Already closed | 1h 40m | East Village


From 123 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting

About the show

Playwright Sarah Burgess and Tony-winning director Thomas Kail team up again at the Public Theater for this scathingly comic world premiere about the people at the heart of our democracy. More…

Kate is a whip-smart lobbyist who doesn’t waste her time on anyone who can’t get elected, stay elected, and help her clients get what they want. Kate thinks Representative Sydney Millsap is a political neophyte whose staunch ideals are going to cost her a burgeoning political career. But Representative Millsap and her high-minded principles turn out to be more resilient than Washington was expecting, and for the first time, Kate is faced with a choice that might change everything for her: back the system, or back what she believes in? 'Kings' features Gillian Jacobs ('Community'), Aya Cash ('You're the Worst'), Eisa Davis ('House of Cards'), and Zach Grenier.

Member Reviews (123)


Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting
Avg Score

Sometimes absorbing, Sometimes great acting, Sometimes clever, Relevant

See it if you want to see 2 well-cast actors (Grenier, Davis) in a taut, clever political drama involving a veteran Senator & an honest Congresswoman.

Don't see it if you want to avoid 2 poorly-cast actors (Cash, Jacobs) in a crudely played out sub-plot about lobbyists' manipulation of DC politicians.

After today's presidential kleptocracy, this tale of lobbyist corruption is almost quaint

See it if competent "procedural" explaining how $/lobbyist influence corrupts politics; interestingly told from lobbyist perspective; tight direction

Don't see it if we learn nothing new; kept waiting for twist that would enliven plot; script was meh-as earnest/predictable as a Bernie speech

Also (1) Plot: novice black female Congresswoman takes on lobbyists and the... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Slow

See it if You like politics & want to watch the interplay of lobbyists & politicians. Zach Grenier is great as a Sen. sparring w/ a newbie female Rep.

Don't see it if You dislike or do not care about political plays. The Capitol atmosphere bores or enrages you. Think politics is a fixed game.

Also Sarah Burgess is an exciting new playwright who also wrote Dry Powder.... Read more Read less

A political play you’ve seen before

See it if You like politics.

Don't see it if You’re sick of same old same old political stories

Great acting, Riveting, Relevant, Intelligent, Poor staging

See it if You enjoyed Dry Powder or very talkative plays. While I did not enjoy Dry Powder as much I found this one interesting and smart.

Don't see it if You need movement. There is very little actual moving around, it's a lot of talking heads. Poor staging but a strong story.

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You’d like to see political truths personified by a Senator, Representative. two lobbyists, and several interest groups.

Don't see it if You are put off by snappy TV-like dialogue that isn’t the way real people talk.

Ambitious, Cliched, Disappointing, Great staging, Indulgent

See it if you are looking for a story.This is a series of lectures about politics & lobbyists. The plot itself is never fleshed out.Too much talk.

Don't see it if you want a fleshed out plot, characters you care about.The 2 older actors are terrific. The 2 young ones never really find their voice.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Predictable, Intelligent

See it if you're interested in stories about political corruption and lobbyists. Plot is predictable, but engaging with good direction and acting.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play that offers you new information about Washington lobbyists and more optimism or you want to escape politics.

Ambitious, Cliched, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Overrated

See it if you enjoy political drama that lightly underscores the whole scene of money in politics

Don't see it if you enjoy well written believably performed politicians

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched, Unconvincing characters

See it if you enjoy anything that sheds a light on the current state of politics. Despite some interesting scenes and ideas, the plot did not hold up.

Don't see it if You expect realistic characters, the two younger characters were unconvincing, undeveloped and trite.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want political drama about lobbyists at work in D.C. and at retreats & their dealings with an idealistic Representative

Don't see it if you want more drama & less sitcom or if you are hoping for a happy political ending; you didn't like Burgess's play Dry Powder

Also Eisa Davis and Zach Grenier were excellent; the younger actors were a ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy the cast and/or a politically driven plot; desire to learn more about the lobbyist/politician relationship

Don't see it if you are looking for a fresh storyline

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if A well written political tale of our time. The “old guard” continues it’s place in politics even with the introduction of a sane voice.

Don't see it if If you do not enjoy political plays or a strong supporter of conservatism.

Intelligent, Ambitious, Cliched, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if Great acting by Eisa Davis and Zach Grenier but storyline a bit thin.

Don't see it if You want to learn something new about lobbyists and politics in Washington.

Also I was happy to see women in both the roles of lobbyists, just wish the... Read more Read less

Relevant, Funny, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You're interested in politics... Or sick of politics.

Don't see it if You're tired of political dramas.

Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Sitcom dialogue, Unconvincing, Stilted

See it if Political corruption is a favorite topic.

Don't see it if You expect naturalistic, witty writing -- won't find it here!

Also Feel badly for the actors having to embody these cardboard characters.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Static and talky, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate a play that assumes you are intelligent and can follow subtle plot devices and arcane political speak.

Don't see it if You despair about our political leadership. This one won’t help.

Also I hoped for a braver ending that might have given us hope for change i... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Insipid, Relevant, Forced and mediocre acting

See it if A fan of all things Public Theater. Interested in political theater regardless of quality ... ideas are bigger and better than execution.

Don't see it if If disliked Parisian Woman, definitely skip

Serious, Funny, Driven

See it if You seriously dislike our lobbyist driven politics, and would like to see a tight, effective polemic designed to bring others to that view.

Don't see it if You are unhappy when characters advance a narrative without showing many signs that they are breathing human beings.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if you like political dramas. I learned a lot about what lobbyist do and the plot is really interesting! The cast is fantastic!

Don't see it if you do not like complex plays. There is a lot to follow and one can easily get lost if they are not in the right mindset.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you really really like behind-the-scenes portrayals of politics or are major fans of any of the actors.

Don't see it if you are looking for any true insight into American life or politics. It acts deeps but is not.

Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You follow Walker Shaub on Twitter. Ethics are important and so where I longed for a happy ending, meeting Sidney Milsap gave me hope.

Don't see it if If you are not into politics and governance.

Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if have any interest in politics. It's really well acted with a small but excellent cast. If you want to see how Washington really works, go.

Don't see it if Don't like political shows or want a big production

Banal, Cliched, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if I can't think of a reason. It's trying to be a modern, cynical view of politics, but instead it's zzzz.... a few bits of snappy dialogue.

Don't see it if It's trite, pointless, superficial. Its points are obvious & unhelpful; the characters are unreal & irrational, the plot predictable.

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

See it if you are interested in a relevant topic approached in a too superficial way. 100 minutes does not give the opportunity to develop characters

Don't see it if you want real interaction between complex characters rather than a outline of what could be an interesting and compelling piece of theater

February 20th, 2018
"Whenever it focuses on Sydney...'Kings' is entertaining and informative, if not surprising theatrically...Her story — the only one you care about — basically dribbles away after the debate...A plot in search of an emotion. Kate and Lauren...are improbable exaggerations, caricatures with no human...
read more
February 21st, 2018
'Teaching through illustration is a valid theatrical strategy, but Burgess omits other crucial dramatic ingredients, such as character and incident; and since the purpose of this all-exposition play is to inform, your interest fluctuates...Informative but not revealing or persuading...Kail seems ...
read more
February 20th, 2018
"Despite the fact that it's stuffed with jargony, purposefully obfuscatory banter, 'Kings' has a simple and familiar arc...What is 'Kings' telling us that we don't already know?...What are we getting in the theater, starting at $65 a ticket, that we couldn't get from the NY Times...If I seem crue...
read more
February 20th, 2018
“A timely, relevant topic that well deserves to be examined, but this play does so in a manner that's more pedantic than compelling…Burgess is so intent on getting her messages across that she fails to provide much depth to the characters and situations...Dramatic revelations are continually give...
read more

Related content