Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Great writing

About the show

On the heels of a sold out, twice-extended world premiere produced by Vineyard Theatre, Tony winner Billy Crudup returns to this one-man, comic thriller about a shy midwestern man leading an outrageous double life.

... Read more

Moving to New York City and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family’s life as the seductive and precocious Harry, whose increasingly risky and dangerous behavior threatens to undo more than his persona.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

80
Theatermania

“Cale's ‘Harry Clarke’ feels a lot like a story we've heard before. Somewhat derivative, this solo play is nevertheless an undeniably entertaining meditation on identity and deception...Crudup is particularly convincing in both sexual and dialectical malleability, deftly juggling multiple accents...Silverman's unobtrusive staging puts its faith in Crudup and Cale's writing to hold the audience rapt, which turns out to be the right bet.” Full Review

65
The Hollywood Reporter

“The charismatic, handsome actor exudes sex appeal, making his character's seductive talents fully credible. Crudup also delivers a tour-de-force performance; effortlessly delineating his multiple characters, switching accents at the drop of a hat and even singing...Unfortunately, his protean efforts are on behalf of a shaggy-dog story that, while it has its entertaining moments and wittily amusing observations, doesn't add up to very much...Crudup nonetheless makes it worthwhile.” Full Review

85
The New York Times

“Crudup appears to be having the time of his life in a sly role terrifically suited to his gifts...One of the best things about the play is that for a long time it leaves us bamboozled into believing...Crudup has a natural sense of drama that needs no underlining. His vulpine charm makes it impossible not to like him, even as he grows alarming...The production, directed by Silverman, is just as masterly, playing quietly on the theme of making much out of little.” Full Review

65
Time Out New York

“Compared to Cale’s previous pieces, 'Harry Clarke' is surprisingly thin...And there's something strangely dated about it, too...Crudup has fire-hose charm and a naughty triangular grin; he's charismatic enough to sell water to a duck. But he hasn't got an immaculate English accent...The piece, for all its faults, has just enough glamour to carry us along. As Harry tells us, sometimes even fake enchantment will do.” Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

“Usually, Cale writes vehicles for himself; this time he outsourced the job to Crudup. The result is a joyful reinvention for both artists...Crudup delivers a tour de force...Cale establishes Philip's unhappy youth with such force that we find ourselves rooting for him...That we do so is due in no small measure to Crudup's seemingly effortless handling of the script...Watching Philip/Harry's wild ride provides an evening of wickedly enjoyable entertainment.” Full Review

70
New York Theater

"It takes a charismatic performance by the talented Mr. Crudup to make something undeniably entertaining out of Cale’s familiar and improbable yarn...What’s underneath 'Harry Clarke' feels incidental to what’s on its surface. Director Leigh Silverman smartly puts her trust in Crudup...Theatergoers might still side with Harry, for the same reason that the Schmidts are willingly deceived and exploited. We are seduced by the performance." Full Review

60
Front Row Center

“'Harry Clarke' reminded me once again that Billy Crudup is a terrific actor...That was what this production did for me. This was enough in an of itself, but it could have been so much more...Cale’s text is lacking in connectivity, and Silverman’s direction does little enhance the written word. This train is being powered entirely by the good intentions and determination of Crudup...While Crudup is more than inspiring to watch, I wish he had had material and direction that allowed him to soar.” Full Review

55
The Huffington Post

“An unreliable narrator can be great fun...In this case an unreliable narrator can frustrate you, leaving an audience wondering exactly what was intended and whether or not they should care...Crudup holds the stage in this one-person show with his usual magnetic stage presence, ably shifting through multiple accents and characters with aplomb...Crudup’s mastery of the material is the main drawing card of this ultimately unsatisfying work." Full Review

80
Broadway Blog

“The audience is never told why it's hearing this story, nor does it learn until the end why the set looks as it does. Numerous incidents transpire but the structure resembles a shaggy dog story, with active events followed by passive ones…Crudup may not be the most chameleonic of actors but his chiseled features and personal charm, coupled with his use of subtle facial and gestural changes, agreeably engage us as he presents multiple characters, male and female, with creditable success.” Full Review

85
Deadline

"Crudup switches not only among Philip, Harry, and his sneering father, but also will transform himself with the widening of an eye, a deft riposte, into each member of the all-to-eager family. It’s a dazzler of a performance, choreographed with precision by director Leigh Silverman. It’s also quietly unsettling, I’d say even shocking, as we realize there’s a void where Harry’s soul should be. That’s what gives 'Harry Clarke' its inevitable poignancy." Full Review

85
New York Daily News

“Slyly seductive and quietly creepy...The plot emits the musky scent of Highsmith’s dark and sexy thriller ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’. But Cale’s vivid details and imagery and tightly calibrated narrative gives the play its own distinction...Under the direction of Silverman, Crudup doesn’t make a false move...He glides seamlessly from one character to another — man, woman, gay, straight, drunk, sober. Playing an impostor, Crudup proves, once again, he’s the real deal.” Full Review

84
Front Mezz Junkies

“Cale’s exciting ‘Harry Clarke’ is a magnificently fun ride to take with Crudup, who is given numerous great moments and thrilling acting choices...Crudup is magnetic, holding our attention completely...He keeps us leaning in nervously as we try to figure out where this play is heading...Directed by the wonderful Silverman, the piece drives forward with an anxious edge that borders on excitement, tension, and fear of discovery.” Full Review

85
CurtainUp

“Cale has created a full-bodied play with a real plot that just happens to enable one actor to play all the characters...Entertaining as the plot Mr. Cale has concocted is, the real fun is to watch Crudup take on all these characters. Without costume or cosmetic changes, he assumes all these people's quirks, voices and physical stances...’Harry Clarke’ counts on Cale's witty script and Crudup's virtuoso performance to make us buy into some of the factual improbabilities.” Full Review

90
Theatre Reviews Limited

"A complex and engaging psychological study...Cale’s script is carefully developed: it has a well-defined dramatic arc and it features interesting and well-developed characters with engaging and believable conflicts...Under Silverman’s astute and unobtrusive direction, Crudup engages in a dramatic battle with the script and comes up the clear victor, unearthing Mr. Cale’s treasures and bringing Harry Clarke to life with inexorable energy and irrepressible wit." Full Review

70
Gotham Playgoer

“An interesting idea, but Cale doesn’t handle the story particularly well...The saving grace, to the extent there is one, is Crudup’s performance. He is good with accents and even gets to sing a little. I’m not sure whether director Silverman could have done anything more to hide the weaknesses in the script...The play came across as a pale, rather clumsy imitation of Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’” Full Review

80
The Wrap

“Played to perfection by Crudup...There’s a murder stuck in the middle of ‘Harry Clarke’, but you almost don’t notice it...There is, however, a lot of sex...An amazingly erotic play, amazing because there’s only Crudup on stage and he never engages in masturbation...There are instead many scenes of seduction...Throughout, Silverman’s direction creates an environment of seeping malevolence and impending threats that stands in stark contrast to the ebullient, unrepentant ‘Harry Clarke’.” Full Review

85
CitiTour

“Cale’s script is quite good, but the lion’s share of praise here belongs to Tony Award winner Crudup, who delivers -- under Silverman’s simple yet smart direction – the kind of tour-de-force solo performance that deserves to be remembered, even honored...He creates an entire world of believable characters...Still, there’s never one second during the show’s 80 minutes when you don’t know which character is talking and Crudup’s face even seems to change its features at times.” Full Review

75
Woman Around Town

"The point of playwright David Cale’s piece doesn’t seem to be its unresolved journey, but rather a look at the mercurial Harry and opportunity for an actor to embody multiple personalities...Crudup mostly keeps his characters separate, changing with speed and precision. The actor vibrates with theatrical focus through the entire production. Though character representation is good, Director Silverman doesn’t do much with her actor in terms of gesture or movement." Full Review

90
Theater Pizzazz

“Crudup can mug with the best of them in the different characters he assumes in this one-man show so cleverly written by Cale. It’s not the distinctive voicing of females or males, but the physical and emotional subtlety he swiftly assumes as he morphs into each...All unfolds through the vivid performance skills of an amazing Crudup relating this outrageous story that is both funny and sexually charged...This is a dazzling piece of writing directed by the exceptional hand of Silverman.” Full Review

90
DC Metro Theater Arts

"Crudup soon has us forgetting this is a one-man play...The tale he tells is full of surprises, details, suspense; and there was total absorption...His is a tour-de-force performance, and it deserved the ovation that greeted him on his bows...This is exactly the sort of work that theaters like the Vineyard are mandated to offer, and they justify their leadership in this small group of explorers who sometimes come up with gold. This is one of those times." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

“Through David Cale's new play ‘Harry Clarke,’ we see how Brugglestein—portrayed by the sensational Billy Crudup—transforms into Harry Clarke...Crudup fills out the character and the messiness of coping with a traumatic childhood...In ‘Harry Clarke’ the story unfolds in sensitive, thrilling stories told by Crudup…Original music also written by Cale adds a refreshing element that helps distinguish Harry Clarke from many of Billy Crudup's other performances.” Full Review

90
DC Metro Theater Arts

"A solo show with a compelling story told by a riveting actor in a tour-de-force performance...Crudup’s first-person delivery is mesmerizing. Flawlessly shifting from one to another...The show’s minimalist design allows us to focus on Crudup and his masterful delivery of the charismatic character and captivating narrative...An astutely written and insightfully performed study in character, identity, and persona that will have you laughing and leave you thinking about the nature of who you are." Full Review

65
Stage Buzz

"Crudup gives a powerful performance...'Harry Clarke' proves to be an interesting experience...Unfortunately, the playwright never decides exactly what he wants to focus on...As such, good as the piece is, one eventually begins to listen to it with a rather detached air...Crudup does an excellent job in taking on the personas of the various roles...An enjoyable experience, but the tale related doesn't go deep enough to make it something really special." Full Review

90
This Week in New York Blog

"Tony winner Billy Crudup charms the audience much as the character he plays charms the Schmidt family in David Cale’s riveting one-man show. In his first solo performance, Crudup is captivating as Philip Brugglestein...Silverman knows just when to get Crudup on the move...The writing is so sharp, and the performance so astute, with a cinematic fervor, that you can easily visualize the places Harry goes." Full Review

95
The Observer

"Take advantage of the opportunity to see Crudup at the top of his game in the new off-Broadway tour de force 'Harry Clarke' at the Vineyard and you’ll be forever glad you did...It’s a wild romp played with gusto, finesse, and awesome authenticity...The program credits the excellent Leigh Silverman as the director, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn Crudup directed himself. Whatever the case, 'Harry Clarke' is one of the oddest and most exhilarating theater triumphs of 2017." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

89
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you want to be engrossed by a one man dynamo with a twisty plot

Don't see it if you need an intermission or can't sit through a show with minimal sets and no other characters

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Fast paced

See it if Great writing paired with great acting. Absorbing story with lots of plot twists and hooks. Exciting.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows with minimal sets.

Also Crudup is excellent and the play never flags. Reminds me of Aaron Mark... Read more Read less

70
Great acting, Entertaining

See it if See good acting from changing characters by just phrasing or a mannerism.

Don't see it if Story is interesting but even as a one-act it felt long.

80
Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if ...you are a fan of Cale's solo work & want to see how it holds up without him, or a fan of Crudup & his formidable acting chops.

Don't see it if ...you think a play needs 2 or more actors to interact: Crudup is very strong switching between characters & identities, but he's just 1 guy

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Riveting

See it if An acting tour-de-force & Crudup delivers in full measure Cale's mono-drama slowly becomes a darker look at identity, self deception & fate

Don't see it if Story-line drags in midsection due to psychology of Harry's upbringing but Crudup navigates with aplomb Silverman's minimal touch wonderful

90
Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Suspenseful

See it if Timid beaten-down gay man adopts a devilish alter-ego. Does anyone really have a stable identity? Great acting & story that keeps u guessing

Don't see it if You don't enjoy dark comedy. You don't enjoy one-man shows. You prefer to avoid explicit sexual content.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Superb acting from Crudup. Captivating story that holds your attention start to finish. Lots of juicy drama with dark comedy woven in.

Don't see it if You dislike solo shows. Although the performance and story should easily keep you engrossed for the 80min run-time.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you would, foremost, like an acting masterclass. Crudup mesmerizing. Odd story of self fluidity, What if u aren't who you're supposed to be

Don't see it if you don't like 1 man show, need intricate sets or staging. While no nudity, content is highly sexual.

Also Start with an incredible performance. Crudup plays somewhere around 11... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a masterful performance by Billy Crudup

Don't see it if You don’t like one man shows - or are not interested in tales about sociopaths

80
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you'd enjoy the tales of a charming done very well

Don't see it if One-handers are not your thing

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Entertaining

See it if you love great acting. Billy Crudup is amazing. 90 minutes of pure joy.

Don't see it if you hate solo shows.

100
Great writing, great acting, intelligent, masterful, and a definate must see of the 2017 theater season

See it if you love hear a WELL WRITTEN, INTERESTINGLY FASCINATING story performed by a truly skilled actor, then this is the play for you.

Don't see it if you are an idiot, or just don't like one man shows (even though this is a quite unique and different kind of one man show).

Also David Cale’s new play comes out of the gate at full speed and keeps up... Read more Read less

84
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy solo shows or vivid storytelling told solely through dialogue. Crudup is astounding, effortlessly gliding between voices/accents.

Don't see it if you require visual stimulation to get into a story. As is the case with many solo shows, you’ll need to use your imagination with this one.

Also This is a story about identity—about a man who feels in his cells that... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you want to see Billy Crudup give what is possibly the performance of his career. Also, be on the look out for any new work by David Cale.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows or if you have difficulty focusing on one actor playing a variety of roles.

65
Clever, Disappointing

See it if You find Crudup more than just pretty. He looks the part, almost sounds the part, and clearly relishes the role.

Don't see it if Like me, you love David Cale, and can't help thinking he would be more convincing playing the role himself.

77
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Quirky, Slow

See it if a one-man show about a charismatic con artist is up your alley

Don't see it if you want substance or notable staging or text.

100
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if Just see it! Billy Crudup is fantastic!

Don't see it if You are not into solo performance pieces

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if Bravura performance by Crudup; plays the roles of men and women with equal fun, passion and devotion; I was engrossed from start to finish.

Don't see it if Only reason not to see it is if you hate one man shows, though this felt like there were many characters on stage. Crudup having fun.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want to see one of the finest one man shows of the season. Billy Crudup is astounding. The script is spellbinding.

Don't see it if Just go see it!

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you enjoy a mental thriller that asks the question "Who are you, really?" If you liked Squeamish, this is in the same genre.

Don't see it if you need a full cast and set to enjoy a show. One man, one chair, one table, one glass of water, one backdrop.

94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you like plays that make you think.Crudup is absolutely flawless.He seamlessly plays 13-14 different roles without losing a beat.

Don't see it if you want something upbeat and frothy. Play should be trimmed by about 4-8 minutes, but that is its only flaw. SEE IT NOW!!!

90
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a masterful one man show with multiple characters in a very simplistic environment. BRILLIANTLY ACTED!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy one man shows, need a full blown production or can't handle multiple characters delineated by a change in voice alone.

Also BILLY CRUDUP!!!!! OK, I admit to already being a fan, which is why I w... Read more Read less

80
Ambitious, Clever

See it if you like Billy Cudrup in this interesting thriller. Unusual and different. contrasts to the group that brought it to nyc. Thought provoking

Don't see it if you have to work to keep up.This work requires attention and is not a lite evening at the theatre. Acting is good. Story is hard to follow.

90
Great acting, Riveting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you're wary of solo performances—this one will win you over; you like being lulled into a thrilling tale relayed by chameleon storyteller.

Don't see it if you need multiple actors and sets to hold your attention; you're easily irked by deception or blurred lines (accents, sexuality, identity).

Also This performance had a talk-back (with the writer, the director, and C... Read more Read less

70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you like Billy. That is THE reason to see this show.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows. although Billy is excellent, the story is contrived, inane, silly, unbelievable.


Cast & Creatives (8)