Kunstler
83

Kunstler NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(36 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the Show

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.

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Member Reviews (36)

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85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you want to see Jeff McCarthy give the performance of his career!

Don't see it if you want to hear about some of Kunstler's well-known cases given a cursory treatment.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

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 Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

BroadwayWorld
February 28th, 2017

“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.”
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Lighting & Sound America
February 27th, 2017

"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."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 23rd, 2017

"'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."
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TheaterScene.net
February 24th, 2017

"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."
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Theatre is Easy
February 23rd, 2017

"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."
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Theater Pizzazz
February 23rd, 2017

"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."
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CurtainUp
February 27th, 2017

"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."
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Front Row Center
February 27th, 2017

"'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."
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Stage Buddy
February 23rd, 2017

"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."
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T
February 23rd, 2017

"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."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
February 23rd, 2017

"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."
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W
February 27th, 2017

"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."
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BlogCritics.org
February 27th, 2017

"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."
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Off Off Online
February 28th, 2017

"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."
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Off Script with Dan Dwyer
February 24th, 2017

"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."
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Andy B Sports
February 27th, 2017

"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."
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