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Gloria: A Life
Gramercy
82

Gloria: A Life NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(211 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

About the Show

This world premiere biographical drama chronicles the life of iconic feminist Gloria Steinem. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus ("Waitress," "Pippin").

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Member Reviews (211)

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78
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you want to know more about Gloria in a fun and creative setting. Great homage.

Don't see it if this can be a bit "too" informational and could use a tad more heart. Read more

76
Interesting, Informative, Relevant

See it if You are interested in Steinam or the women's movement. Feels more like a live action documentary than a typical play.

Don't see it if You want something light or fun. It definitely held my interest and I learned a lot about her but it's not the most entertaining of shows.

Critic Reviews (24)

October 18th, 2018

“Something powerful is happening at the Daryl Roth Theater — but it isn’t so much the play as the audience...A paint-by-numbers portrait of Gloria Steinem...For those who already know the story... from Steinem’s memoir...the play itself — as opposed to the experience of it — does not have much new to add...We get something of a historical pageant...These powerful stories get short shrift in Paulus’ staging...This gives ‘Gloria: A Life’ the wedged-in, medley feel of a jukebox musical.”
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October 18th, 2018

“During the bioplay ‘Gloria: A Life’, Steinem quotes the oft-cited maxim that ‘the personal is political'...When ‘Gloria’ works, it’s when the political feels personal...Judged as a piece of drama, Mann’s retelling of Steinem’s story is unexciting and by-the-numbers; as a piece of performance, Lahti’s portrait seems both sleepy and stiff. But 'Gloria' is not really supposed to be either drama or traditional performance. Mann and Paulus envision it as an old-fashioned consciousness-raising ritual.”
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October 19th, 2018

“’Gloria: A Life’ isn’t a straightforward bio-play. It’s a unique, deeply moving performance created in the hopeful, conversational spirit of its extraordinary subject, an act of looking back in order to look forward...For some, ‘Gloria: A Life’ might be a visit to an old friend, a love letter, an affirmation, a manifesto, an encouragement, or an experience of catalyzation or catharsis. It’s all these things, and it’s also a lesson.”
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October 18th, 2018

“Directed in the round by Paulus and put together by an almost entirely female creative team, the production is not as theatrically audacious as its subject was politically daring. What it does is give many audience members a release valve in our tumultuous times...Lahti gives an affecting, calmly determined portrayal; it's hard to think of a better guide than this particular actor through the life of someone who has embodied the fight for women's rights for half a century.”
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October 21st, 2018

"Arguably the most potent, informative, emotionally riveting and ultimately uplifting theatre piece currently playing in New York...In one sense, the play comes off as a personal appearance. With the audience seated arena style in an oval surrounding the playing area the history-making activist talks about America's current political landscape...As directed with the typically strong hand of Diane Paulus...there is also a sense of story theatre to the proceedings."
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November 8th, 2018

“A bio show/love-in/town hall meeting/therapy session conducted by the magnetic Lahti in the guise of...Gloria Steinem...It's a straightforward evening of show-and-tell, but, for all its seeming artlessness, it vividly conveys why the feminist movement was necessary, and why Steinem was so central to it...’Gloria: A Life’ captures the sheer exhilaration of the discovery, made by millions of women, that they could be powerful, too. Paulus' breezy direction keeps things lively.”
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October 18th, 2018

“If you’re in need of a little inspiration. some reassurance that the world is not the total dumpster fire that Fox News would have us believe...’Gloria: A Life’ is just the ticket...Less a bioplay and more a crash course in feminism...Mann never makes it feel like we’re getting a history lesson....After the story comes...a 20-minute discussion...Whether the show needs this particular portion probably depends on your personal taste.”
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November 13th, 2018

"The play succeeds in part because it takes such an upbeat view of Steinem and her career. Early in the play, the character proclaims herself to be a 'hope-aholic'-and her stalwart optimism proves contagious. Yes, challenges to women's rights have been rife in the last couple of years. But when-at the top of the play-we see projected TV clips depicting the cultural pigeonholing of 1950's women as wives and mothers and little more, it lends our current situation a welcome perspective."
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October 18th, 2018

“Diane Paulus has staged Emily Mann's wonderful play about the long and influential life of Gloria Steinem to create an experience that's more like having a conversation than watching a play...Christine Lahti not only convincingly inhabits the titular role but is a reasonably convincing Steinem look-alike...Mann's script is stuffed with countless other both humorous and moving defining moments in Steinem's personal and professional life."
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October 19th, 2018

“Mann’s ‘Gloria – a Life’ is as thought-provoking, educational, inspirational, and surprising as is Ms. Steinem herself. Although I occasionally questioned Mann’s style, her subject was so compelling, I was rapt, riveted...Lahti looks so much like Steinem’s younger self they could be twins...The evening unfolds as a series of ‘Aha!’ moments. With the help of six remarkable actors who comprise the ensemble...Gloria tells us about, and takes us through those moments.”
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December 8th, 2018

"A staged biography...Made flesh and bones by the strong and forceful portrayal by Christine Lahti...Powerfully written in celebrity documentary style structure, 'Gloria' is glad to show her flaws and fears as badges of honor and lessons learned...The piece feels extremely relevant and particularly educational...Intellectually invigorated throughout, I sometimes found myself emotionally put-off struggling to find depth within its historic backdrop."
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T
November 29th, 2018

"Under the astute direction of Diane Paulus, the two-hour multimedia piece fuses docudrama, theatre and talking circle, to review the life of Ms. Steinem...We learn from the past, and when hearing and seeing what this incredible woman has accomplished, we believe and comprehend that one person can make a difference...This is not an ordinary piece of theater but is certainly a relevant dramatic presentation, considering the power of the current Me Too movement."
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C
October 18th, 2018

“Here, despite the savvy and inventive direction of Diane Paulus and an extremely appealing central performance by Christine Lahti (aided by six excellent ensemble members juggling almost countless roles), that is the case. Indeed, one wishes that Mann had been a little less concerned about hitting all the expected notes, even briefly (Steinem's short ‘undercover’ stint as a Playboy Bunny, the founding of Ms. Magazine, et al.) and given us a bit more of Steinem's mostly untold story.”
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November 7th, 2018

“Lahti…is perfect casting for Steinem…For all its historical interest, and its red-hot relevance to those invested in the ongoing women's movement, ‘Gloria: A Life’ is more a docudrama than a drama, a history lesson about a fascinating, important, still living woman…There are moments of sadness, moments of triumph, and moments of laughter, but little dramatic tension…'Gloria'… is like a sermon to the choir-uplifting, informative, and excellently delivered - but…not entirely lacking in dullness.”
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October 21st, 2018

"A moving, enlightening, and inspiring show...It’s half storytelling, half consciousness-raising — a support group in trying times...The seven members of the cast are storytellers, telling us the stories of Steinem’s life but also as many or more memorable events in the women’s movement that she witnessed...It’s not that 'Gloria' spares us details of what women were (and are) up against. But 'Gloria' has the clear aim of bucking up the audience."
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November 9th, 2018

"Informative and motivational, as well as entertaining...Steinem brings the play’s impassioned views up to date, including opposition to Trump and the ongoing threats to a woman’s right to abortion...The entire play is fueled by the charm of Lahti’s candid performance, and the production adds up to a huge activist rally. On the night I attended this was reinforced in the post-play discussion...The chat session, at moments like a revival meeting, was frequently interrupted by applause."
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November 3rd, 2018

“Mann and Paulus clearly adore their subject and revere even more the kind of we’re-all-in-this-together activism that Steinem has long championed...While there are few personal revelations about Steinem in this show, you will learn about the debt she feels she owes to the women of color...There is a kind of preaching-to-the-choir quality about 'Gloria'...but, in these anxious times, sometimes the choir needs to sing—and to be listened to.”
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T
October 18th, 2018

"An uncritical but still inspiring survey of the feminist icon’s life...Less a piece of theatre and more an act of communion and consciousness-raising...Yes, the excellent, charismatic Christine Lahti skillfully embodies Steinem in the play’s first act...But the play comes to an even more emotional and forceful life in its second half...The first half is rousing to watch, but rarely willing to burrow deeper and more critically into its subject...A highly curated and selective positive biography."
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October 18th, 2018

“A talking circle for the resistance is happening at the Daryl Roth Theatre...The sweep of Steinem’s legacy is the subject of Mann’s play, directed with an earnest warmth by Paulus...Mann’s story rides the swell and crest of second wave feminism...If 'Gloria' presents an uncomplicated view of an undoubtedly complex woman, such freedom from ambivalence works to unite viewers behind a common cause that’s urgent as ever. ”
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October 18th, 2018

"More akin to the format of an academic lecture, political rally, and talkback...Played with personable commitment and understated emotion by Lahti, the overall mood of the eponymous figure, and the tone...is retrospective and deferential...If you’re a longtime fan of the feminist icon, 'Gloria: A Life' will come as a welcome tribute to her contributions and legacy, though one offering few insights or information that you don’t already know or remember."
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October 19th, 2018

“Intelligent, agenda-heavy biodrama...Lahti has perfected the look and, more importantly, the intensity and fervor of the activist at the forefront of the women's rights movement...An ensemble of six versatile actresses portrays many of the women who joined in the trailblazing...You learn fascinating bits about Steinem along the way, from interesting to sad to surprising...All of this leads to the final talking circle, which is clearly this production's raison d'être.”
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October 18th, 2018

"Mann’s well-crafted play — which is equal parts biography, history lesson, TED talk and call to action — encourages just the sort of cathartic engagement that was on display with audience members...The show’s real power, though, comes in Steinem’s — and Lahti’s — ability to give voice to the deep-seated feelings of powerlessness and frustration and exploitation that many women feel — and to channel those feelings into meaningful action."
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October 29th, 2018

“Lahti captures Steinem with poise and grace as she narrates the personal and political story of Steinem’s life...Directed by Emmy Award–winner Paulus, who is known for pushing physical boundaries, the theater experience is intimate and informal...The show is an opportunity to celebrate not only Steinem’s life but black women...A self-proclaimed ‘hope-aholic’, Steinem’s story is sure to inspire both men and women to take action for a better future.“
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October 19th, 2018

“A stage experience that’s one part theater, one part consciousness-raising group therapy session...’Gloria: A Life’ offers an experience that promises to be a more intimate recollection of Steinem’s journey...Act I present the events that would come to define Steinem’s life...Act II...Becomes a real talking circle...In which attendees can air their feelings: their reactions to what they’ve seen or their grievances with the state of the world and the paltry progress for women within it.”
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