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

61
Great staging, Relevant, Quirky, Great acting

See it if You want to explore everything in Vonnegut's canon. You like black humor. You enjoy VERY broad acting. You enjoy theater of the absurd.

Don't see it if You are tired of representations of toxic masculinity.

78
Vintage vonnegut sadly still relevant, Black comedy with absurdist flourishes, Well acted, well designed

See it if you're a fan of Vonnegut's bleakly funny dystopic writing; for O'Connell's star turn dripping with toxic masculinity

Don't see it if you don't like dark humor with touches of absurdism; you're impatient with some overwriting--point is made well before the final moment

Also Director Wise has a firm grasp of Vonnegut's bleak but savagely funny ... Read more Read less

83
Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Funny, Indulgent, Romantic

See it if If you like an intense show.

Don't see it if You like easy to understand, non thought provoking material.

80
Surreal, Quirky, Repetitive

See it if you like biting, funny satire that really hits home, despite being written almost 50 years ago, a great cast with some great standouts

Don't see it if you don't plays that are very self aware, artificially heightened drama and acting and a nonsensical plot with bizarre episodes thrown in

70
Intermittent humor, Some nice acting, if not a bit weird, Bizarro, Long

See it if you follow Jason O'Connell and want to see an odd, but relatively nice performance.

Don't see it if you're not into bizarro theater.

Also I don't know what to say... maybe I just don't get it. IMO it's just a... Read more Read less

62
Great acting, Quirky, Edgy

See it if You like off beat plays. (I just didn’t get this show one bit, at all and was painfully bored so I don’t know what to say here.

Don't see it if What I can say is people around me seemed to really like this show. Because I can’t understand the humor I really can’t judge this show.

89
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like Kurt Vonnegut and absurd, wonderfully performed theater.

Don't see it if you don't like absurdity and Vonnegut.

77
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You are interested in Vonnegut’s writing. Also to support small, very talented, ambitious companies. t

Don't see it if Absurd comedy is not your thing

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like the satire of Vonnegut. Excellent production. Machismo to the max is disturbing.

Don't see it if If you don’t like Vonnegut’ perspective.

88
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You love plays that are rel ant our days

Don't see it if You just want to be entertained.

73
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense

See it if You enjoy intense dramas. It would be nice if more soundtracks were introduced in between time to fill the voids. Wanda J. was not seen much

Don't see it if You prefer something light and entertaining.

75
Banal, Cliched, Quirky, Dated, Clever

See it if you want to see Kurt Vonnegut's only attempt at playwrighting in a professional, faithful production of his work.

Don't see it if You need a successfully realized treatment of very ambitious ideas. Do not mind scenery chewing as an attempt to excuse the play's flaws.

79
Great acting, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Strange

See it if you like absurdity. you are okay not truly understanding the point/direction or are a Vonnegut whisperer. Great acting and hilarious moments

Don't see it if incredible displays of caricatured male brutishness will disturb you rather than amuse. you don't like dark humor

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

75
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if You enjoy family dramas, and some violence

Don't see it if You want something light and funny

90
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky

See it if You’d like to try something on an elevated level. The story was interesting and surprising and the cast really did a great job!

Don't see it if You’re hoping for something simple that won’t challenge you at all.

84
Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You like edgy satiric material.

Don't see it if You prefer straight up contemporary plays. This play is from 1970.

92
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

Also Really great acting. An important play in this divisive time

72
Delightful, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you enjoy work by the author

Don't see it if need a play that's very realistic.

87
Great acting, Riveting, Dizzying, Ambitious, Intense

See it if you're a fan of theater of the surreal, the works of Kurt Vonnegut, and some really stellar acting.

Don't see it if you like things to be a bit easier to digest.

Also I was not familiar with the fledgling theatre company Wheelhouse, but ... Read more Read less

69
Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Funny, Slow

See it if Like the idea of 4 people playing many roles.

Don't see it if Don't like a play that's overly long, not much content.

79
Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Slow, Quirky

See it if to experience this play from the the early 1970's by this important American writer.

Don't see it if if you do not like profanity or are ill at ease watching a frenzied and quirky play.

80
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see a highly relevant revival of Vonnegut with great performance by Jason O’Connell as Harold Ryan

Don't see it if you don't like Vonnegut, or if you're not a fan of cynical humor

80
Dizzying, Quirky, Relevant, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Definitely see it if you're a Kurt Vonnegut fan! This is the wackiest show I've seen in a long time but somehow so relevant in today's time.

Don't see it if you are easily offended or don't like to see anything 'out of the box". Show is almost 2.5 Hr.

73
Confusing, Quirky, Raunchy, Thought-provoking

See it if it is a very intense drama about an evil man who destroys everything around him. It gets you thinking, but not in a good way

Don't see it if It is slow moving and depressing


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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