Already closed | 2h 15m | West Village

Himself and Nora

From 229 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Romantic, Disappointing

About the show

A musical about one of the world’s great romances, between Nora the chambermaid, whose passion and acerbic wit ignited the genius of groundbreaking writer James Joyce. More…

Ripped from pages of their intimate life together, Jonathan Brielle's musical explores the turbulent and enduring romance between Ireland's brilliant and controversial writer, James Joyce, and his longtime muse and eventual wife, Nora Barnacle. Starring Broadway vet Matt Bogart as the iconic author, this untold story opens a window into the unconventional and passionate love affair which changed literature forever.

2h 15m | Already closed | Minetta Lane Theatre (West Village)

Member Reviews (229)


Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Romantic, Disappointing
Avg Score

Uneven, Patchy, Good music, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if Good music. Basher is outstanding! So is Dobbs. Great staging. Some great songs. Story is disjointed. Needs work.

Don't see it if Bogart is too affected/over-the-top/flamboyant. Distracting. Too many love songs where the chemistry doesn't convey love. Protest too much

Disappointing, Uneven, Unfocused, Poorly constructed, Great singing

See it if You want to hear some pretty songs. Bashor is incredibly talented & in a league of her own. She's too good for this material.

Don't see it if It's poorly constructed, there are a few great moments (Thanks to Bashor). Is more about a selfish alcoholic than "the greatest love story"

Entertaining, Ambitious, Romantic, Great singing

See it if You like well done period pieces. Thoughtful. Smart. Romantic. A little long. I'd lose a couple numbers completely but really quite good.

Don't see it if You don't like a historical musical. They try (with a fair amount of success) to bring the characters to life and to show the love story.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like a funny, good story about a persons life, especially Jimmy! Good music and acting.

Don't see it if You don't like finding an off Broadway hidden gem at a good price.

Banal, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if Well, meh. Great talent. Weak show.

Don't see it if Disconnected and disjointed is how you like your theater.

Banal, Disappointing, Un-joycian, Unfocused, Great singing

See it if you want a cursory, depthless lesson on James Joyce and his relationship with his muse, Nora, played & sung beautifully by Whitney Bashor.

Don't see it if you're a Joyce fan: Language is un-Joycian, relationship w/Nora is highly diluted & his works (other than Ulysses) are barely mentioned.

Entertaining, Great acting, Original, Great singing

See it if You love Irish dancing, talented Broadway stars with great voices, and a live orchestra. Easy to follow plot, well-acted.

Don't see it if You don't like long shows. Although it runs 2 hours 20 minutes, it flies by.

Romantic, Clever, Entertaining, Original, Great singing

See it if you love gorgeous voices, close harmony, movement, absolute commitment from the actors throughout the play. I went back for those voices.

Don't see it if you are offended by some chaste but a bit vulgar choreography. I've taken 5 friends none was offended. All very happy to see it.

Entertaining, Romantic, Great singing

See it if you enjoy romantic but balanced stories and are interested in James Joyce's personal life. Good musical numbers, some Irish dancing.

Don't see it if you do not care for male-female romance or about James Joyce. If you do not like Ireland or the Irish.

Great acting, Slow, Indulgent, Dated, Great singing

See it if you love the performers, who are all superb, or James Joyce.

Don't see it if having done so results in a 20-minute convo at dinner detailing where a biographical character drama goes wrong.

Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, A mess

See it if you are not demanding of coherency.

Don't see it if you like good musicals.

Absorbing, Sexy, Enchanting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if You want to learn about one of the greatest love stories of all time--James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. I was weeping at the end, love the CD

Don't see it if You don't want to see something inspiring, uplifting, educational and edifying that will stay with you forever.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Great staging, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if You want to see a rarity: a musical whose 2nd Act is stronger & more realized than the first. A fine-voiced smooth & pro cast, generic score

Don't see it if You don't like or know James Joyce, or want a more tuneful, memorable score than another in the style of Le Miz, even if well sung/performed

Banal, Cliched, Excruciating, Indulgent, Raunchy

See it if honestly, no idea who would need to see this. You like songs that list Irish counties?

Don't see it if that suggestive/vaginal artwork makes you roll your eyes.

Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You have an interest in James Joyce and you like musicals about strong women.

Don't see it if You aren't a fan of sex jokes.

Slow, Raunchy, Disappointing, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you love James Joyce, great singing and some Irish dancing with better second act than first

Don't see it if you expect an edgy approach to an unconventional writer; this is a very so so musical

Romantic, Entertaining, Great music, Indulgent, Great singing

See it if You want to hear a beautiful score sung with aplomb; you like stories about historical figures, artists, or troubled marriages.

Don't see it if You want a likable protagonist, or struggle with Irish accents (though they're not very extreme).

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Original, Great singing

See it if You want to hear amazing singing, great cast, a little romance with a little raunch. Beautiful songs. Fell in love with cast.

Don't see it if Don't like musicals, don't have a romantic bone in your body or if you can't appreciate great singing.

Disappointing, Boring, musically repetitive

See it if you are so dedicated to James Joyce that you will watch anything about him.

Don't see it if You expect insights into a literary genius, inventive or new musical expression of his poetic works. Felt sorry for the talented cast.

Ambitious, Clever, Great chemistry

See it if performances and chemistry of leads Bashor and Bogart; anyone who has a connection with James Joyce or mid-century Ireland

Don't see it if Stakes never seemed high enough in Act I but are partially met in Act II; occasionally sweet and serviceable score

Hideous sets, Eye-searing lighting, Monotonous music, Raunchy, Boring

See it if You are huge fans of Matt Bogart (who wasn't sounding great) or Whitney Bashor (who was the only redeeming quality).

Don't see it if You want to see a story where you care about the characters. Or if you have a problem with tonal shifts because these were breakneck.

Entertaining, Great singing

See it if musical theater is for you. Broadway caliber singing and stage presence. A very worthwhile show.

Don't see it if you want an action packed show. Can be a bit slow.

Great staging, Intelligent, Insipid, Magnificant music and lyrics, Great singing

See it if you love beautiful music and lyrics exquisitely sung by soaring voices and/or if you're a fan of James Joyce

Don't see it if you don't appreciate troubled lives, alcoholism, philandering, schizophrenia, Ireland, foul language, or anything Joyce

Enchanting, Dizzying, Raunchy, Great singing

See it if you like great singing and magnificent sets and don't mind a little revisionist history.

Don't see it if simulated sex on stage or multi-character acting

Entertaining, Great acting, Slow, Romantic, Great singing

See it if If you are a James Joyce fan or like romantic musicals

Don't see it if If you want a fast pace show

June 8th, 2016
"The show’s aesthetic is in no way Joycean or even very Irish…Mr. Bogart makes a likable but hardly magnetic Joyce, and Ms. Bashor a lively and appealing Nora. Yet I had trouble buying them as a pair of early-20th-century iconoclasts, or even as a couple with a supposedly irresistible sexual spar...
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June 7th, 2016
"James Joyce may have made a mess of his love life, but probably not as badly as composer/lyricist/bookvwriter/orchestrator Jonathan Brielle has in his dreary Off-Broadway musical. An undistinguished contribution to the 'insufferable artistic genius and the woman he considers his muse' genre, 'Hi...
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June 15th, 2016
“Alas, 'Himself and Nora' flattens these two great characters into one-and-a half dimensions each and denudes their story of its most piquant details. And when all else fails, it piles on the blarney...The book and lyrics are distressingly banal...Lacking a strong point of view and/or anything ne...
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June 6th, 2016
"Brielle has written a straightforward musical biography that attacks the essential points as if a hit-and-run collision, then careens on to the next in the traditional (and traditionally tedious) take-no-chances manner. It's not so much that you don't learn much about Joyce but that it's all so ...
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