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

83
Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a Vonnegut fan and want a humorous, satirical, well-acted play, which is also a bit quirky.

Don't see it if don't like plays with a touch of the surreal or imply moral messages relevant to our society today.

95
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

Also A truly WOW theatrical experience!

63
Disappointing

See it if you would like to see an iconic piece of theater.

Don't see it if you want to see "something between the eyes"

Also There is farce and then there is scenery chewing. There was too much o... Read more Read less

82
Funny, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you are a Kurt Vonnegut fan. Funny, absurd and entertaining.

Don't see it if If you don't like Kurt Vonnegut and absurdity.. if you are looking for a traditional play

95
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.

Also Entering the venue, there is the sensation of immersive theater as you... Read more Read less

88
Clever, Ambitious, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if you enjoy really brave, fun theatre that pushes the edge of the envelope. Extremely inventive with some wonderful performances.

Don't see it if If you're looking for something extremely traditional. This is slightly off-the-wall, as one would expect from the genius of Kurt Vonnegut.

72
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a hard-core Vonnegut fan.

Don't see it if you aren’t a hard-core Vonnegut fan. His work is often cynical, but this is one is unflinchingly angry.

80
Quirky, Relevant, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You are a fan of Kurt Vonnegut‘s writing and like plays that are highly entertaining while providing social commentary.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of satire.

92
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.

82
Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You want to see some bravado, entertaining performances, especially the ubiquitous Jason O'Connell and wonderful Kate MacCluggage.

Don't see it if You can't forgive a play that succeeds on the performances only and not the script itself. While not boring the play is not coherent.

71
Great acting, Funny, Disappointing, Indulgent, Unique

See it if you're a fan of Kurt Vonnegut stuff...you love absurdist type theater...you're comfortable with some vulgarity.

Don't see it if you have a headache...you like things that make a bit more (obvious) sense...you aren't into pushing boundaries.

74
Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious, Dizzying

See it if Your a Vonnegut fan and love absolute absurdity

Don't see it if You hate a farce, this is an absurd farce

80
Funny, Great staging, Quirky

See it if You enjoy a funny play with depth, satires, or the works of Kurt V.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with the portrayal of toxic masculinity

Also This is a fun play that has some very funny moments.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if You’d like to see a great production that gives justice to Vonnegut’s brilliance; the plot is just the right mix of absurd and hilarious

Don't see it if You’d like a linear plot that sticks to realism, or if rough and irreverent language make you uncomfortable

87
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy well written and well directed scripts. The actors sang and moved around the stage uninhibitedly.

Don't see it if You do not like quirky plays.

69
Quirky, Indulgent, Great staging, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are a Vonnegut fan and want to know how his writing works on stage, if you are interested in family drama with a twist.

Don't see it if you like a more straightforward plot and great writing.

Also I have been a fan of Vonnegut since I first read Cat's Cradle over 40 ... Read more Read less

79
Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see an entertaining, funny, surreal, still relevant play superbly acted - staging great too.

Don't see it if you must have a 'rational' plotline and don't enjoy somewhat surrealistic material (Albee? Genet? Ionesco?)

95
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

Also amazing that this play is as relevant today as it was in the 70ies giv... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see, Riveting

See it if A riveting production, an ingenious play. O’Connell and Maccluggage must not be missed. Vonnegut sadly, thrillingly channels our times.

Don't see it if You need to see a conventionally structured play or you are easily offended. Or if you really feel America needs to become “great” again.

78
Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You like challenging material in an interesting show

Don't see it if You want a story with a likable main character

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intimate, Dark

See it if you like Kurt Vonnegut works! You love spectacular and intense acting. If you like an intimate theater and dark humor.

Don't see it if you dislike cussing, spitting and crassness. if you're looking for a light easy show or a musical.

Also I found the show to be somewhat upsetting throughout and cringed many ... Read more Read less

81
Entertaining, Confusing, Great acting, Funny, Edgy

See it if You like extremely quirky plays .you know any of the actors , they are great . The storyline is just a bit strange

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with gun violence and want everything tied into a neat bow at the end.

100
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

84
Great acting, Delightful, Entertaining, Intense, Quirky

See it if You love great acting; this classic 1970 play is fun.

Don't see it if Any profanity bothers you or any non-linearity is frustrating.

83
Entertaining, Great acting

See it if If you like a soap opera theme play. Jason O'Connell was very entertaining and dramatic. I brought my 13 year old daughter who loved it.

Don't see it if If you do not like soaps you may not appreciate it. You have to play close attention to follow the plot. It was entertaining none the less

Also Advertisement was always catchy, which is what drew me to see this sho... Read more Read less


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...
read more
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'...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more