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Judgment Day

From 96 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

About the show

Director Richard Jones returns to the Armory with this rarely-performed 1937 moral drama in a new adaptation by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award-winning playwright Christopher Shinn. More…

From the show:

Ödön von Horváth’s play is an intriguing hybrid of theatrical genres: part moral fable, part sociopolitical commentary, part noirish thriller. A dutiful train station master, performed by Emmy® Award-winning actor Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Deuce, and Slings & Arrows) is momentarily distracted and a tragic train crash results. This adaptation is a fresh take on who should bear responsibility for certain actions, a theme that resonates in today’s societal climate.

Having dazzled Armory audiences and critics alike with his mesmerizing revival of The Hairy Ape in 2017, visionary director Richard Jones returns to take on this gripping play in a new adaptation by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award®-winning playwright Christopher Shinn. Judgment Day dramatically plays on the interior of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall—reminiscent of the original Grand Central Depot and the great train stations of Europe—as an immersive environment in which the characters become overcome by the burden of guilt.

Member Reviews (96)


Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting
Avg Score

Great acting, Absorbing, Great story, Amazing production

See it if Great performances. Great story full of twists. Epic larger than life scale sets. Dark and full of pathos.

Don't see it if It drags at times but mostly briefly.

Entertaining, Dramatic, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy large scale productions. The staging is really great and so are the performances. Good story w/ some dramatic scenes.

Don't see it if You aren't looking for drama and prefer something light.

Great writing, Great staging, Exquisite, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if If you like a entertaining story and a huge production. Fantastic lighting and sound effects. Well acted show.

Don't see it if If you do not like big production plays.

Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Colossal, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a taut, intense, powerful morality/cautionary tale about truth, guilt, loyalty & mob mentality, staged on an epic scale.

Don't see it if u want a subtle, intimate, small-scale production; u want to avoid another wake-up call about the effects of absolutism/"fake news"/mob rule

Brilliant scenography, Tightly constructed, Spare story, Deterministic, Twisting

See it if cutting edge scenography or a brilliant script by an important 20th century playwright who is little staged here would interest you.

Don't see it if you’re looking for an intimate drama: This staging goes as high as the sky & across a broad horizon.

Also I admire the script of Ödön von Horváth’s “Judgment Day” enormously. B... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want a story experience on massive sets in a huge space over 7 scenes in 90 minutes that are wonderfully lit with excellent sound.

Don't see it if you want something light - this is heavy on morality subjects with many thought provoking issues that we have in today's world.

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if chance to see rare production staged in huge space, interested in von Horvath & issues of guilt & blame, to see the power of the mob,

Don't see it if not a fan of loud noises, huge sets being slowly dragged across theater, people lost among the sets, don't like stories of infidelity, guilt

Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Simplistic, Ambitious

See it if simply scripted scenes representing grand philosophical concepts like truth, guilt & justice with Biblical references hold your attention.

Don't see it if the ponderous predictably & illogic of grand opera w/o the justification of magnificent vocal music fails to appeal. Stiff performances, too

Fable, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Morality (Remember?) fable from the then '30s for the relevant now of the truth and consequences of responsibility and quivering vox populi.

Don't see it if A testament to the directing and the acting that the story isn't dwarfed for the back row by large set piece and cavernous performance space

Very dark, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Excellent ensemble work. Interesting staging. Great lightning including train effect.

Don't see it if If you want something light and cheerful. This is highly stylized and totally serious and dark.

Also Interesting to see such a massive stage and how they used it. ... Read more Read less

Distracting moving sets, Thought-provoking, Too big for its own good, Edgy, Disappointing

See it if expansive staging w/what seems like ever changing sets; great sensation of movement as the trains go by & great lighting

Don't see it if space swallows the production, everything seems lost-is this the idea? some tension but mostly stilted & slow; couldn't wait for show 2 end

Incredible bigger than broadway set

See it if You like really big Broadway type shows outside of Broadway

Don't see it if You are looking for something new and fresh

Also I had no idea what to expect because I have never been in this buildin... Read more Read less

Very striking production of a very interesting story.

See it if You appreciate edgy theatre.

Don't see it if You like traditional storytelling.

Great writing, Slow, Great staging, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if You enjoy moralistic stories re-envisioned performances solid, no breakouts, amazing sets

Don't see it if Traditional theater is your preference. This show borders on the avanti garde

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if interested in a 1937 morality tale by a young German playwright in an epically staged production. Deals with guilt, blame, mob mentality.

Don't see it if looking for something light. Serious subject matter with resonance to current political climate.

Also The fascinating set, lighting, & sound are on a grand scale which make... Read more Read less

Lacks depth, Disappointing, Ambitious, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy anything in the armory that makes great use of that wonderful space

Don't see it if you expect more than just two dimensional characters acting out a simple story

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if dark, large scale production on group behavior with lack of individual responsibility; haunting lighting, sounds & forest scenery on sides

Don't see it if don't want very large scale scenery - 2 gigantic blocks that are moved/turned to create different scenes; don't want morality play

Dramatic, Overwhelming staging, Indulgent, Intelligent

See it if Interpretation of German play about culpability of community in crime. A warning posing as a play.

Don't see it if Strong cast declaims rather than acts. Enormous sets intentionally dwarf actors. Intentionally lacks subtlety.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You like interesting staging. A 1937 play by German writer warning about mob mentality, group guilt, Excellent acting. Lots to think about.

Don't see it if You are looking for light fun drama. This is serious stuff. I’ve seen several Park Avenue Armory productions; this was the least spectacular

Also An event. An experience. Sound and lighting extraordinary.

Intelligently-timeless work, A bit slow in some moments, Ambiguous story-telling, Stylishly-simple yet surprising set-design, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy morally-complex dramas that make you leave the theatre questioning the ways in which you behave and judge others; ambiguous works.

Don't see it if expecting utterly shocking or contemporary-feeling work laden with complex twists. Although a bit dated, Judgment Day feels quite fresh.

Also The Park Avenue Armory’s mobile seating and staging configurations alw... Read more Read less

Relevant, Disappointing, Great staging, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if great staging of an old play that is relevant today. great use of the space.

Don't see it if more flash than substance. characters versus people.

Great staging, Serious/grim, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you want *brilliantly-staged* play evocative of Ibsen's ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. Serious, heavy-handed look at truth/responsibility in society.

Don't see it if you want something light; this is grim (but gripping) tale of taking responsibility for mistakes which lead to tragedy. Masterful staging.

Profound, Great staging, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if truly the tableaux and the brooding moving gigantic scenery was worth the price of the ticket

Don't see it if but the allegorical plot is too simple--and although visually stunning, I kept wondering why all this?

Great staging, Slow, Dizzying, Dated, Ambitious

See it if Really fascinating, if ultimately superfluous, massive stage pieces moving dance-like to portray this pre-WWII tragedy.

Don't see it if The play arguably doesn't merit the epic scale of its staging. Solid writing, but quite dated. Acting was fine, but upstaged by...the stage.

Great staging, Riveting, Profound, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you like a drama that addresses human behavior as individuals & collectively, Watch us delude & lose ourselves when part of a mob.

Don't see it if Shows that explore the human psyche don't intrigue you.

December 11th, 2019
"An Allegory of Blame, Goes Big: At the Park Avenue Armory, Odon von Horvath’s 1937 drama gets a rare and physically overwhelming staging."
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December 14th, 2019
"At the Armory, 'Judgment Day' Shows Its Cast No Mercy"
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December 12th, 2019
"A small play in an oversize production that dilutes any ripple effect the fable might have in 2019. One could imagine it being just as effective at Classic Stage Company or the BAM Harvey."
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December 11th, 2019
"A Life Derails in Judgment Day: Christopher Shinn adapts Ödön von Horváth's rarely performed 1937 drama for Park Avenue Armory."
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