Happy Birthday, Wanda June
Closed 2h 20m
Happy Birthday, Wanda June

Happy Birthday, Wanda June NYC Reviews and Tickets

(271 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Relevant, Quirky

About the Show

Wheelhouse Theater Company offers a return engagement of famed novelist Kurt Vonnegut's rarely produced satire. A searing and darkly comedic look at American culture.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (271)

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53 Reviews | 3 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You want to be challenged and entertained by an unusual story about a family

Don't see it if You hate dramas and you just want an easy story to follow

90 Reviews | 5 Followers
Great acting, Hilarious, Clever, Absorbing, Must see

See it if You like Vonnegut, amazing acting by all the characters (and I use that word deliberately), a wonderful story, gorgeous sets

Don't see it if you have no ability to get out of your comfort zone and are too PC to enjoy some crudeness Read more

70 Reviews | 7 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you like great writing, great acting, great staging. Everything was superb. Relevant, thought provoking.

Don't see it if you don't plays that are critical of our culture, especially toxic "masculinity" and misogyny, violence.. You need light entertainment Read more

72 Reviews | 45 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Great set, Evocative

See it if you don't want to miss a fantastic production of a rarely-performed play.

Don't see it if you can't appreciate 1970s theater, culture, kitsch. Read more

109 Reviews | 30 Followers
Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You want to see an absorbing play that hits home

Don't see it if You have trouble reading between the lines Read more

70 Reviews | 12 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging

See it if you want to see an imaginative & darkly funny production of the Vonnegut play. The company masterfully embraces & embodies the characters.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Kurt Vonnegut or of absurdist plays , or if you are offended by portrayals of chauvinistic attitudes and behavior.

257 Reviews | 26 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if you like bizarre but relevant plays, you want to see the Wheelhouse Company ensemble work together, you like non-stop action

Don't see it if you don't like Vonegut's work; you don't like plays that carry a message; you only like happily ever after plays

1166 Reviews | 464 Followers
Quirky, Relevant, Great writing, Clever, Great acting

See it if You like stories with topical plots, this one, though written during the Vietnam era could not be more relevant to today’s headlines.

Don't see it if You don’t like a lot of symbolism, exaggeration and satire used to make some very serious points. Read more

Critic Reviews (18)

Time Out New York
October 23rd, 2018

"Although some of Vonnegut's surreal 1970 satire is amusingly dated, there are moments so eerily prescient that you're jolted back to the present...Director Jeff Wise helps his crackerjack cast navigate a tricky tonal tightrope between broad shtick and heartbreaking insight...Even when his absurdist storytelling gets muddled, Vonnegut’s message resounds like the wake-up call of a bugle...The piece is ultimately an indictment of all men who embrace sexism, racism and violence."
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October 24th, 2018

"For anyone willing to look, Wheelhouse and director Jeffrey Wise have staged a marvelous abyss...The growling, slobbering, center of the play is O'Connell, who gives one of the most uninhibited performances I've ever witnessed...All of the actors come together in impressive harmony for the show's flash musical numbers...Wise directs Vonnegut's dark comedy with vaudevillian panache."
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New York Stage Review
October 23rd, 2018

“As directed by Wise, it’s loud and confrontational...but it’s no more than that. Just letting a tyrannical hollow man storm around isn’t enough. It’s less than enough. It’s alienating. Making matters worse, the activities handed the other characters have no helpful afflatus. What must be said, however, is that neither Wise nor the actors should share blame for the two-act, two-hour tedium. They’re trying hard...That onus goes to author Vonnegut. He’s solely responsible for this laughless wonder.”
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Theater Pizzazz
October 28th, 2018

"A simple, straightforward style and biting satirical content...What O’Connell manages to do, along with director Wise, is to erase the outdatedness that’s hard to ignore in Vonnegut’s work. O’Connell is a dose of mania, popping in and out of characters and caricatures that are both amusing and infuse the scene with greater nuance...A delightful, wonderfully acted and directed performance that delivers a meaningful message but without hammering the audience over the head."
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Times Square Chronicles
October 24th, 2018

“Written by novelist and short story writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in the 70’s, this play is even more relevant today...The entire cast delivers captivating performances, but Jason O’Connell as Harold Ryan is not to be missed. This man is so mesmerizing that you cannot take your eyes off him...Wise makes intelligent choices and really allows Vonnegut’s words and ideas to shine through. Not always easy in an absurdist play.”
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
October 24th, 2018

“Thoroughly zany in style and performance under the direction of Wise, but it all makes sense thematically in its inherent attack on war, man’s proclivity for killing, inflated heroics and human behavior...The author’s lines add up to a steady beat of stripping away pretension, undermining phony wartime heroism, and mocking machismo...It would be shortsighted to expect a totally logical pot. The acting fits into the concept and mad tone, with excellent cast members.”
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This Week in New York
October 24th, 2018

"The glorious production is everything a work by Vonnegut should be: surreal, unpredictable, laugh-out-loud hysterical, extraordinarily intelligent, bold, daring, and challenging...Director Jeffrey Wise has a firm grasp of the material, in total control of the chaos...It’s pure Vonnegut: a potent look at America — and how much it hasn’t changed in nearly fifty years...An all-around triumph, one of the best plays of the season, and a sharp reminder of Vonnegut’s immense legacy."
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October 23rd, 2018

"Masculinity gone haywire could be the basis for a pointed satire but the thing about a successful satire is...it’s funny. ‘Wanda June’ mostly isn’t. Mostly it feels as if it’s playing to the cheap seats. It might have had more salience in 1970...Today that kind of material feels as hoary as the mother-in-law jokes the Vegas comics were doing...Satire that amounts to telling the audience what it already believes...isn’t cutting. It’s just flattery.”
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