Good for Otto
Closed 2h 55m
Good for Otto

Good for Otto NYC Reviews and Tickets

(153 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Absorbing, Disappointing

About the Show

Through the microcosm of a rural Connecticut mental health center, Tony-winning playwright David Rabe conjures a whole American community on the edge in the New Group's New York premiere starring Ed Harris.

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Member Reviews (153)

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982 Reviews | 343 Followers
Dark, Dull, Devoid (of meaning), Disappointing, Disturbing

See it if you want to see a stellar cast, but they're mostly wasted. GFO runs over 3 hrs w/barely any insights. Intimate setting; don't sit onstage.

Don't see it if you want a strong script. There's no story arc, no character development. Feels like documentary, except for brief parts in doctor's head. Read more

716 Reviews | 157 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you like great acting in an up-to-the minute show about difficulties in mental health care, curious as to how such clients will be depicted

Don't see it if you're not interested in mental health issues, too upset by lack of treatment funding or depiction of difficult cases, don't have 3 hours

712 Reviews | 108 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if you like an unusual setting for an unusual drama. Two therapists interview patients and sometimes themselves and their ghosts.

Don't see it if you like a traditional drama or setting or do not like conversations between therapists and patients. This is a three hour show. Read more

677 Reviews | 190 Followers
Slow, Disappointing, Interminable, Soporific

See it if you want to see what would happen if Our Town, Spoon River Anthology & One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest had a dull, tedious, laborious child.

Don't see it if you want to see a play worthy of this all-star cast; you expect a satisfying play about the important topic of mental health in America. Read more

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Ambitious, Slow, Quirky, Resonant, Great acting

See it if Great ensemble performances (led by an acerbic Amy Madigan) help animate Rabe's talky, empathic tale of mental illness & its treatment

Don't see it if Rabe 'narcotizes' his good intentions by letting all the patients "have their say" producing a 3 hr dirge Still, it's strangely interesting

670 Reviews | 156 Followers
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Verbose, Tedious, Intense

See it if you're interested in issues of mental health enough to overlook the messy form in which the information is coming at you.

Don't see it if 3+ hours of intense, often interesting, but dramatically inert material seem to you a bit much to take at a single sitting. Read more

506 Reviews | 1000 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to see great acting from theater elite and a an attempt to tackle the Mental Health issues of the time. Great use of the stage

Don't see it if Mental problems will upset you. Also at times the projection (early in run) does not reach beyond a few rows.

504 Reviews | 729 Followers
Intelligent, Slow, Long

See it if you enjoy character pieces or themes dealing with mental health.

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional narrative (this one is a series of disconnected vignettes) or can’t sit through a 3-hour show (unnecessarily long).

Critic Reviews (39)

The New York Times
March 8th, 2018

"Mr. Rabe is not usually so squishy...But 'Good for Otto,' in which the battleground is the disturbed human psyche, is structured as a series of gassy monologues...The problem of mental health coverage wants a fuller, more serious treatment than that. But the play uses the issue as topical bait...At nearly three hours, 'Good for Otto' is a long and shapeless slog...Here, under Scott Elliott’s direction, it is unconvincing and overacted."
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Time Out New York
March 8th, 2018

"Director Scott Elliott hurries our emotions along with bathetic piano arpeggios every time something sad happens. Rabe’s intentions are wonderful; he’s taking inspiration from an actual clinic, and as a paean to the real world’s heroic therapists, 'Good for Otto' flourishes like a trumpet. But three hours of trumpeting grows tiring. Over the play’s considerable length, there are several false notes, and even the right ones start to wear on the ear."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 8th, 2018

"A big, meaty, monologue-driven drama...It's performed by a mostly first-rate ensemble...It's laced with poignant passages...But it's also baggy and structurally monotonous, not to mention didactic and dated...Moments of intense dramatic impact but overall feels too diffuse...This shapeless play loses rather than gathers steam, ultimately seeming more like a docudrama patchwork with messy stitching than a satisfying, fully realized theatrical work."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 8th, 2018

"One of the best new plays to come along in recent seasons. What’s more, it’s being performed by the very best ensemble cast in town...The results remind us that in the hands of the finest writers, there’s no such thing as a cliché, since human life is always the same—and always new...Impeccably true to everyday life...I’ve never seen a show that was as realistic in its portrayal of therapy and crisis intervention...Our attention never wanders."
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The Observer
March 8th, 2018

"Densely populated with dull case histories, frustratingly slow, and entirely too long (three hours of tedium)...This is one of the gifted playwright’s weakest efforts...The actors are very good. Too bad Rabe has given them so little to do of any real theatrical consequence...You leave with the wearying impression that Rabe hasn’t quite finished his job. This is a work in progress, still struggling to come alive in its unpolished infancy."
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March 8th, 2018

"Snooze of a play...Regrettably, not even an all-star cast can enliven this meandering stroll past a vitally important topic...Individually compelling storylines emerge from the play, buoyed mostly by the acting...Unfortunately, the format of therapy doesn't easily lend itself to drama, which is most powerful when its characters are in dialogue. It is difficult to get that jolt of dramatic electricity when one character pours his heart out and the response from his scene partner is a silently scribbled note."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 9th, 2018

"At times, 'Good for Otto' seems bent on going wrong in every way imaginable...The patients crowd each other out, never holding the stage long enough to grab one's full attention...The first act of 'Good for Otto,' it is the opposite of drama...Second act picks up a bit...Scattered, skittish collection of scenes...Loaded with good actors, all of whom perform as well as their roles will allow...It's hard not to feel that the actors are having a better time than the audience."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 8th, 2018

"A masterwork about the care and treatment of mental illness, written by a playwright at the top of his game and being presented in a commanding production...Filled with richly portrayed characters...This production is being helmed with an appropriately unobtrusive touch by The New Group's artistic director Scott Elliott and is blessed with a collaborative ensemble of 14 excellent actors who allow David Rabe's richly-wrought words to tell the story through them."
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