Kings NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(123 Ratings)
Positive
77%
Mixed
18%
Negative
5%
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (123)

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219 Reviews | 40 Followers
90
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great writing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if 1 hour and 40 minute look at politics today as congresswoman tried to keep her seat, lobbying, dark $. well acted, staging. Bwy bound

Don't see it if too real, too much political goes into overload. depressing with reality. Good acting,

88 Reviews | 19 Followers
87
Ambitious, Absorbing, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want to see a "political" play with engaging characters, fine acting and painful truths.

Don't see it if you are interested in light-hearted theater, although there are humorous aspects . . . tragic ones as well.

72 Reviews | 8 Followers
87
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if a play about the "sausage factory" inside the american political system

Don't see it if you don't want to know how the sausage gets made

292 Reviews | 62 Followers
86
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.

165 Reviews | 34 Followers
86
Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Relevant

See it if You are a Burgess fan. The writing is whipcrackingly good, until the very end.

Don't see it if Stories about the D.C. power structure and people selling their souls to get ahead trouble you. Read more

136 Reviews | 20 Followers
85
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you want to see a play about politics and power.

Don't see it if you don't like plays about politics

69 Reviews | 8 Followers
85
Clever, Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you're political and want to see a view into the real world of lobbying and how interactions play out in DC

Don't see it if you have no interest in the political scene and are expecting a light-hearted show

239 Reviews | 198 Followers
84
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.

Critic Reviews (33)

The New York Times
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 shading. This makes for powerful oppositions and playable scenes but little investment...The gravity of the subject and the sitcom zing of the style make an uncomfortable combo."
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Time Out New York
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 desperate to juice up the evening...The production begs: 'Please be entertained!'. Outside, real-life politics is throwing a circus. Inside, the motion doesn't carry."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 cruel to 'Kings,' it’s because it doesn't stand alone. It's part of an epidemic in contemporary theater, a virus of insistent, self-righteous, moribund relevance at the expense of actual theatrical power."
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New York Daily News
February 20th, 2018

"Four good actors sink their teeth into juicy roles...But for all of the actors' fine efforts, they're nearly upstaged by a prop - a sense-tickling skillet of fajitas...Hits on topical subjects...None of that is particularly illuminating...Direction by 'Hamilton' Tony-winner Thomas Kail, who staged Burgess moves things as fluidly and fleetly as possible...The play's repetitiveness, been-there, heard-this lack of surprises and occasional didactic tone also cause drag."
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Variety
February 21st, 2018

"The problem with Sydney - and with the play overall - is that her ambitions are much too vague and utterly unsexy...Kail, normally a savvy director, isn't much help with the unwieldy material...It's hard to find the drama in a play that's heavy with talk but light on thought. Although the clashing ethical codes of traditional politicians and young barnburners seems an incendiary topic, Burgess misses her chance to strike the match."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 given short-shrift…The direction by Kail proves more distracting than necessary…The theatrical busy-ness only serves to highlight the insubstantiality of the drama it's intended to enhance.”
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Entertainment Weekly
February 20th, 2018

"The play's sarcastic edge can veer into the cynical, near-fatalistic territory...'Kings' may lure TV fans, what with the presence of small-screen favorites...It’s the less starry half — Grenier and, especially, Davis — that does memorable work...It's mesmerizing the way 'Kings', at its best, actually draws you into the campaign...This is drama invigorated by the pessimism permeating today's conversations even though the story Burgess tells is depressingly familiar."
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NY1
February 20th, 2018

"Once again impressively exposes the devil in the details...The devil in this case is political corruption... Davis nicely underplays the part displaying fine nuance as a rookie politician gaining confidence...Cash and Jacobs, also excellent, manage to avoid total villainy, investing the lobbyists with sufficient humanity...And Grenier is superb as a veteran senator who's played the game so long, he's forgotten why he's there...Thanks to Kail's lucid staging, 'Kings' makes its point loud and clear."
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