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

86
Clever, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You're a fan of Kurt Vonnegut and enjoy dark comedy.

Don't see it if You take yourself very seriously.

85
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if ...you have always wanted to see a Vonnegut play. This was well-acted

Don't see it if ...you want the traditional drama/show. This requires some thought and analysis!

70
Absorbing, Great staging, Quirky, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if Two outstanding performances with Kurt Vonnegut dizzying and absorbing dialogue but not always making sense.

Don't see it if You would not like edgy, sometimes confusing action.

90
Riveting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy

See it if you like an off-beat comedy that is surprisingly relevant!

Don't see it if you are not a Kurt Konnegut fan or don't like to be made uncomfortable.

83
Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You are a fan of Kurt Vonnegut or want to see a comedy that’s sort of bizarre but funny and thought provoking

Don't see it if You want to see something more conventional

98
Brilliant direction, Funny, Edgy, Incredible acting, Must see

See it if You like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and dark comedy and enjoy watching a group of artists truly flex their creative muscles in this resonant romp!

Don't see it if You think that any play that challenges "normality" is "weird".

Also Wheelhouse Theatre Company has knocked it out of the park with this pr... Read more Read less

90
Great acting, Masterful, Thought-provoking, Dated

See it if You are interested in theatre that unpacks themes of masculinity, rage, and gender roles in an old play that is depressingly still relevant

Don't see it if Kurt Vonnegut's admittedly dated writing doesn't appeal to you

74
Disappointing, Dizzying, Overrated

See it if You can handle a little bit of craziness

Don't see it if You want a good story

80
Great acting, Great staging, Edgy, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see an amazing cast Off Broadway. Impressed that a young company can produce such high quality

Don't see it if Light, unoffensive entertainment.

88
Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Hilarious, Relevant

See it if you are a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, or like absurdist plays that hold a mirror up to society in a humorous way.

Don't see it if you don't find sarcasm funny or don't like Kurt Vonnegut.

Also This was a very good staging of "Happy Birthday, Wanda June." There we... Read more Read less

50
Dated, Quirky

See it if you want to go back in time and once served in the military

Don't see it if you are sensitive

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You love great plays and want to see one of the best ones of the season. This play blew my mind

Don't see it if You want escapist entertainment. This play is dark and disturbing and will reach inside of you and fuck you up

60
Excruciating, Relevant, Resonant

See it if if you like explicit sexual references, reflecting on macho behavior, on war. Acting was great, but definitely not subtle.

Don't see it if if you like subtle performances and nuanced plays.

94
Funny, Great acting, Hilarious, Great writing, Quirky

See it if you like to laugh, you like dark/gallows humor, you're a fan of Vonnegut, you want to see amazing performances by the actors

Don't see it if you are offended easily, if jokes about death and killing aren't your thing

Also i was FLOORED by how funny and great this was. have been a big fan of ... Read more Read less

70
Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky

See it if you like thought-provoking plays that are relevant to current political topics.

Don't see it if you prefer realism or musical theater.

85
Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging, Quirky

See it if Quirky drama with some comic moments

Don't see it if Storyline is a little dark

98
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Edgy, Riveting

See it if you're a fan of Kurt Vonnegut and the American "dream" family of the 60s/70s. It's satire and it's sarcastic, in your face crazy.

Don't see it if you are the person the play makes fun of: the trophy hunter, the manly brute, the one stuck in the old ways when America was "great".

98
Intelligent, Great writing, Funny, Delightful, Clever

See it if Like a great play where true craft in every dept. puts on an amazing show! Great acting.

Don't see it if If you don't like male centered plays.

79
Funny, Entertaining, Not my personal favorite

See it if I liked the show

Don't see it if did not love it

92
Entertaining, Great writing, Great acting, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if you love absurdism, Kurt Vonnegut, and dark intelligent theatre.

Don't see it if you don't like absurdism or intense stories.

80
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You like clever and provoking plays.

Don't see it if Don't like anything provoking and get offended to easily.

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Great acting

See it if If you like pieces that explore periods of change in American history. Also if you like dark humor. There is definitely dark humor.

Don't see it if You dont like black comedy.

85
Great acting, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Great staging

See it if You want to see a smartly staged, quirky, funny show. Jason O'Connell created a great character with many nuances.

Don't see it if You don't like Kurt Vonnegut!

85
Great acting, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you enjoy great acting and an innovative production

Don't see it if you prefer traditional theater

69
Cliched, Disappointing, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You're interested in a woman's story and how she survived a return of a machismo relationship with humor, grit and singing.

Don't see it if You don't like broad characterizations and stereotypes of male female relationships.


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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