Already closed | 2h 20m | Midtown W

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

From 272 member  reviews
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. More…

After being presumed dead for eight years, respected war veteran and big game hunter Harold Ryan returns home. He brings with him an old way of thinking, celebrating a Hemingway-esque machismo and American exceptionalism. Harold soon discovers that the society he returns to has made attempts to progress into a more modern, enlightened cultural narrative. 'Happy Birthday, Wanda June' is a dynamic and often comic meditation on toxic masculinity and a capitalistic America's failed attempts at progress cloaked in honor and morality.

2h 20m | Already closed | The Duke on 42nd Street (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (272)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Relevant, Quirky

29
A big confusing mess

See it if You have the patience to hang in there. The first act of this play is bad including the acting. But all of the acting gets better

Don't see it if you like to understand what you are watching.

Also This is one of these plays that I go to and just feel extremely stupid... Read more Read less

48
Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating, Insipid, Quirky

See it if You want to see a rarely produced Vannegut play, like absurdism & can laugh at anything.

Don't see it if This was an overacted, muddled mess, not funny (although lots of people laughed). Not at all interesting. I like offbeat but this was bad

29
Banal, Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if It has an OK story, somewhat interesting.

Don't see it if I really disliked most of the acting, especially the main guy who was so unlikeable as a Macho Man.

During previews
41
Confusing, Excruciating, Intense, Quirky, Slow

See it if you are attracted to bizarre. you are a fan of Vonnegut. & if your interest is piqued by an adaption of his work. He wasn't a playwrite.

Don't see it if you are smart...if you are smart...stay away. you can't stomach an endurance test.

Also Actors did work hard, however & that is to be applauded.

During previews
47
Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Quirky, Excruciating

See it if you like dark comedies that are weird.

Don't see it if You're expecting a satire that made sense. This was all over the place.

Also Have to admit that we (along with a bunch of others) left after the 1s... Read more Read less

During previews
49
Great acting, Intense, Excruciating, Bizarre

See it if Only if you are a fan of Kurt Vonnegut

Don't see it if You dislike, morbid, violent, plays that lack credibility.

Also This was a very upsetting experience for me, and I could not wait for ... Read more Read less

For a previous production
44
Disappointing, Slow, Overacted, Boring

See it if you are an inveterate Vonnegut fan. Otherwise, don't.

Don't see it if you are a discerning Vonnegut fan. This is subpar to his work. Huge chunks of the play are just tedious, long-winded non sequitur vignettes

Also This was almost embarrassing to watch. Nervous first row gigglers maki... Read more Read less

For a previous production
40
Disappointing, Slow, Overrated, Odd

See it if I really didn't care for this show at all & Surprised by how positive the other reviews on here are. If interested go off of their reviews.

Don't see it if Found the pacing to be EXTREMELY slow. Harold goes off on tangents that amount to nothing, tried to milk for laughs but it just wasn't funny

Also Found the show to be strange and not in a good way. It probably has th... Read more Read less

For a previous production
49
Confusing, Banal, Dated, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if If you like... I honestly don't know. Some of the acting is really great, but not for me.

Don't see it if You like a plot that makes sense and characters that you can even remotely relate to.


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 absurd...
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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'...
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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, h...
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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 i...
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