Ends Sep 01 | 2h 0m | Midtown W

Life Sucks.

From 285 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Great writing

About the show

Wheelhouse Theater Company presents the New York premiere of Aaron Posner’s reimagining of Chekhov’s timeless classic, "Uncle Vanya."

It’s Chekhov without the birch trees. After taking aim at "The Seagull" with "Stupid F*cking Bird," Aaron Posner is back with an irreverent contemporary remix of "Uncle Vanya." Egos clash, hearts hunger, and souls cry out for meaning. Life staggers. Life confounds. Life is beautiful. 

Member Reviews (285)


Clever, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Great writing

Slow, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Quirky

See it if you want to see another Aaron Posner redo of Chekhov and if you have a high tolerance for hearing the F word.

Don't see it if you don't like players to address the audience and ask them questions or if you feel that Chekhov is not to be messed with.

Trying far too hard to let us in on the joke.

See it if It is initially quite clever, breaking the fourth wall and inviting us in. But ultimately it becomes a smirk rather than a wink.

Don't see it if You want any character development or sense of resolution. It just sort of peters out.

Indulgent, Insipid, Disappointing

See it if you're a fan of Chekov and want to see an adaptation with talented actors.

Don't see it if you want to see a well written and directed drama.

Funny, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you enjoy a mediocre, presumably comedic adaptation of Uncle Vanya

Don't see it if you'd like a smarter and more intelligent take on Chekhov -even if it's funny.

Intense, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like dysfunctional family dramas.

Don't see it if You are looking for something with a pulse.

Strong cast in existential (yawn) play.

See it if You like to see great actors in an existential yawn of a play. The actors shine.. the material not so much

Don't see it if You have no patience for pretentious existential plays.

Poor neo-chekov, Quirky, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in a contemporary adaptation that never captures the humor or the depth of character expression of Chekov.

Don't see it if you expect laughs or sobbing, character development, or believable relationships.

Overrated, Banal

See it if You don't mind constantly hearing the F word.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a 2 hr straight talking show.

Quirky, Overrated, Fluffy, Disappointing, Funny

See it if You are interested in a quirky adaptation of Uncle Vanya. Acting was very good. Some funny lines.

Don't see it if You prefer a serious version of a classic play. the play was mildly entertaining but the story felt empty, slow at times & boring.

Uninspired, Slow, Great acting, Excruciating, Banal

See it if you really love modern adaptations of classics.

Don't see it if you are expecting something truly fresh and inspired.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy plays about friends

Don't see it if you want happy endings

Funny, Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining, Cliched

See it if If you enjoy ‘reality’ styled theater. Characters talk to the audience adding humor and intimate moments throughout. Nice direction.

Don't see it if This is a non-traditional show. This show tries too hard to be different. A little boring at times.

Disappointing & less than perceptive adaptation ...

See it if you don't want to miss the enjoyable spot-on & lived-in performances of a top-knotch company of actors-except for the actor in one key role.

Don't see it if you are expecting to be moved at all. It does approach poignancy at times, especially in the scenes helmed by actress Kimberly Chatterjee.

Also The audience participation at my performance did not work--awkward & d... Read more Read less


See it if into re-living what was fresh 20 years ago

Don't see it if you can watch Vanya on 42nd Street instead

Also This was off from the first moment - what was supposed to be a casual-... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Confusing

See it if i did not like the show but the acting was okay

Don't see it if it is confusing and slow

Intelligent, Slow, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if You are a Chekov fan, or if you enjoy theatre that has sort of a semi-intellectual college vibe to it. Some solid performances in there.

Don't see it if If you want a show that moves. This one is a bit slow for my taste, and had indulgent direct address to the audience.

Uninteresting, Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You like Chekov, Uncle Vanya or a lot of discussion and cast talking to the audience a bit. However, excellent acting by some cast members.

Don't see it if You're tired, find many characters who are not that interesting on stage a lot, or if you like grab your attention plays. This isn't it.

Banal, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you're the type to laugh too loud at the most obvious, cliches quips and comments and breaking the fourth wall with direct address.

Don't see it if for pronounced stagey acting where no one really talks to each other, just hitting their cues, and unengaging dialogue and plotting.

Overrated, Not funny, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you are interested in a modern version of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.

Don't see it if Chekhov's stories are not your taste.

Slow, Quirky, Overrated, Edgy

See it if Play based on Chekhov play. Good cast who work hard to honor the play.

Don't see it if You don't like actors breaking the fourth wall directly communicating with audience. Play became tedious at times.

Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if If you enjoy comedy with no real plot or particular point

Don't see it if If you like your plays with a clearly articulated plot line and cohesiveness

During previews
Disappointing, Self-indulgent, Pretentious, Great acting, Funny

See it if You like updated versions of classics, you’re okay seeing great actors shining intermittently in so-so material.

Don't see it if You have a low tolerance for pretentiousness and pseudo profundity. The play forgets to tell an engaging story.

Also Though the stage is filled with excellent actors trying there best, Li... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if Chekhov modernized, with added jokes and audience interaction, appeals to you.

Don't see it if You are expecting great theater. There are plenty of good ideas, but they don’t create a successful, fully realized piece.

Also The actors are enthusiastic and engaging throughout. Their efforts are... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, but play does not improve on chekhov's original

See it if you're a Chekhov lover! There are great moments (which might've been better served with different direction).

Don't see it if End of play could use some editing. Wish the adaptation had been freer. Less successful than Seafull adaptation but admire the effort!

April 1st, 2019
"Bitingly funny, unexpectedly touching play...The characters and basic plot will be familiar to 'Uncle Vanya' fiends. But at the same time, 'Life Sucks,' will be familiar to just about anybody...Briskly directed by Jeff Wise for the Wheelhouse company, the production keeps finding perceptive ways...
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April 7th, 2019
"Posner may have borrowed Chekhov’s kaleidoscopic love pentangle, but he’s updated events to the present day and salted the evening with postmodern hijinks, which include frequent check-ins with the audience and a theaterwide show-of-hands about regret...It helps that one could mount a superb 'Va...
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June 23rd, 2019
"Aaron Posner's LIFE SUCKS. Urges Chekhov and His Characters To Get To The Point"
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July 11th, 2019
"Posner acts rather like a tailor, undoing the original script's seams and opening it out, providing room for a form of hilarity grounded in existential sorrow…Jeff Wise skillfully guides his cast through one mortifying situation after another…For all that Posner builds his work on another artist...
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Cast & Creatives (4)