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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Great writing

78
Engaging, Well acted, Uneven writing, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Interesting and engaging adaptation of the original. Well acted and staged. Overall entertaining and thought-provoking.

Don't see it if Writing can be droning at points.

72
Overly long, Engaging, Entertaining, Well acted

See it if You enjoy character dramas. Talented ensemble. There are some great scenes.

Don't see it if Show feels a little long - some parts dragged.

92
Intelligent, Clever, Profound, Funny, Inspiring

See it if You want to see a truly inspired take on Uncle Vanya. Great writing/acting/set/lighting/costumes and direction. Even moments of improv work.

Don't see it if You’re a purist. This is not your classic Uncle Vanya. They break the fourth wall. I think it works beautifully but it is quirky.

Also There were moments of pure genius! The “Three Things I Love” scene mad... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Great acting, Enchanting, Clever

See it if Austin Pendleton is a must for us. Mostly do not like interactive with audience but this show makes it fun. Set is a delight. Like the space

Don't see it if "Wild' a problem for us re: public transportation but the weekends are a horror.(Great eating places in the area atone)

80
Funny, Indulgent, Clever, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if Fresh, modernized take on UV. The acting convinced me that this was a crotchety family. Some very funny moments. Lots of emoting.

Don't see it if You don't want to listen to people complain about being unhappy for 2 1/2 hours. You don't like 4th wall breaks & audience participation.

82
Profound, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Posner's meta send-up/take-down of Chekhov's Vanya is very very clever and very very melancholy Well acted esp by Biehl, Bowers & Pendleton

Don't see it if Can get a little precious for its own good esp when breaking 4th wall Staging often clumsy Works best when Chekhovian rhythms come through

82
Self-indulgent (by design), Ambitious, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if u liked 2016's Stupid Fu**ing Bird & want to see Posner's latest comic riff on Chekhov about self-discovery & finding one's passion in life.

Don't see it if you don't like your fourth wall broken (repeatedly); you prefer your Chekhov traditionally staged; you are already a self-actualized person.

Also Not everything that Posner stuffs into this 2 1/2-hour therapy session... Read more Read less

87
Intelligent, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Delightful, Clever

See it if you enjoyed "Stupid Fucking Bird" & like seeing Chekhov satirized, "Moscow Moscow etc" was too over the top for you, fan of Austin Pendleton

Don't see it if Chekhov is sacred to you & never be satirized/updated, didn't like Posner's prior take on Chekhov, you want verbal slapstick as in"Moscow"

70
Actor-y, Disappointing, Great acting, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy updated, modern-language versions of classic plays. You like meta works. You want to see process incorporated into a play.

Don't see it if You don't want a play that needs to explain itself. You don't want to hear the actors' character homework. You want to see Uncle Vanya.

84
Wonderfully fleshes out and modernizes chekhov's uncle vanya to show how deals w existential issues that resonate today; but by end goes off the rails

See it if very clever script; turns Chek's characters into passionate fully-drawn characters; hilariously breaks 4th wall

Don't see it if cleverness of play hard 2 appreciate unless u know Chek's play well; loses fervor when becomes gen'l consideration how 2 lead a happy life

86
Ambitious, Refreshing, Quirky, Entertaining, Clever

See it if innovative work interests you. While it is based on Uncle Vanya, it is also creatively ambitious breaking the 4th in amusing ways.

Don't see it if plays that focus on family interactions do not interest you even if it is a somewhat odd family.

88
Great ensemble cast, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful

See it if you want to see a unique take on the classic, "Uncle Vanya". This play is very funny, flies by quickly, and offers a master class in acting.

Don't see it if you are nervous about actors breaking the 4th wall, & speaking directly to the audience. Other than that, this is a grand night of theatre.

80
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if Different Uncle Vanya that works great with the characters asking the audience (sometime) questions.

Don't see it if If you want the traditional only. The F word is use. It is long show.

87
Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You like Uncle Vanya in an updated version by the multi-talented Wheelhouse Theater Co. Funny/depressing with direct audience talk.

Don't see it if You dislike long plays- 2 hr 20 min, 10 min intermission, Dislike talky Chekhov, Are down on life

Also Excellent cast includes Austin Pendleton, perfect as the pompous, old,... Read more Read less

81
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if you like a modern updated version of Uncle Vanya. Very clever dialogue and good acting.

Don't see it if you don't like Uncle Vanya or like plays with lot of action.

Also I recommend either reading Uncle Vanya or at least its synopsis before... Read more Read less

78
Meta, Quirky, Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if Loose and abstract adaptation of Uncle Vanyan themes.Backstage rehearsal space (23) scenes of the connections and contradictions of love.

Don't see it if Audience decides conclusion. Smoking.Profanity throughout.Fourth-wall crackage. "You can't really understand where you are until you leave."

Also "You have to settle for the Steve Buscemi's."

77
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if U enjoy plays which poke fun at life and people, are excellent portrayals of a myriad of characters, transmit life lessons worth learning

Don't see it if talky plays are not your thing

86
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you like plays about the human experience that make you think and consider life. Great acting and writing.

Don't see it if you don't like breaking the fourth wall (there is a lot), prefer to see a traditional Chekhov play, or hated Posner's Stupid F*cking Bird

79
Too long, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if Modern day take on Uncle Vanya; well directed and acted; just enough audience participation, playfulness, self loathing and drama.

Don't see it if The play is very enjoyable with one major issue - second act is too long and drawn out. Would be better as 1 1/2 hr play, no intermission.

80
Indulgent, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if You want a fresh, fun take on an old heavy classic. Phenomenal acting from everyone. It doesn't take itself seriously. A bit absurd.

Don't see it if You want a drama. Fourth wall breaks and audience participation. Sometimes a little slow.

86
Gives actors a workout, Very entertaining, Lifesucks. ... does it?, Sneaks up on you, Involving

See it if intrigued by posited statements, might think LifeSucks. already, want 2 C well acted, written, directed new work, want a show to share

Don't see it if fear the statement, believe LifeSucks already & nothing will change your mind, wouldn't like riff on Chekhov, need constant hilarity

74
Quirky, Great acting, Dizzying, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You are in a patient mood. It could give you a head ache if you’re not careful

Don't see it if You you’re looking for Chekhov.

78
Fun take on uncle vanya. very good performances.

See it if You appreciate new takes on classic plays.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate new takes on classic plays.

79
Different, Great acting, Funny

See it if You enjoy unusual comedies and like the original. If you enjoy plots about somewhat extreme romantic relationships.

Don't see it if You prefer traditional plots about relationships with traditional family units. If breaking the fourth wall bothers you.

84
Relevant, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to laugh along with a refreshing modern take on Uncle Vanya satirizing the melancholy of Chekov with a, dare I say, upbeat ending

Don't see it if you prefer linear plot lines and object to plays that break the fourth wall.


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)