HUNGRY: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play One
Closed 1h 45m
HUNGRY: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play One
81

HUNGRY: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play One NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(57 Reviews)
Positive
86%
Mixed
12%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson returns to The Public Theater with 'Hungry,' the first in a new three-play cycle introducing us to the Gabriels of Rhinebeck, New York.

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Member Reviews (57)

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80
Absorbing, Intimate, Strong acting, Relevant, Funny

See it if you like realism. Hungry feels like an edited film of a real family. Still, Nelson's hand is evident in its humor and intelligence.

Don't see it if you want something bold and theatrical. Hungry has a small focus, used to spotlight our times especially women's roles. Strong ensemble! Read more

70
Great acting, Slow, Banal, Warm, Confusing

See it if it's very well acted and the writing+directing make it feel very true to life and immersive. But has no plot or point.Nothing to think about

Don't see it if For a trilogy you're left with no hook whatsoever.Nothing to get curious about in a sequel. Nice but as forgettable as kitchen conversation.

Critic Reviews (19)

The New York Times
March 6th, 2016

"The wonderful new play written and directed by Richard Nelson...'Hungry,' a work in which nothing much happens beyond some contemplative pre-dinner chatter, may well be the most resonantly topical and emotionally engaging play of this presidential election year...Mr. Nelson finds the weave of momentous history in the fabric of the quotidian. These works are as personal as they are political, and you cannot separate the two any more than you can in your own life."
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Time Out New York
March 6th, 2016

"The compression of the project has taken a toll. Characters speak in undifferentiated voices, with similar tics, and despite a host of touching moments, certain narrative choices sour even in the play's short running time...Haste has disrupted his delicacy, leading to the show's worst technique: constant reference to the deceased Thomas, who turns out to have been a Nelson-esque playwright...We see the hand of the playwright, and—all too often—that hand is patting the playwright's back."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 6th, 2016

"Its thousand acts of extreme daily realism, from chopping vegetables to the constant dance of interpersonal negotiation, amount to a kind of human politics, dramatizing the historic conflicts and consolations of living in our country right now...Superbly performed, under the playwright’s invisible direction, 'Hungry' may abjure cheap theatrics but nevertheless provides the occult kick of a thriller. You watch it thinking, 'Hey, don’t I know you?'"
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 5th, 2016

"The evening delivers the sort of intimacy rarely encountered on the stage, even if it has its longueurs...Narratively speaking, little happens in these plays...The evening, then, is not about action, but rather the casual interplay among the extended family members. As with the first trilogy, this installment seems mainly designed as an introduction to the characters. All of them seem vitally real thanks to both the precision of the writing and the superb performances by the ensemble."
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Deadline
March 4th, 2016

"Nelson’s quietly incandescent 'Hungry' feels as fresh as if it was written this morning...Everything and nothing happens in those 100 minutes...Nelson again directs his work with assurance and the cast is fine; the standouts are Plunkett and Sanders...'Hungry' will be followed in September and November by the last two Gabriel family plays, which are certain to be more civilized and civilizing than the surreal events unfolding in the world around them."
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New York Daily News
March 7th, 2016

"Anxiety, thick enough to cut with a knife, is what author and director Richard Nelson is really exploring in this gorgeously acted portrait of American lives in limbo…Performed by a flawless ensemble, 'Hungry' always goes down very easy even if, as in the Apple plays, this production isn’t action-packed. It’s about conversation — talk that’s freighted with plainspoken eloquence, humor, remorse and anger. The acting is so natural it delivers a fly-on-the-wall voyeuristic thrill."
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AM New York
March 7th, 2016

"Very little occurs in these plays...The casual, subdued acting from the six-person ensemble is ultra-realistic, but it’s hard to stay interested in 'Hungry' for 100 quiet, uneventful minutes. But taken together with the upcoming two segments, 'The Gabriels' will provide another up-close and in-depth portrait of a struggling American family at this specific moment in time."
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Theatermania
March 6th, 2016

"The characters are so affable, so friendly, so genuine, that it's almost like we're eavesdropping...Nelson's major gift here is the way he captures, in a way no other contemporary playwright yet has, the all-too-real fear among members of the Democratic Party: What if it collapses...Directed with sharp precision by the author, 'Hungry' features a company of actors whose work is so authentic we forget they aren't actually their characters."
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BroadwayWorld
March 7th, 2016

"There's a sense through the piece that Nelson is just offering a feel of the characters and setting them up for more interesting matters in the coming chapters...But trust seems to be a major issue this political season and judging from his past record, we can probably trust that Nelson and his crew have made this first visit with the Gabriels just the appetizer for a satisfying meal to come."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 11th, 2016

"One of the great things about Richard Nelson's plays is that they force you to listen -- hard...This is one case where the author is the perfect director of his own work, working with his cast to forge a style of acting so naturalistic that it barely seems like acting at all...Whatever comes next, 'Hungry' is an expertly etched panel in the author's increasingly impressive mural of classic liberal culture in decline."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 5th, 2016

"Nelson has captured this alienating zeitgeist with such accuracy in this play that it almost seems indecorous to discuss the idea of whether it is a fulfilling drama on its own terms. Spoiler: It isn't...The stumbling block (for now, anyway) is that almost all of the characters are pretty drab. This is not the fault of the performers who craft magnetic, almost impossibly real personalities...If not all the pieces come together, they do offer the hint of a picture we desperately need to see."
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TheaterScene.net
March 19th, 2016

“‘Hungry’ is both an occasional play (written for this moment in time) and a chamber play. Not much happens but a great deal is implied. It will not please all theatergoers. However, it will be interesting to see how Nelson develops the next two plays in the series, ‘What Did You Expect?’ and ‘Women of a Certain Age’, with the same actors. Demonstrating their expertise, the cast is real enough to make you think they are not performing.”
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Theater Pizzazz
March 17th, 2016

"Like the ratatouille prepared on stage, ‘Hungry’ is an appetizing but meatless dish. It’s satisfying principally because of how expertly its realistic dialogue and behavior is directed by Nelson himself and acted by the superb ensemble...One assumes—or, at any rate, hopes—that the play’s tentative political content is the appetizer for the more nutritious courses to be served up later in the year. More meat, please!"
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CurtainUp
March 6th, 2016

"'Hungry' indicates that Nelson has refined and perfected his inter-linking of major national events with the major and trivial events of an intelligent, liberal-minded group of American characters...Nelson deftly steers his cast through all the physical and verbal business...Real smells of the dinner being prepared actually waft through the theater and will leave you hungry for a repast of your own—and hungry for more time with the Gabriels."
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Front Row Center
March 10th, 2016

"Nothing is sorted out or resolved...To be sure, the event of scattering a beloved’s ashes is nothing to be sneezed at. However, this event, in and of itself does not set off any fireworks or even mild frost heaves...The Gabriel family, unlike the pot of water on the back of the stove, is set at simmer and never achieves a level any deeper than mildly interesting."
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DC Theatre Scene
March 5th, 2016

"'Hungry' is realistically acted, with a subtle craft that invests the characters’ seemingly random comments and everyday activities with thematic weight...It helps to assume that 'Hungry' sets up characters and relationships that will pay off in more compelling plays to come."
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Times Square Chronicles
March 13th, 2016

"Nothing much happens except the conversations most people are having about this coming election...We spend an hour and forty-five minutes in conversation about the present state of the political circus...No insight, no conflict, so nothing gets resolved. Honestly how is this a play? Where is the arc? Where is the emotional commitment? Where is the entertainment?...This play left me starving for something, anything, and I was left unfulfilled."
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B
March 8th, 2016

"Nelson’s skill at incorporating feelings about events in the larger world into naturalistic family conversations is even more seamlessly realized here than in the 'Apple' plays. The cost of this seamlessness is a lessening of drama and traditional plot, a trade off I can readily accept...If you demand fast-acting drama, you will be miserable, but if you enjoy leisurely conversation by intelligent people, you will be quite content."
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The Huffington Post
March 5th, 2016

"The only distressing element about 'Hungry', the initial installment in Richard Nelson's new trilogy about the Gabriel family, is that the author makes the whole thing look so effortlessly easy...We have been so impressed by Nelson's work on the 'Apple Family Plays' that we tend to overlook his direction, which is precise and perfect...Everything is beyond just right."
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