Already closed | 1h 40m | East Village

Gently Down the Stream

From 217 member  reviews
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. More…

After a life spent recovering from the disappointment and hurt of loving men in a world that refused to allow it, Beau is determined to keep his expectations low with Rufus. But Rufus comes from a new generation of gay men who believe happiness is as much their right as anyone else’s. What Beau assumed would be just another fling grows into one of the most surprising and defining relationships of his life.

Member Reviews (217)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining
Avg Score

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).

Also Harvey F's voice is more gravel-ly than ever and his accent comes and ... Read more Read less

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Also Although I enjoyed this show, it was old hat an a bit tedious. The set... Read more Read less

Gorgeous set, Understated, Heartbreaking

See it if you enjoy stories of non traditional families & love Harvey. He's especially wonderful & subtle here. The rest of the cast is also stellar.

Don't see it if you're bothered by homosexual themes and you're expecting a tidy happy ending. I saw it early in previews - I expect it to tighten up a bit.

Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if I enjoyed this show, and I liked its message - that gay peoples' lives were often tragic on times past, but are not so now. Positive.

Don't see it if Harvey Fierstein's voice can be grating. It took awhile to make its point.

Great acting, Great staging, Indulgent, Great writing, Dated

See it if A "History of the Gay Man in the Latter Part of the 20th Century" is fascinating to you. Harvey Fierstein excels.

Don't see it if the mysterious fact that the lead character is like Zelig or Gump, injected in every gay crisis annoys you

Relevant, Didactic

See it if you are interested in the gay rights history and to see excellent performances from Gabriel Ebert and Harvey.

Don't see it if you would rather get the message by seeing the characters evolve and interact rather than being preached at.

Bittersweet and beautiful, Ruminative, Touching, Affirming, Great writing

See it if Wonderful essay on the clash of generations in the evolution of gay acceptance. Beau cannot escape the anger & hurt of his experiences in...

Don't see it if ...the 50's-90's, young Rufus only knows today's acceptance. Best Harvey Fierstein ever in remarkable monologue sections. Really special.

Harvey fierstein, Moving, Poignant

See it if you want to see a moving story of a gay couples relationship over a number of years. Harvey Fierstein's character's past is heart breaking.

Don't see it if would like a comedy. Don't like gay themes.

Disappointing, Cliched, Great singing

See it if Want to see Harvey on stage

Don't see it if Want more substance. The monologues were distracting.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to be challenged , entertained , and educated at the same time by the impeccable Harvey Fierstein

Don't see it if You want to avoid thinking about LGBT issues

Absorbing, Riveting, Romantic, Masterful, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a moving piece of theater.

Don't see it if aren't comfortable with allowing people to be themselves - faults and all.

Also BRAVO to Martin Sherman for a BEAUTIFULLY written play. BRAVO to Harve... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Entertaining, Important history told, Harvey is a treasure, Relevant

See it if You love Harvey. Are interested in gay history told frpm a personal perspective.

Don't see it if Are offended by gay storylines. You don't like storytelling wrapped in a love story.

Also This show grew on me through the hour and forty minutes. The wedding s... Read more Read less

Romantic, Slow, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you've any interest in the history of gay life in America, or just want to see two people change together in love over time.

Don't see it if a mostly solemn (and sweet) play that leapfrogs through time and doesn't rely on happy endings isn't your cuppa tea.

Also Although Fierstein's monologues were the most powerful, I found the de... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if Harvey Fierstein. Truth.

Don't see it if Prudish and insensitive to the personal lives of others.

Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if 4 wonderful ensemble exploring gay history in beautifully staged and well acted intimate production ; Fierstein shines in dreamlike monologu

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with long monologue rather than pure theatrical explication - and gay intimacy

Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Harvey Fierstein and/or you enjoy a heartfelt, moving story.

Don't see it if are not in to plays, drama or are looking for a lighthearted time at the theater.

Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if you love Harvey Fierstein; you like plays involving gay men; you like plays that deal with past problems of the gay community

Don't see it if you don't like Harvey Fierstein - you must like him or you will not like the play; you need a play that zips right along

Poetic, Extraorinary performances, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Beautiful set

See it if you're interested in gay history or are a Harvey Fierstein fan. One forgets what a versatile talent he is. The entire cast is superb.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy laughing and crying in the same production or are completely turned off by plays about gay men. Otherwise, it's beautiful.

Absorbing, Funny, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if for a moving & important look back at gay history via a touching (if not fully realized) relationship. And any chance you get to see Harvey!

Don't see it if you dislike monologues - there are many - or want something frothy and light. it's quite funny, but very serious too.

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 perspe...
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