Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson returns to the Public to reveal a forgotten chapter of the Public Theater’s own history. More…
It is 1958, and New York City is in the midst of a major building boom; a four-lane highway is planned for the heart of Washington Square; Carnegie Hall is designated for demolition; entire neighborhoods on the West Side are leveled to make room for a new 'palace of art.' And a young Joe Papp and his colleagues face betrayals, self-inflicted wounds, and anger from the city’s powerful elite as they continue their free Shakespeare productions in Central Park. 'Illyria' is a family drama about a different kind of family–one held together by the simple and incredibly complicated belief that the theater, and the city, belong to all of us.
See it if Mr. Nelson's conversational plays; historical (1958) story based on Public's early founders when it started with NY Shakespeare Festival
Don't see it if want something as moving as Mr. Nelson's other conversational plays - thought the 2nd scene was his most traditional & moving; slow at end
See it if You'll watch unlikeable people who made a great thing happen. You're up for hypernaturalism - low-key, low-drama conversational scenes.
Don't see it if You want a straight biopic, or a conventional structure with an arc and a conclusion.
See it if You are interested in Joe Papp, the beginnings of the Public Theater, and Shakespeare in the Park. About the people that made it happen.
Don't see it if You expect action. Have any difficult hearing conversationally spoken dialogue by actors at a table. Joe Papp who??
See it if you're interested in the early days of the New York Shakespeare Festival, and you don't insist on complete historical accuracy.
Don't see it if you're unfamiliar with the people who were involved in creating the NYSF, or you would be bothered by not being able to hear every line.
See it if You love the public theater and you want to learn more about its history and founding. You love Nelson and how he writes and stages
Don't see it if Want fast paced. Don't care about the public. Don't like shaekespeare. Want Nelson's best work. Are hard of hearing.
See it if You want an insight into one of the giants of the American stage. If you want to see a tight ensemble in action.
Don't see it if You don’t care for super naturalism. I was in the second row and it was hard to hear. The strategy means there is no rising action or climax
See it if you like a good ensemble in an intimate setting; you are interested in the early days of Joe Papp and the people in his circle.
Don't see it if The play is slow moving and dull. I was hoping a play about early Papp would be more interesting and meaty. Dialogue is often inaudible.
See it if like a conversational piece about a theoretical beginning to Shakespeare in the Park, real characters hypothetical conversations
Don't see it if if you are looking for drama.
See it if you want to see the imagination of some of the struggles to get the public going
Don't see it if you want to be left feeling Joseph Papp was a nice guy (But kuddos are due him for his role in the Public being established)
See it if You are a fan of intimate conversational theatre, naturalistic acting or just want a dramatized view of the people who formed the Public.
Don't see it if You are looking for action or a highly dramatic plot or you have a hard time hearing as the actors speak in “indoor voices”.
See it if you are interested in the history of theatre in NYC especially through Joe Papp. The parallels from NYC's changing cityscape relates to now.
Don't see it if You are looking for a profound extremely memorable performance. The show itself is so-so.
See it if you are interested in the history of theater, particularly in the Shakespeare in the Park back story and Joseph Pabb.
Don't see it if you are hard of hearing (sound is challenging) or if you bore easily (it is a bit slow).
See it if An interesting hostorical piece. Sensitive performances. Insider tidbits about the late ‘50s in NY theater.
Don't see it if All talk no action. Very slow. Get the assisted listening devices. They mumble. Very inside baseball.
See it if You are interested in the Public’s roots - or are a fan of Richard Nelson’s writing
Don't see it if You are expecting to be engaged. These characters just don’t draw you in. They are not the Gabriels.
See it if You can deal with a way too long too slow slice of Joe Papp's theatrical journey focused on his New York Shakespeare Festival.
Don't see it if You want to get greater insight into Joseph Papp and all his accomplishments.
See it if you have knowledge and interest in the period covered. You're ok with a lightweight talk piece that engages without inspiring.
Don't see it if you're looking for something substantial. You want to see a play where the female characters have some agency.
See it if you enjoy theater history or are interested in early days of the Public Theater.
Don't see it if you have a hard time hearing (is quite quiet) or have no interest in what is essentially an action-less play.
See it if You are interested in the history of Shakespeare in the Park, even though you know the outcome. You love Richard Nelson's work.
Don't see it if You want to see topnotch Nelson. You know the outcome of the history of Shakespeare in the Park.
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