God of Vengeance
Closed 2h 30m
God of Vengeance
79

God of Vengeance NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(22 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
27%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great acting

About the Show

After a successful run at La MaMa earlier this season, New Yiddish Rep restages its revival of Sholem Asch's famously controversial play in its original Yiddish with a new director. 

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (22)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
71
Absorbing, Great story, Thought-provoking, Cheap production

See it if Powerful story, some great actors. Great segue to Indecent. Great to imagine how shocking the story was for 1907.

Don't see it if This is not the same production rated by the NY Times. It was a very simple, very low budget version. Supertitles can be a bit distracting.

83
Masterful, Entertaining

See it if You want to experience a different culture and language (unless you're already fluent in Yiddish)

Don't see it if Don't like reading supertitles

Critic Reviews (18)

BroadwayWorld
March 24th, 2017

"'God of Vengeance' is a large, sprawling text, full of complex characters whose motives invite debate. In this, Asch's play embodies the best traditions of Judaism, along with the brokenness he sees in Judaism's most extreme forms....The New Yiddish Rep approaches the play with all the rigor and sensitivity of a Rabbinic scholar poring over a verse of the Talmud."
Read more

The New York Times
December 29th, 2016
For a previous production

"'God of Vengeance' holds the stage formidably in its own right, primarily for its forthright depiction of the love between Yankl’s teenage daughter and one of the women who work in the brothel....Deftly directed by Eleanor Reissa, who is terrific in the role of Yankl’s wife...The production is somewhat cramped on the small stage at LaMaMa and the contemporary setting adds nothing much to the play. But the cast’s commitment brings the work’s flashes of lyricism to powerful life."
Read more

AM New York
January 5th, 2017
For a previous production

"While the tone of 'God of Vengeance' is over the top by today’s standards, it is fascinating from a historical and cultural perspective. While the kiss scene may no longer be shocking, much of the play is still provocative. In spite of an uneven ensemble and limited production values, the New Yiddish Rep’s production makes for heated and compelling theater."
Read more

Theatermania
January 3rd, 2017
For a previous production

"Though Asch's characters tend to be one-dimensional, his intrepid takes on religion, societal mores, and the evil that men do, still resonate…Asch's story has a sensational quality to it that, when combined with melodramatic scenes, sometimes approaches the comical...Reissa gives a wonderfully nuanced performance…Reissa directs the play with some restraint, but the built-in histrionics can't help bursting into the open now and then."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
January 3rd, 2017
For a previous production

"Asch's dramaturgy is more than a little old-fashioned...and the play doesn't always get the help it needs from Reissa's direction. A particular disappointment is the Yekel of Shane Baker...Much better are Reissa...and Mandelbaum...Reissa has chosen to stage the production in modern dress, which is surely a mistake...Whatever this production's shortcomings, New Yiddish Rep has done us a favor by producing 'God of Vengeance,' and anyone who has seen 'Indecent' will want to check it out."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
December 31st, 2016
For a previous production

“Surprisingly, Eleanor Reissa's production for New Yiddish Rep has made some debatable choices which damage the power of the play. First of all and most obviously, although not a word has been updated, the characters wear contemporary clothing and use modern objects like headphones, a plastic umbrella and platform shoes. Since there are references to opening a horse stable and the sexual mores of 1907 have changed considerably, this is both distracting and confusing.”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
December 31st, 2016
For a previous production

"Even today, Asch's play is relevant and its core ideas are striking. This stage rendition loses some of Asch’s poetic, literary touches…I would like the moments between Rifkele and Manke to linger longer...The opening scene also does not capture the time and mood…Too many colors and styles in the costumes distract from the transportive power of the original text…I still think this is a play worth seeing and reviving, especially for its statement on religious hypocrisy."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
December 30th, 2016
For a previous production

"Thanks to excellent English super-titles and the body language and facial expressions of the cast, the thoughts and feelings of the shtetl Jews become real, personal and present...This production is exceptional because of Eleanor Reissa’s skill as both actor and director...Her work is elegant, unique, honest, radiant, and authentic; and her profound, understated direction shields the actors from the vengeance of melodrama by helping the cast present the characters’ complex layers."
Read more

CurtainUp
December 28th, 2016
For a previous production

"Reissa, who also directs, has made marvelous use of the small stage…If Reissa is convincing as the practical and mostly amoral Soreh, Baker shines as the conflicted Yankl…The production tries too hard to give Rivkele and Manke a relationship not supported by the text…'God of Vengeance' is not about brothels or lesbians...It is about sin, hypocrisy and ultimately man's relationship to God. Surely that is enough to make this play a masterful study of the human soul."
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
January 4th, 2017
For a previous production

"A lively, impressive revival, anchored by a strong cast and steady direction...Asch’s play is decidedly ahead of its time, particularly in the relationship between Rifkele and Manke...Some of the lines are clunky and we don’t learn much about their interior lives...Still, New Yiddish Rep’s talented and diverse cast carries the show through some of the rougher patches in Asch’s script, and serves, along the way, as a testament to the viability of Yiddish theater in the 21st century."
Read more

New York Theater
December 25th, 2016
For a previous production

"There is much that is fascinating around, and underneath, this play, a glimpse at a different time, place and set of values...This is another way of saying that 'God of Vengeance' is full of historical, cultural, political, even anthropological interest, but has less to recommend it theatrically...There are some lovely moments, such as when the two women kiss; and several performers who stand out...But the cast is uneven, and the show has a healthy quota of beating of brow and of breast."
Read more

The Huffington Post
December 26th, 2016
For a previous production

"There are two immediately pressing reasons to see ‘God of Vengeance.’ The first is historical curiosity…The second reason to rush out is that this is the controversial work serving as the inspiration for ‘Indecent’…There are a few reasons not to attend...'God of Vengeance' may have passed as dramaturgically strong over a century ago, but it registers as more than a little awkward now…Although a few of the actors are up to the requirements, a heap of the thesping leaves a lot to be desired."
Read more

Wolf Entertainment Guide
December 28th, 2016
For a previous production

"Although there is quite a bit of repetition in parts, the play still works as high drama, and the cast does a first-rate job in bringing the characters and situations to life with plenty of turbulence. The New Yiddish Rep has performed a service in giving audiences who have heard of this iconic play but have never had a chance to see it staged the opportunity to view and evaluate it, as well as to see what the fuss was all about."
Read more

BlogCritics.org
December 27th, 2016
For a previous production

"While their traits may not be soul-saving, the characters are multidimensional…It’s fascinating for anyone with an interest in Jewish history and culture. It’s vividly staged and costumed, and well acted. The English supertitles are adequate for the most part, although even with my very limited Yiddish I could tell when the written translation wasn’t capturing all that was spoken...Nonetheless it was a rewarding experience, and with plenty of humor it was also an enjoyable one."
Read more

scribicide
December 27th, 2016
For a previous production

"If, like 'Mrs. Warren's Profession', 'God of Vengeance' feels a little stilted and didactic, it more than justifies its presence through a cast of game actors ... [A]ny company that works to revive this rich history-even when the appeal of the some of the texts is more academic than emotional-deserves nothing but applause."
Read more

The Huffington Post
December 27th, 2016
For a previous production

"The entire cast is superb, with passionate portrayals of the characters...From the first to the final scene, the acting strengths of the cast quickly ease any hesitations that the audience may have about seeing a play performed in Yiddish. The story, timeless themes, and searing sense of drama transcend language. At the shocking conclusion of 'God of Vengeance,' the concept of language will become somewhat irrelevant anyway: The audience will truly be left speechless."
Read more

Gay City News
December 29th, 2016
For a previous production

"Modest, uneven production...On the plus side, this earnest staging powerfully articulates themes such as the hypocrisy of religion...The supertitles are well done and the action is easy to follow. In addition, the dialogue has been wisely streamlined...Unfortunately, this endeavor fails to tamp down the artifice and melodrama inherent in the original text. Nor is it able to fully convey the poetic realism as intended...The time period is nebulous, but the mix of styles is jarring."
Read more

The Times of Israel
December 29th, 2016
For a previous production

"Reissa’s interpretation of the play subverts the usual focus on social and religious hypocrisy to concentrate on the psychology of the tormented brothel owner...The acting in the performance I saw was uneven, but the leads were all strong. Baker and Reissa are convincing as a couple. Mandelbaum makes Reb Eli more than just a sleazy opportunist...Sholem Asch was a controversial writer throughout his life...His characters though always had vitality and energy."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
132 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy