering both performances further is Sherman’s dialogue, so stilted it lurches…At least the bits with Beau and Rufus bear some resemblance to drama, albeit a highly attenuated and bald form of it. What these bits alternate with is worse…Even at 100 minutes seems to take longer to rehash the history than it took to live it in the first place.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 5th, 2017

“A play rich in moments of pathos and humor…It's always wonderful to see Fierstein back on stage. But it's hard to shake the feeling that ‘Gently Down the Stream’ might have been a more satisfying play without him...Sherman's writing becomes pedantic as he shoehorns in chunks of historical perspective…The play is always engaging, and there's no doubting the sincerity of its intent. But it's too much of a structurally awkward, speechy patchwork to be dramaturgically convincing.”
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Variety
April 5th, 2017

“A tender, funny and unconventional romance…Directed with delicacy and grace by Sean Mathias...Fierstein offers one of his best—and most finely measured—performances...Not discounting how he lands every laugh with perfect delivery, Fierstein is most effective in his haunting monologues, especially in his benediction that speaks to remembering the past—its joys and its sorrows—while ultimately embracing a more hopeful and gentle future."
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Deadline
April 5th, 2017

“‘Gently’ is a kind of memory play and a work of prodigious challenge to the actor playing Beau, who has several long, beautifully wrought narrative speeches. Under Sean Mathias’ exquisite direction this enormously moving play is a reminder, as if it were needed, of the depthless well of Fierstein’s talent…Here he is, acting up a storm with gentle sensitivity and passion.”
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Theatermania
April 5th, 2017

“Works like these have a tendency to feel clumsy, with the hand and opinions of the author often apparent in heavy, broad strokes. Admittedly, ‘Gently Down the Stream’ walks a tightrope between didactic and dramatic. But overall, it's a warm, lovely play about opening your heart, and Sean Mathias' production is gentle and absorbing. The same can be said of Fierstein's performance, his best ever…His quietly devastating, beautiful turn gives the play its gravity and its heart.”
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BroadwayWorld
April 12th, 2017

“Harvey Fierstein gives an exceptionally warm, tender and dramatically textured performance…Gabriel Ebert has a playful charm and a casual sexiness as Rufus…As their relationship changes, performance artist Harry (appealingly cocky Christopher Sears) enters the picture…Director Sean Mathias' sensitively played production is set in designer McLane's depiction of Beau's comfortably stately flat, with towering bookshelves and framed vintage photos lending a sense of history.”
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