Henry VI (National Asian American Theatre Company)
Henry VI (National Asian American Theatre Company)

Henry VI (National Asian American Theatre Company) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(52 Ratings)
Members say
Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Epic

About the Show

NAATCO (The National Asian American Theatre Company) presents a new adaptation of Shakespeare's historical trilogy, condensed into two parts and performed in rep.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (52)

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292 Reviews | 62 Followers
Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting, Epic, Dizzying

See it if You like Shakespeare, stage fighting, great (though still minimal) staging, you want to support Asian actors in English plays.

Don't see it if You can't sit through 6 hours of the Bard. Read more

477 Reviews | 119 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful

See it if You enjoy Game of Thrones. (Or, you know, Shakespeare) Want to support the NAATC. Enjoy macabre plays with lots of plotting and murder.

Don't see it if Dislike any abridgment of Shakespearean text. This is an adaptation that reduces three parts into two, though it does so effectively. Read more

677 Reviews | 192 Followers
Absorbing, Great staging, Must see, Ambitious, Epic

See it if you want to see a 1st-rate company mount a riveting, lively, deft, accessible, unimposing, relevant, rewarding staging of a challenging work

Don't see it if you don't have the 6 hrs (over 2 parts) to devote, as you really should see both parts if you're going to see it at all [But it's worth it!] Read more

754 Reviews | 127 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful

See it if excellent performance of a great classic work interest you. The use of the stage, the clarity of pronunciation and meaning are extraordinary

Don't see it if you can't sit still for 2 hours. Seeing both parts makes for a dramatic experience but a very long day. In spite of very comfortable chairs

147 Reviews | 39 Followers
Brilliant, Huge, Powerful, Masterful, Confusing

See it if Brilliantly directed, staged, acted. A must-see. Even odd "gender-neutral" casting decisions didn't diminish the better performances.

Don't see it if There's a reason Shakespeare's Histories aren't performed as often as his Tragedies and Comedies. You need a scorecard to follow the action

133 Reviews | 36 Followers
Ambitious, Dizzying, Epic, Must see, Riveting

See it if you love Shakespeare well-done, gripping.

Don't see it if you don't love Shakespeare Read more

443 Reviews | 145 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Great ensemble, Smart direction

See it if you’re a Shakespeare completist—I mean that in a good way bcz I am. Exceptionally challenging play intelligently navigated w/ few precedents

Don't see it if it’s your 1st history play; don’t want H6 compressed; prefer a probing character study to a barrage of rhetorical & physical skirmishes Read more

563 Reviews | 194 Followers
Epic, Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Riveting

See it if You want a real life Game of Thrones. You want Shakespeare by a well-trained classical cast w/simple, yet effective staging.

Don't see it if You don't like verse plays. You don't want to commit to an epic-length(6 hrs) play. You have no familiarity w/the War of the Roses.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
August 31st, 2018

"It’s a production that asks nearly six hours from your life, but it repays you handsomely. Fast-paced and gripping, this is an unusually lucid staging of a bloody history play, whose surfeit of schemes and villainy could make a daytime-drama writer blush. Yet for all the battles and beheadings in Stephen Brown-Fried’s handsomely designed production, never does it take death lightly. That’s one of the remarkable things about it."
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Lighting & Sound America
August 23rd, 2018

"One is inescapably reminded of Shakespeare's enduring modernity. These plays, written in the late sixteenth century, depicting events of nearly a century earlier, are defined by a cool, calculating gaze that seems thoroughly of today...Under Brown-Fried's direction, the overall performance is, almost necessarily, uneven...Still, the sheer sweep of Shakespeare's vision holds one captive, and the fast-paced, highly economical staging never sags for a moment."
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Talkin' Broadway
August 25th, 2018

"Not that NAATCO doesn't do a splendid job with this vivid history of the Wars of the Roses...There's just so damn much of it...It's a lot to keep track of and much of the first hour or two at NAATCO is spent wondering, Who's he? Who's she? Why are they so angry at each other?..Once you've puzzled out the dramatis personae, it's relatively easy to follow, and the emotions rattling across NAATCO's ample stage are strong and affecting."
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New York Stage Review
August 23rd, 2018

"The National Asian American Theatre Company and director Stephen Brown-Fried have smartly condensed the three plays into two. The total running time is still more than five and a half hours, but it’s a small price to pay for such an ambitious production...For me, the best part of these plays was the discovery of the mouthy Margaret, the ball-busting queen...The text could have been cut a smidge more."
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August 22nd, 2018

“Inventive and spectacular two-part adaptation...An excellent all-Asian cast...Creatively conceived by Brown-Fried and superbly directed by him, his Orson Welles-like vision transcends the difficult material. This sterling production is also an inspired example of American actors succeeding at Shakespeare...Brown-Fried obtains uniformly vivid performances from them and the semblance that they are a unified company.”
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Theatre is Easy
August 21st, 2018

"Because these actors would seldom be cast in most productions of this difficult, rarely staged trio of plays, there’s a palpable urgency in the excellence of the performances. By the end of six hours, it’s hard to picture anyone else in these roles, thanks to the relentless power of this company’s efforts. That our focus holds for this (very rarely wearying) marathon is in large part due to the boundlessly creative, perpetually smart direction by Stephen Brown-Fried."
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Theater Pizzazz
August 24th, 2018

“This production is not to be missed...NAATCO has pulled out all the stops to make the entire story as clear as possible...The standout...is the absolutely fantastic staging, which lends an intensity and excitement to the plays that might otherwise have been lacking...The cast itself features standouts who make ordinary roles rise above their usual prominence in the plays...This production exposes more than usual the universality of Shakespeare’s themes of war and avarice.”
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August 25th, 2018

"The ambitious staging combines Shakespeare's three parts into two...The production is sprawling, and at moments drops into sluggishness. But at its best, the breadth of the universe and ambition of the storytelling becomes truly dizzying...NAATCO's 'Henry VI' demands a lot of your time and your attention, but for those willing to put in the effort, the impressively acted and thoughtfully enlightening production proves to be an striking new take on this historical classic."
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