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
81
Avg Score

For a previous production
82
Quirky, Clever, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if ...you like absurdist plays with an undercurrent of unrest and relevance. Black comedy at its best,

Don't see it if ...you need literal and linear explanations for everything. You dislike cramped, warm off-Broadway theatre spaces.

Also Some fabulous performances here; they must have to rebuild the scenery... Read more Read less

For a previous production
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky, Edgy

See it if You are a fan of Vonnegut and aren't easily shocked. It's his stylistic character work, and it is well done!

Don't see it if you hate guns, straying a bit from reality, or Kurt Vonnegut.

For a previous production
85
Great acting, Great staging, Hilarious, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you love farce, absurdism, brilliant direction, and a marvelously broad acting style from this perfect cast in a very intimate theatre.

Don't see it if you cannot handle themes of misogyny and violence in this dark comedy of toxic masculinity. Well costumed in the 70s eerily relevant today.

For a previous production
85
Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if Really good cast! Loved the intensity, you felt it in the air.

Don't see it if You dont enjoy a provacative play where you will leave discussing it over drinks.

For a previous production
91
Clever, Funny, Edgy, Great writing

See it if You like Vonnegut; you like to laugh; you like farce

Don't see it if You don't like farce

For a previous production
95
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Epic, Great writing

See it if You enjoy Kurt Vonnegut style writing, beautiful staging with complimenting lighting and a stunning cast

Don't see it if You want a straight forward play with the basic and boring setup of beginning, middle and end

For a previous production
100
Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you are an avid Vonnegut reader and understand his writing. Appreciate a modern tale of a classic, with the consequences of male stupidity.

Don't see it if you can't stand conflict, absurdity or things that are not neatly wrapped up like a birthday cake for a cute girl with a green balloon.

For a previous production
94
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You are appalled by Trump et al, or if you like Vonnegut

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with extreme patriarchy or strong emotional content.

For a previous production
84
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You like great acting and intense drama in an intimate theater setting.

Don't see it if You want a light-hearted show

For a previous production
85
Clever, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You like Kurt Vonnegut

Don't see it if you do not like quirky plays

Also The acting is excellent, if sometimes over the top, but I think this i... Read more Read less

For a previous production
90
Clever, Ambitious, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want a thought-provoking show; you like satirical, dark humor; you love seeing absolutely fantastic acting; you like quirky characters

Don't see it if you don't like satirical, thought-provoking humor; you don't like plays; you don't like hearing/seeing foul language or gestures in a play

For a previous production
85
Clever, Relevant, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want to see a funny, thought-provoking, and very timely examination of how a very recognizable type of man treats the planet and others.

Don't see it if A critique of raging, unfettered machismo is not your cup of tea.

For a previous production
85
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Riveting

See it if you like basking in Vonnegut's inventiveness. It's of its time stylistically, and yet as topical and disturbing as a presidential tweet.

Don't see it if you're put off by the unconventional and unpredictable.

For a previous production
100
Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You want to see some of the best acting performances this season, in a play that feels like it could have been written yesterday. Amazing.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with theatre that is unapologetically speaking to timely and controversial issues.

For a previous production
95
Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you like Kurt Vonnegut, witty hummer, fantastic acting, cleverly devised shows, and creative staging.

Don't see it if you don't like Kurt Vonnegut hummer, are triggered by an unsavory leading character.

For a previous production
100
Great acting, Relevant, Must see, Funny, Inventive

See it if You want to get inside the head of one of America’s most iconic authors, enjoy highly inventive and engaging theater with incredible actors

Don't see it if You don’t like or respect Kurt Vonnegut. You don’t respect fantastic direction.

For a previous production
79
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Powerful acting. Intimate theatre setting. If you grew up in the late 60’s/early 70’s with authors like Vonnegut, Heller, Salinger.

Don't see it if Want light entertainment!

For a previous production
99
Ambitious, Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like Vonnegut, timely pieces, dark humor, fantastic acting, creative/ensemble driven shows.

Don't see it if You don’t like theater that touches on contemporary issues, some suggested violence, tough issues.

For a previous production
90
Ambitious, Relevant, Hilarious, Entertaining, Resonant

See it if You enjoy creative performance and interpretation of great texts.

Don't see it if You don't like plays with clear commentary on our society.

For a previous production
80
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if you want to see great acting in a play that touches on relevant issues but also has some HILARIOUS scenes.

Don't see it if you can't handle some uncomfortable scenes with misogynistic content.

For a previous production
100
Clever, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You enjoy high energy, relevant theatre.

Don't see it if You prefer musicals.

For a previous production
100
Great acting, Funny, Refreshing, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to laugh. This show is wonderful.

Don't see it if You don’t like amazing plays.


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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