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
88
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see a treasure by K.V.jr that is rarely performed. It is as relevant today as it was in 1970. See it!!!

Don't see it if quirky absurdist plays are not for you.

For a previous production
81
Entertaining, Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if An excellent revival of the Vonnegut classic. Well acted and staged. Perfect for the Vonnegut fan.

Don't see it if Do not see if you are not a fan of Vonnegut.

For a previous production
88
Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy Vonnegut's unique blend of satire, absurdism and social commentary. Humor and tragedy somehow find their places on the same stage

Don't see it if you want a simple, linear story that does nothing to expand your imagination or make you think.

For a previous production
79
Great acting, Funny, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Intense

See it if You are ready for something different and have an open mind. You want to see some good acting and really nice staging.

Don't see it if You are not open to a play that is not like any other. You are too serious and closed minded. You don't like absurdity in a good way.

For a previous production
85
Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Relevant, Great staging

See it if If you like plays that look at issues of human nature done in a fresh and imaginative way. And if you’d a Vonnegut fan you’ll love it

Don't see it if If you don’t like absurd type plays that are surreal and out of the box

For a previous production
83
Ambitious, Dated, Slow, Good acting, Cliched

See it if you'd like to see a rarely performed Vonnegut play performed by good actors,enjoy small theatres, want to support a good young company.

Don't see it if the fact it was written by a literary giant & is well acted isn't enough to make you want to see what is a mediocre, somewhat dated play.

Also The play itself really isn't all that good. Out of curiosity, AFTER se... Read more Read less

For a previous production
100
Excellent cast and direction, Intelligent, Timely, relevant, Edgy, Fresh

See it if You're up for a terrific and sharp production of Vonnegut's flawed but timely meditation on American machismo, violence and determination.

Don't see it if No reason not to catch more great work by this thoughtful & enterprising company; cast, direction &production shine in this rarely seen play

Also There’s a welcome surfeit of intelligent choices in this sharp, timely... Read more Read less

For a previous production
83
Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Dated, Relevant

See it if You appreciate truly funny, over-the-top acting and terrific directing, or if your are a fan of Vonnegut. Excellent cast.

Don't see it if You can't stand some dated, misogynistic lines, or depictions of violence, or a script with its tongue firmly in its cheek.

For a previous production
82
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a play about a macho character who is out of place with society. The parallel to current manliness is uncanny

Don't see it if You don’t like plays with violence or abusive characters.

For a previous production
81
Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant, Quirky

See it if You love classic Vonnegut. And classic revivals done w quirky flare

Don't see it if Guns and maschismo triggers you

For a previous production
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if You've never seen this classic. It is very well done and the cast is fantastic

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the play or don't like going to NOHO

For a previous production
79
Quirky, Edgy, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if Very clever adaptation of an unusual, sarcastic play. Some excellentWitty thdialogue with references that are relevant today.

Don't see it if This is not for you if you are uncomfortable with violence and don’t like killing animals and people.

For a previous production
60
Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Edgy, Slow

See it if you can relate to good things others have said about this play

Don't see it if don't find humor in over-stated character flaws

Also I expected to laugh my head off but instead I couldn't wait for the pl... Read more Read less

For a previous production
94
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you like experimental plays of the 70's that are still relevant today. The acting of most of the actors was outstanding. Great funny plot

Don't see it if you don't like experimental quirky work or if you don't like to see plays in a very tiny theater.

For a previous production
70
Clever, Funny, Great acting

See it if you like satire and the chance to see a play that's not frequently done done really well.

Don't see it if you dislike dark humor or fantastical scenarios.

Also I was unfamiliar with this play but really enjoyed it! Also, I think t... Read more Read less

For a previous production
50
Unpleasant characters, Disappointing, Confusing, Indulgent

See it if Don't. It's Vonnegut, but it's random, chaotic, and not funny

Don't see it if Read his books.

For a previous production
86
Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Must see, Relevant

See it if You like good acting, specially Harold and Penelope was over the top. Eventhough the play takes place in past, still relavant.

Don't see it if You do not like Very intimate theatre setting, violence, hunting, war talk, profanity.

For a previous production
87
Dizzying, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if you love Vonnegut. A biting satire for Donald Trump's America: aggressive masculinity, guns, war, corruption, amorality, abuse of women.

Don't see it if you prefer light comedy, and realistic settings, situations, and dialog. This play is dark and experimental.

For a previous production
83
Loud, Great acting, Funny, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy dark comedies (think Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal") or where society's values & gun culture are mocked, thus cut down to si

Don't see it if you don't like Kurt Vonnegut / plays inspired by Greek myths / plays that make you reassess what it's like to triumph in "a man's world"

Also In his 1st play, which debuted on B'way in 1970, Kurt Vonnegut [1922-2... Read more Read less

For a previous production
80
Entertaining, Resonant, Quirky

See it if If you are a Kurt Vonnegut fan. such an interesting take on life and meaning.

Don't see it if you like straight forward, easily followed script.

Also great cast. The lead guy is so good as a scary, macho man. Raises lots... Read more Read less

For a previous production
70
Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like Vonnegut's brand of simplistic scifi, this time dividing society into those who kill and those who don't.

Don't see it if Vonnegut trying to be Shaw, but didn't capture the intellectual and social issues. The overacting alarm sounded whenever the lead onstage

For a previous production
90
Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you want to see a rarely performed play from the brilliant Kurt Vonnegut

Don't see it if you are not able to pay close attention for two intense hours of intimate live theater

Also Cast was really great. The writing , and the way it was performed , re... Read more Read less

For a previous production
81
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting

See it if If you enjoy dark comedy and good acting.

Don't see it if You want a straight forward play that doesn't require too much introspection.

For a previous production
92
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if Still relevant after all these years

Don't see it if Best for Vonnegut fans

For a previous production
81
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if want to see a rarely staged Vonnegut story. Great actors in a small intimate space. Interesting!

Don't see it if you don't like male characters behaving as if they rule the world and need to show off their big bad he-man ways.


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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