The Creative Place International in association with AND Theatre Company present a biographical drama about radical attorney and civil rights activist William Kunstler, played by Jeff McCarthy. More…
Famous for defending the Chicago 7 and his involvement at Attica and Wounded Knee, Kunstler had an outsize personality and a tremendous appetite for life. In this two-character play, tensions flare when he arrives on a college campus to give a seminar. The brilliant young law student assigned to introduce him objects to his appearance. Has Kunstler finally met his match?
"Much of his character is revealed, indeed uncannily inherent, in the profound and inspired performance by Jeff McCarthy in the title role...'Kunstler' is superb primarily because of McCarthy’s incisive portrayal and because of the playwright’s selection of the groundbreaking moments in Kunstler’s life...Very fine direction by Meagen Fay...The play is vibrantly drawn...I cannot praise this production enough. It is a walk through history that evokes today’s political and social climate." Full Review
"Kunstler is the subject of Sweet's mesmerizing play of that name, sharply directed by Fay...brought to life in a strikingly magnetic performance by McCarthy...McCarthy electrifies the audience with Kunstler's brilliance, his passion, and his ability to recount his inside and outside the courtroom antics with verve, commitment, and humor...It's simply excellent theatre, with a magnificent central character given a splendid performance in a consistently engrossing tale." Full Review
“A compelling portrayal of the high-profile trial lawyer…This fascinating production provides a unique insight into Kunstler's life and times. With superb staging, this two-hander features the impeccable acting talents of Jeff McCarthy and Nambi E. Kelley...McCarthy's stunning performance brings William Kunstler and his bombastic personality to life right before your eyes....Regardless of your opinion of Kunstler, you will find 'Kunstler' to be a captivating and entertaining show.” Full Review
"'Kunstler' excels at every level, bringing alive not only a famous character, but the era in which he lived and the controversies in which he played so lively a part...In the hands of the playwright, Kunstler’s compelling eye-witness account of five tragic days in Attica prison in September of 1971 in itself makes this theatrical experience worthwhile...It is a fitting compliment to 'Kunstler' to say that Kunstler, the theatrical iconoclast, would approve. So will you." Full Review
"Quick! Don’t dally!! Race to get tickets for 'Kunstler,' the splendid play by Jeffrey Sweet featuring a dazzling, the-sky’s-the-limit performance by Jeff McCarthy...The work is inventively and most effectively directed by Meagen Fay...This work could easily have become a shrill screed. But thanks to the skill of the author and the charm of the actor it’s a fascinating theater experience, as well as being educational." Full Review
"It is not that big a stretch to say Jeff McCarthy IS Kunstler, as his riveting performance in 'Kunstler' transformed me back in time...Both McCarthy and Kelley, alone and together, give us great insight and revelations about events, many seminal, in which Kunstler was an integral part. There is much I learned and there is a terrific, revealing, heartfelt conclusion to this superb play, about a man that truly engaged on behalf of causes." Full Review
"Playwright Jeffrey Sweet’s portrait of Kunstler is as entertaining as it is riveting...Jeff McCarthy lopes down the aisle, white mane in permanent flight. Inhabiting Kunstler like a second skin, the actor delivers tirades as credibly as ba-dump-dump jokes...Director Meagen Fay gives us a living breathing man, humanity and idiosyncrasies intact. Stage business is subtle, pacing is pitch perfect." Full Review
"Playwright Sweet offers up a clever script exposing a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what really went down during these high profile cases...McCarthy plays Kunstler with passion and vigor, seducing the audience with his colorful portrayal of the often misunderstood man...Director Meagen Fay makes excellent use of the space, allowing her actors free rein to channel the energy of the auditorium, keeping the flow and pace always interesting and spontaneous." Full Review
"McCarthy nails the man's overall persona with an almost uncanny authenticity...A well-crafted and smartly organized script that's infused with generous dollops of humor...The narrative is detailed enough to serve as a colorful history lesson for the younger generations. For older viewers, the play will rekindle their own memories of the Civil Rights days, the Vietnam protests and Watergate scandals. Mr. Sweet's vivid integration of so many of these historic events is remarkable." Full Review
"'Kunstler' stars Jeff McCarthy, masterfully exuding charm and a kind of shaggy elitism...For much of the 90-minute production, you are in the hands of a master storyteller...Under Meagen Fay's direction, the production is a lively exploration of the celebrated lawyer...It's these more subtle elements that elevate and give depth to the proceedings and make it a worthy evening of theater, whether you are a Baby Boomer, a Gen X-er or a Millennial." Full Review
"A riveting, if rambling, 90-minute trip down memory lane…McCarthy beautifully channels Kunstler's tendency to blur the line between self-deprecation and arrogance. It’s a warts-and-all production and Kunstler acknowledges both the compulsive womanizing that ended his first marriage and the innumerable personal and political gaffes that he made." Full Review
"Sweet smartly eschews a one-man show...The most informative, fascinating, and yes, entertaining, 90-minute trip through the Vietnam era...Sweet’s character study is most remarkable for saying what it says without being didactic. Besides playwright, Sweet is an author and journalist. It shows. Sweet lets Kunstler and the record speak for themselves. And in so doing, 'Kunstler,' gives renewed voice for the fight for civil rights that still needs to be fought." Full Review
"The best thing about Sweet's new play is McCarthy...He is thoroughly convincing...For much of the running time, Sweet is content to follow the Dead Celebrity Playhouse method, allowing Kunstler to review his judicial greatest hits...All of this is engaging, but because 'Kunstler' tries to cover so many cases, each ends up receiving cursory treatment, and...the stories begin to pall...Still...I imagine that plenty of people will thrill to stories from the days when liberalism was on the rise." Full Review
"After a strong beginning, 'Kunstler' settles down into a wandering monologue, and leaves some vital questions about its subject insufficiently answered. Still, this Kunstler-at-law is lively company...Encouraged by director Meagen Fay to break down that blasted fourth wall, McCarthy keeps wandering into the audience, hugging people, handing them fragments of speeches he’s written down. It’s a showboating performance...It’s more of a lecture than a play." Full Review
"A strangely miscast lead actor is the chief flaw of this unsatisfying bio-drama...Director Fay emphasizes the vaudeville elements of the play and has McCarthy in full throttle, but does slow the pace down for the serious portions. Sometimes it’s too slow as tedium periodically sets in...Kunstler was a formidable and colorful figure who was involved with a number of historic incidents. He is certainly worthy of dramatization, but 'Kunstler' is overall a missed opportunity to do so." Full Review
"The primary difficulty with 'Kunstler' is playwright Jeffrey Sweet’s script itself...Mr. McCarthy’s performance energy seems to rise and fall with the irregularities in the script and Meagen Fay’s direction is apparently not strong enough nor consistent enough to keep the action moving forward on an even keel...'Kunstler' does provide moments of interesting narrative: one just needs to lower one’s overall expectations to appreciate those moments." Full Review
See it if Serious theater goers who like to see realistic drama.It is engrossing.You can relate to the characters.It will be playing in Pittsfield Ma
Don't see it if You only like musicals or happy endings.
See it if A very interesting look back at the life and times of noted and controversial activist lawyer, William Kunstler, mostly in the form of ...
Don't see it if a lecture to law students, from civil rights movement, to Chicago 7, to Central Park 5; gives a real sense of the man and what he did.
See it if You are old enough to remember who Kunstler was and the huge part he played in American legal history i.e. Vietnam Nam era, civil rights era
Don't see it if You don't like small cast shows. There are only 2 actors. You need costumes and scenery to enjoy a show. You have no interest in legal event
See it if You are of the 60's, and remember the headline lawyer. McCarthy completely embodies Kunstler. Younger, you may enjoy learning some history.
Don't see it if You want action, a story, progress. What you get is a re-enaction of an invented event. No drama, but tension and compelling performance.
See it if You like dramas that remind of us recent history, particularly of icons who influenced a dark era in a positive/negative way.
Don't see it if You don't care to know anything more about William Kunstler and the history of liberal movements of the 60's & 70's.
See it if You like plays based on actual people and events. You are given a history lesson as well as an explanation of morality for different people.
Don't see it if You don't like watching essentially one person monolaguing explaining his career and past.
See it if You want to be entranced by a brilliant portrayal of a brilliant man. You like small, spare, and essentially one-man shows
Don't see it if You don't care about interesting New York characters from another era.
See it if Excellent character exploration of a remarkable and principled civil rights lawyer. Terrific performance by McCarthy.
Don't see it if You want a more ground-breaking play or dislike memories of a fading but hopeful liberal era.
See it if You enjoy what is largely passionate storytelling, exploration of the highs/lows of due process/our legal system and mechanisms of change
Don't see it if You want rich interactions among the characters or a large production; it is not memorable and didn't spur discussion afterwards
See it if You are older and enjoy reliving the history and learning some interesting details. Humor was attempted and sometimes successful.
Don't see it if You aren't interested in seeing a high energy lecture on many of the cases Kunstler was involved with. Format of play was lazy and spare.
See it if DOn't just go to see it - run!
Don't see it if You're an elderly person who can't hear well. There is a lot of information coming at you and you need to be able to follow
See it if If you remember the sixties and Abbey Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and William Kunstler and the Chicago Seven........and are nostalgic!
Don't see it if 'You are a conservative uninformed person and hated the times.
See it if you want to be challenged as well as entertained. It's a masterful and intimate performance, and the material is timely and complex.
Don't see it if you want fluffy entertainment or a big Broadway spectacle. It's in dramatized lecture format; be prepared to pay attention to every word.
See it if you want to see a masterful performance by Jeff McCarthy as controversial lawyer William Kunstler.
Don't see it if talk of justice and civil liberties will only serve to irritate you - but perhaps the play might also open some eyes.
See it if You have any interest in the law, particularly movement law, or the events Kunstler was associated with.
Don't see it if You dislike stories about court cases or civil rights.
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