Already closed | 1h 5m | East Village

Gorey: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey

From 124 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Great acting, Absorbing, Quirky, Intelligent

About the show

Life Jacket Theatre Company presents an encore run of this play about author/illustrator Edward Gorey that fuses fact and fiction, and features projections and inventive storytelling. More…

This bio-show centers on the enigmatic and endearing artist at different stages of his life over a 50-year period. The play sheds light on his dark imagination, personal demons, and heartbreaking loneliness. The result is a collection of fragmented memories that are lyrical, revealing, and often funny, and help audiences understand the man behind the literary myth.

Member Reviews (124)


Clever, Great acting, Absorbing, Quirky, Intelligent
Avg Score

Clever, Well staged, Absorbing, Unfocused, Well acted

See it if you are a Gorey fan. Play requires prior knowledge (shld show a video of a G book's drawings and recite text). Quirky man gets quirky play.

Don't see it if you want deep insights. Some parts failed, like ballet and animated interaction. Still, many effective moments and humor...and the fur coat!

Ambitious, Entertaining, Indulgent, Clever

See it if Entertaining. Cute. Well directed & staged. Intelligent writing. Funny & informative. I'd've enjoyed more if I had googled Gorey beforehand.

Don't see it if You don'y like small quirky plays. But this is no cheap production. It is very well groomed.

Clever, Delightful, Masterful, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want a show that is about a real person, his life, his thoughts, his talents.

Don't see it if your not interested in learning about a cartoonist or his life.

Absorbing, Quirky, Clever, Entertaining, Moving

See it if you want to learn more about the enigmatic illustrator in an inventive, well-acted, subtle production full of pathos and personal insight.

Don't see it if you expect Gorey's unsettling drawings to come to life. There is scant evidence of his actual artwork. Focus is on the man, not the work.

Intelligent, Absorbing, Original, Clever

See it if Very enlightening, clever use of the 3 actors. The staging was well done . Nice use of the lighting

Don't see it if many steps to basement site,

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you love deep personal insights so specific that they are universal. Based on his notebooks, letters etc and imagination 3 men create Gorey

Don't see it if you want singing, dancing or guffaws. This is an intimate show in every sense of the word. Small theater, small cast, deeply personal.

Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You want to see a portrait of an artist told in an artistic manner. You like whimsical plays. You like biographical plays.

Don't see it if You want a traditional biography play told in chronological order. You prefer more traditional staging & presentation.

Absorbing, Clever, Moving, Excellent acting and directing, Riveting

See it if you think theatre can be both magical and moving. Intelligent direction and acting. "Gorey" could very well be the sleeper of the season!

Don't see it if you do not know anything about Edward Gorey.

Quirky play about a quirky man., Interesting, but a bit of a jumble., Great set, lighting and projections., Staging is effective, but there's some over-acting., Absorbing throughout.

See it if You enjoy Gorey's work and want an engaging look at the man behind the eccentric drawing/writing. This is enjoyable and non-traditional.

Don't see it if You want linear storytelling, don't like stories about eccentric personalities, are offended by gay themes, never seen any of Gorey's work.

Also You don't HAVE to know about Gorey or his work, but it would be more e... Read more Read less

Clever, Enchanting, Original, Absurdly clever, Fun

See it if You want to learn more about Gorey in a fun, sometimes absurd, way. Short, 65min, sweet, beautifully acted, funny, great use of projection.

Don't see it if You need a linear structure. This plays more as glimpses into a man's life. And has no real definitive beginning, middle, or end.

Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining, Original

See it if you are interested in Edward Gorey and enjoy multimedia works with innovating staging.

Don't see it if you don't know anything about Gorey's work and/or you like your theater linear and familiar.

Fascinating, Great acting, Absorbing, Esoteric

See it if you want to learn more about Gorey, as well as about New York in the 70's & 80's, and you're up for a bit of a mystery.

Don't see it if you have no interest in Gorey - you should do some homework first for context. Terrific perfomances, but the message is a little muddy.

Great acting, Great staging, Interesting, well directed, insightful

See it if you are interested in the works of Edward Gorey and get insights into his life at various stages. Performed by 3 actors, all very good.

Don't see it if you no interest in this complicated, eccentric artist of the macabre.

Clever, Entertaining, Original

See it if You like well used multi-media in interesting amd unusual shows. The acting is good; the actors represent the different ages of Gorey well.

Don't see it if you need a sequential plot and do not particularly like multimedia.

Quirky, Absorbing, Intimate, Great character study

See it if you are interested in Gorey and experiencing the clever way his life is revealed in this production.

Don't see it if you prefer stories and action or if you just don't find Gorey interesting

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if you want the best 3 man/1 man show playing.Have I intrigued you? If you know anything about Edward Gorey you will love this producti

Don't see it if Edward Gorey does not interest you.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Quirky

See it if You are a fan of Gorey or not. You want to laugh. You want to hear the life and times of Gorey. You want to be entertained.

Don't see it if You don't like historical plays. You are not interested in his story. You are not a fan of Gorey.

Also I am not familiar with his story but I thought it would be an interest... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Captivating

See it if You have a passing knowledge of this man and want to know more. Clever staging--a device that uses three actors to portray Gorey--worked.

Don't see it if You know nothing about Gorey--this doesn't give enough basic information to make it worth your while.

Intelligent, Slow

See it if you have a particular interest in Gorey's life.

Don't see it if You think there's a difference between a play and story telling.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Disappointing, Friendly, Upbeat

See it if You're familiar with Gorey's work & comfortable with a light, friendly & well done if uncritical portrait.

Don't see it if You're expecting an in-depth portrait, secret lives or any sort of dramatic bite or great insight.

Also The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey is a pleasant, almost bouncy evening,... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great staging, Clever, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if You are interested in Edward Gorey and enjoy creative staging and impeccable acting.

Don't see it if You don't like biographical shows or plays without a lot of fireworks.

Bittersweet, Creative, Best for gorey fans

See it if you accept the enigma of Gorey's creations & can deal with a largely invented story of his reclusive, repressed life; often sad & poignant

Don't see it if you mostly want to see a performance of his eccentric stories and characters; this play barely touches that..

Absorbing, Original, Quirky, Great directing, Clever

See it if you like biography in general or Edward Gorey in particular. See it if you like quirkily and enchantingly told stories.

Don't see it if you dislike unconventional plays.


See it if Three actors playing the same person is well done. Some interesting nuggets presented. Come well rested and ready to pay close attention.

Don't see it if you want a play with action. It can get a little tedious at times.

Clever, Creative, Great staging, Great use of multi-media

See it if you are curious and don't know anything about Gorey. I walked away with a sense of who he was and wishing I knew about him.

Don't see it if you don't like the format of story telling even though this one is done in a unique way

Also I enjoyed hearing about this colorful character named Gorey. The appro... Read more Read less

December 19th, 2016
"The offbeat illustrator proves a rich subject for a play, and writer-director Travis Russ’s 'Gorey,' does his archly kooky world justice...Mr. Russ’s decisive idea is to have three actors portray him at various stages of his life...The three constantly interact with one another, a lovely way to ...
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December 30th, 2016
"Russ’s lovingly crafted play is less concerned with the nitty-gritty of Gorey’s publishing career...and more with his breezy evasions and elliptical musings on an eccentric, solitary life...The mood flits gently from whimsical to melancholy and dryly bemused...For the proud owner of the antholog...
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December 21st, 2016
"It’s an intriguing lure into the unhinged world of an erratic queer potato, not unlike a friendly invitation from Jack the Ripper to explore a squalid, unlit alley in London after midnight…With three men playing the same role, the play sometimes seems muddled and lacks focus. Still, at 75 minute...
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December 22nd, 2016
"An odd, but beguiling, entertainment...Russ, taking an approach that might have pleased his subject, has assembled a series of brief, teasing scenes, into a collage-like portrait...All three actors are at home in their roles, fully convincing us that they represent one personality at different s...
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