Closed 2h 15m
Juno and the Paycock
Chelsea
85

Juno and the Paycock NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(59 Reviews)
Positive
98%
Mixed
2%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Profound, Entertaining

About the Show

Sean O’Casey’s 1924 drama offers a devastating portrait of wasted potential in a Dublin torn apart by the chaos of the Irish Civil War.

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Member Reviews (59)

80
Well staged, Shifting tones, Strong acting, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy solid, old-fashioned plays. Well drawn chars, interesting plot, hist'l backdrop, Humor and pathos. Nice set. Lovely accents.

Don't see it if you hate misogyny. Women in 1922 were mistreated. W are strong, intellig, loving, capable. Desertion is the only escape. Support ea other. Read more

85
Cliched, Tragic, Masterful, Funny, Resonant

See it if Family drama with O'Casey's colorful characters. Family does better when coming into money & falls apart when not. Strong acting.

Don't see it if O'Casey's use of the Book of Job paradigm may have been fresh in 1925, but this is the third Job play I've seen in the past year.

Critic Reviews (16)

March 20th, 2019

"Starts out as a domestic comedy before evolving into the stuff of Gaelic tragedy...Under the meticulously calibrated direction of Neil Pepe, this production is a gem of Irish realism, expertly transitioning from humorous banter to life-altering epiphanies. The production’s evocative design and lived-in performances...bolster the verisimilitude...As the Boyles struggle to survive in a world where politics and religion aim to keep them down, their potent emotions are self-explanatory."
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March 28th, 2019

"Jack has the flashiest part, and Mr. O’Reilly, who also played him in 2013, is equally fine this time around...Nevertheless, it is the actor who plays Juno on whose stooped shoulders rests the ultimate success of any revival of 'Juno and the Paycock,' and Ms. Plunkett is more than equal to the challenge...Once again, you come away feeling not that you’ve just seen a play but that you spent the evening eavesdropping on a roomful of real people."
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March 19th, 2019

"Performed by a dynamic cast led by O'Reilly and Plunkett, Pepe's take feels fresh and relevant while remaining faithful to O' Casey's nearly 100-year-old play...Pepe gives the play a thrilling jolt of realism in a handful of tense, shouty scenes between Juno and her son and husband that take place offstage in an inner room, making us feel as though we're listening to real-life arguments of the family next door. It's a brave directorial choice, but the cast carries it out brilliantly."
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April 12th, 2019

“It is a work both delicate in its structure and brutal in its implications, a heartbreaking comedy set against a bitter background of sectarian violence, a play that seems to contain an entire tumultuous world...One of the most remarkable things about Pepe's production is how it captures the way in which hilarity tumbles headlong into heartbreak...Many members of the supporting cast deliver colorful and incisive performances that capture the heartbeat of working-class lives."
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March 19th, 2019

“IRT is now offering something resembling a revival of a revival...The cast features several actors repeating their 2013-14 performances...O’Casey creates so many of the ‘Juno and the Paycock’ figures with broad yet subtle strokes of his pen that they’re marvels for actors to take on. The returning players here must have been overjoyed to have another go at them...Well-done productions confirm first-rate writing. This 'Juno and the Paycock' hits that high mark.”
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March 19th, 2019

"Superb, searing revival...'Juno‘'s second act, under Neil Pepe’s stringent but deeply compassionate direction, both excruciating and mesmerizing...Flawless ensemble...By the end of 'Juno‘s' third and final act—its last two scenes punctuated by a harrowing pause that Pepe allows to linger painfully—the party is over for all the Boyles.”
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April 12th, 2019

"With his almost sneering delivery of Joxer's obsequious and vowel-rich responses ('it's a darlin' funeral, a daarlin' funeral'), Keating's performance is especially brilliant, pitched just before the point when servility turns into hate. As for Jack, O'Reilly brushes aside his litany of faults to make him a first-rate charmer, capable of snatching a smile from Juno even after he's brought the overburdened woman to her wit's end."
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March 19th, 2019

"It isn't one of those classics that trigger the directorial urge to give any revival an edgy new interpretation...O'Casey's blend of humor and intense tragedy add to its enduring power to entertain and move audiences...'Juno and the Paycock’ is especially relevant...Plunkett is magnificent...Only someone with a heart of stone will fail to be deeply moved when Juno, after two hours of emotional restraint, burst out with a heart-wrenching cry."
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March 20th, 2019

“’Juno and the Paycock’ highlights an even stronger O'Casey, a writer ever more sure of his footing and able to align comedy and tragedy, having them walk hand-in-hand next to each other...Plunkett, who plays Juno, not only holds the play together as the character, but as an actress she creates a foundation and a present strength that anchors the production and is a lifeline for the audience through all the tumult. See the production just for her acting if nothing else.”
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March 28th, 2019

"As expected of any production at this invaluable institution, the accents, atmosphere, and emotional atmosphere of 1922 Dublin are captured with loving authenticity…Pepe's production, to a satisfying degree, captures this complex world, in which booze, dancing, and singing mingle with pain, anguish, and suffering, belief does battle with skepticism, and human decency, ever in short supply, gleams like the full moon when it emerges…Ciarán O'Reilly excels…Maryann Plunkett is superb."
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May 11th, 2019

"Neil Pepe, who has a day job as artistic director of the Atlantic Theater Company, helmed the Rep’s production with varying success...This second installment struck me as wobblier than the first. The humor in the first act seemed forced and the tragedy in the second rushed. The accents became more labored, too...The saving grace was the vanity-free performance by Maryann Plunkett."
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March 20th, 2019

"O’Casey’s work is populated by singular characters whose flawed humanity rings with truth and tragedy...This very identification with this family makes the conclusion of O’Casey’s work all the more tragic and heart-wrenching...Tension is carefully, subtly wrought by Pepe’s staging and his precise shepherding of the actors...The production shines in the cast’s rendering of O’Casey’s searing portraits of the Dublin tenement-dwellers and their relationships with each other."
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March 19th, 2019

"What Sean O’Casey’s political tragicomedy 'Juno and the Paycock' lacks in plot, it makes up for in characterization. Under Neil Pepe’s splendid direction for the Irish Repertory Theatre, characterization gets its due...It remains for the virtuosity of O’Casey’s writing to take us from boisterous comedy to dispiriting situations, to tragic results, and yet leave us with a sense of the heroic."
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March 19th, 2019

"Sean O' Casey's 'Juno and the Paycock' is one of the highlights of this current season...Both funny and strikingly moving in so many ways...The large and brilliant cast abetted by Neil Pepe's strong direction makes this one not to be missed."
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March 24th, 2019

“A hard and beautiful play, and Pepe’s staging is lovely...Pepe dilutes or Americanizes his 'Juno and the Paycock' by seeing the work as a middle-class play, as opposed to a working-class one, or directly, as one about abject poverty...Even in a production that normalizes despair, O’Casey’s keening shrouds the eyes in mist.”
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March 20th, 2019

“A family story that will make you laugh and shed a tear; it’s superbly performed by a cast of many Irish Rep regulars and directed with care...The play explores the joys and sorrows, the rise and fall, of a poor Dublin family...Pepe directs an outstanding cast. Both O’Reilly and Plunkett shine as the Captain and Juno. Ed Malone, who plays Tommy Owen, a silly character, in ‘The Shadow of a Gunman’, is a believably angry man as Johnny.”
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