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Good for Otto

From 153 member  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. More…

Like their patients and their families, Dr. Michaels (Ed Harris), his colleague Evangeline (Amy Madigan) and the clinic itself teeter between breakdown and survival, wielding dedication and humanity against the cunning, inventive adversary of mental illness, to hold onto the need to fight – and to live. Inspired by a real clinic, Rabe finds humor and compassion in a raft of characters adrift in a society and a system stretched beyond capacity.


Member Reviews (153)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Absorbing, Disappointing
72
Avg Score

50
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.

Also The two therapists are hard-working, but not very adept (maybe that's ... Read more Read less

90
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.

39
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.

Also Good For Otto, Bad For Audiences.

74
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

60
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.

Also I wanted to like this play. There’s a huge, unmet need in our communit... Read more Read less

89
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

72
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).

81
Great acting, Intense, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if To see incredible acting. I was amazed by the performances of F. Murray Abraham, Malik Pancholy, Mark Linn-Baker, & the rest.

Don't see it if you want a coherent show. It was VERY long. 3 hrs. Many scenes were riveting but some parts should be cut (the singing).

Also I would score the acting alone as "100" but combined with the play its... Read more Read less

84
Great acting

See it if five celebrated actors delve deeply in outpatient therapy sessions in a three-hour drama. Relaxed staging allows for conversational tone.

Don't see it if patients revealing themselves during sessions, which are essentially monologues, for three hours makes you rip open your medicine chest.

77
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.

Also I sat on the stage where the actors were seated. It was a fascinating ... Read more Read less

98
Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You're interested in the lives of many hurt souls who come to their psychiatrists to tell their tales. Musical interludes + great cast too!

Don't see it if You're not in the mood for a 3 hour show. But the time really flies by! Highly recommended.

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if You are interested in therapists and patients in mental health clinics. A wide range of diseases. Ed Harris,F Murray Abraham are superb.

Don't see it if You dislike long plays 180 minutes Mental health is not your topic Slow moving Cannot follow a circuitous plot

Also Davis Rabe Has assembled an all-star cast to play the patients, who ar... Read more Read less

72
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Strange musical interludes

See it if you enjoy multi characters well acted; interested in various types of mental illness; can sit for 3 hours .

Don't see it if you can't sit for a 3 hour show with musical interludes that don't seem to make sense; are uncomfortable with plays about mental illnesses.

49
Long, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Inert

See it if you want to see top-notch actors performing mediocre material that offers an uninspired look at our mental health system.

Don't see it if you prefer plays where the characters interact with each other and not just in a string of therapy sessions.

Also With this playwright and this cast, I didn't see how it could miss. In... Read more Read less

74
Intelligent, Great acting, Profound, Too long, Interesting direction

See it if you're interested in people with mental illness and the professionals who treat them. F Murray Abraham/Ed Harris/ Baker are stand outs.

Don't see it if First act is absorbing, the second is disappointing - much too long and drawn out. Not sure what the need is for some of the characters.

72
Lengthy slow paced show, Realistic portrayal of mental illnesses, Stellar individual performances

See it if Psychiatrist faces Sisyfusian challenge. Only Otto the hamster has a happy ending as society refuses to fund treatment.

Don't see it if You don’t have the patience for a show that comes together slowly.

63
Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if You need a snooze. Great actors can’t save it!!

Don't see it if You gave something better to do like watch the news!

75
Intelligent, Great acting, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're interested in a play about a mental health clinic and its clients and want to see great acting from cast in some challenging roles.

Don't see it if you don't like long plays with many characters or don't care about mental health in US. The framing device with the music doesn't work well.

55
Very unwieldy story telling.

See it if You're a fan of David Rabe and appreciate the subject matter (mental health) and the very good cast.

Don't see it if You want a coherent story.

75
Rabe's therapists employ minstrelsy cure on a grab-bag of patients

See it if Top-flight actors portray too many characters in a play that would be better as a mini-series. Harris, Madigan and Abraham lead the pack

Don't see it if Too long and disjointed, though the plot approximates the welter of a mental health clinic. Maulik is heartbreaking as a maladjusted gay boy

Also The action sometimes devolves in early 20th century songs, like "Moonl... Read more Read less

83
Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if Bravura performances by Ed Harris and F. Murray Abraham. Mark Linn-Baker, in a smaller role, was touching. The characters were touching.

Don't see it if A couple of characters (Rhea Perlmn’s and Amy Madigan’s) were underwritten. The show is very long - nearly 3 hours.

73
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Too long

See it if you enjoy good acting and a refreshing unpatronizing take on mental illness.

Don't see it if you can't sit for three hours. This play needs some serious editing.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Profound

See it if An excellent ensemble performance about mental health services. I found it personally tremendously engaging. Will see it a second time.

Don't see it if If you perfer light musicals or dramas.

55
Disappointing, Banal, Great acting, Indulgent, Goes nowhere

See it if You must see everything Rabe has written for the stage. Good ensemble but why have audience members on stage as part of the scenery?

Don't see it if you are looking for a straight forward play. This terrific cast is caught in a play that literally goes nowhere.

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Intelligent

See it if drama dealing with mental health issues in a rural community; series of patients with therapists; mostly monologues by excellent ensemble

Don't see it if very, very long because of number of mental issues it deals with; some very, very disturbing especially suicides & young girl's psychosis

Also Excellent performance by Rileigh McDonald as the young girl. That was ... Read more Read less


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.....
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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 t...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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