Important Hats of the Twentieth Century
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Important Hats of the Twentieth Century
62

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century NYC Reviews and Tickets

62%
(23 Reviews)
Positive
57%
Mixed
13%
Negative
30%
Members say
Quirky, Original, Funny, Clever, Entertaining

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents a fantastical tale about the hottest fashion designer in 1930’s New York and his rival, who starts releasing strange new pieces like The Sweatshirt and The Skater Pants.

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Member Reviews (23)

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877 Reviews | 906 Followers
60
Overreaching, Miss the mark, Funny, Nice, Well-intentioned

See it if funny repartee, outlandish stories. First act starts well, funny and well done for the venue size and play theme.

Don't see it if you want to know what the title has to do with the play. Second act takes the play in a different, not as good direction.

851 Reviews | 1007 Followers
40
Disappointing, Silly, Stupid, Over the top

See it if You enjoy over the top silly comedies. The actors do a good job of wearing multiple hats by playing many roles.

Don't see it if You don't like silly slapstick shows with lots of overacting. Due to poor blocking the side seating is incredibly inferior to the center.

965 Reviews | 339 Followers
60
Clever, Quirky, Original, Great staging, Manic

See it if you enjoy zany, energetic, funny, weird theater. This wild romp is often engaging, but the plot is a mess. Funnier idea than execution.

Don't see it if you want theater to enlighten. This is purely entertainment. Very well staged. Chaos is come again.

618 Reviews | 274 Followers
71
Delightful send-up of 1930s radio programs but looses way with sci fi plot

See it if you want to see fun satire of noirish 1930s radio productions (e.g., the Shadow) delightfully performed by group of hammy actors

Don't see it if you are put off by play that tries to do too much, combining radio satire, sci fi elements, fashion industry send-up, unfocused second act

481 Reviews | 315 Followers
70
Quirky, Original, Confusing

See it if You want to see a silly, totally unique show.

Don't see it if You don't like confusing plots.

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
10
Moronic, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid, Idiotic

See it if you like a Saturday Night Live sketch stretched out to two hours. Also if you enjoy works in progress—in dire need of its next draft.

Don't see it if you are smart.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
80
Dizzying, Funny, Quirky, Original, Clever

See it if you enjoy light-hearted quirky comedies and easily suspend your disbelief

Don't see it if you are a stick in the mud that can't enjoy farce, puns and topical humor

240 Reviews | 69 Followers
95
Delightful, Funny, Great staging, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if You like madcap comedy and want a good laugh, and are relaxed enough to not take things seriously.

Don't see it if You want some serious and thought-provoking, or are not a fan of the ridiculous and over-the-top comedy.

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
November 23rd, 2015

"The plot of 'Important Hats' has stray bits poking out here and there, and while undeniably inventive, it isn’t exactly wearable...By which I mean coherent...While it’s amusing for a while to imbibe the perplexity that contemporary fashion might cause for ordinary folk from decades past, the novelty wears off, and Mr. Jones’s play rattles along waywardly, spinning into a confused quasi-farce. But while the play may lack substance, the production has style to spare."
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Time Out New York
November 23rd, 2015

"Flexibility, velocity, the instant pivot: These are all hallmarks of the farceur, and the first parts of his wackadoodle sci-fi frolic 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century' whiz by. Unfortunately, the speed runs out before the show's quite over...But without a dramatic engine the show already seems long at intermission. Jones might take Greevy's attitude about tailoring to heart: The show is comfy fun, but might fit better with some judicious cuts."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 23rd, 2015

"The problem is inherent in the concept, or lack of one. No one involved seems to have operated from the understanding that satire is a pinpoint form of criticism, not a clown car in which irrational characters with funny lines get taken for a ludicrous spin...This confusion isn’t just the result of the chaotic plotting, though Jones’s idea of tying up loose ends resembles what would happen if a cat did macramé."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 23rd, 2015

"This play is often very, very funny. There's a profusion of laugh-out-loud one-liners; the expert ensemble is consistently hilarious. But as the plot synopsis suggests, the evening also is wildly overstuffed and self-indulgent, with the playwright throwing so many subplots and gags into the mix that weariness eventually settles in. Overlong by at least a half-hour and losing comic momentum with its intermission, 'Important Hats' feels increasingly strained in the second act."
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The Wall Street Journal
December 3rd, 2015

"A charming farce that feels more like a zany cable-TV sitcom episode than an old-fashioned stage comedy…Part sci-fi parody, part Ayn Rand spoof and 100% screwball comedy, 'Important Hats' covers a stageful of bases in a way that is less than ideally disciplined but never anything other than funny. Sweetly uncynical and fueled by a steady stream of how’s-that-again non sequiturs, this is millennial comedy at its most engaging...The cast leaves no punchline unpunched."
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Theatermania
November 23rd, 2015

"Irreverent and imaginative, 'Important Hats' takes a critical question and sends it through the ringer...It's unapologetically silly fun, given an appropriately fast-paced and cinematic staging by von Stuelpnagel...Unfortunately, Jones has a tendency to rely on non sequitur as a punch line...Still, the actors sell the absurdity of each situation and bring us through the shagginess of Jones' script with a minimum of cringe-worthy moments."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 30th, 2015

"A mass of plot points that barely cohere as the story lurches from crisis to crisis...Somewhere inside 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century' is a parable about the challenges of being an artist and the struggle to please oneself as well as one's public, but it's hard to get at, what with all the shouting and general running around. In the frantic pursuit of any available laugh, Jones undermines his own often-imaginative conception."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 23rd, 2015

"They all know that, substance-free as what they're saying and doing may be — having and making fun can often be its own reward. The play could be funnier still if it were even more tightly knitted, but what's the point in arguing too much? When the clothes fit and are right for the person, little else really matters. And in all the places where it counts most, 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century' is impeccably tailored."
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