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
81
Avg Score

68
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.

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.

89
Quirky, Great acting, Touching, Funny, Clever

See it if clever update of Vanya to the present that does justice to it's themes of love, longing & the human condition with great humor & compassion.

Don't see it if breaking the 4th wall would be a deal-breaker. Here it's done frequently & often hilariously​ & encourages audience responses. It works well

85
Clever, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if a new take on Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" with current references, a great ensemble cast, a fun one-room set; funny with touching moments

Don't see it if don't like 4th wall broken, some scenes that sound like therapy sessions, excessive use of the F-word

Also last few minutes can vary depending on the audience's responses

88
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if you enjoy a modern spin on a Chekhov classic. It was really funny and not boring and depressing like Chekhov tends to be. Great cast.

Don't see it if you don't like comedies or small theaters.

75
Funny at times, Pretentious, Unusual, Edgy, Excellent acting

See it if you would like a satire on "Uncle Vanya," excellent acting, unconventional structure, cerebral motif and witty humor.

Don't see it if you are bothered by plays that involve pretentious unending rumination on life by annoying characters that may be difficult to care about.

82
Interesting, Good acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if If you know Uncle Vanya, you are ahead of the game. Very interesting. I loved the breaking of the 4th wall.

Don't see it if You want straight line story. Things go around and overlap. It is clever and held my attention. NOTE no assisted listening at this venue.

83
Drags in spots, Funny, Raunchy, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to laugh and at the same time look for a deeper meaning.

Don't see it if You hate the fourth wall being broken because this happens...a lot. You find it tiresome for characters to sit around and complain.

83
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to see an interesting, modern take on Uncle Vanya -- kind of. The actors spill their innermost thoughts with resulting laughs.

Don't see it if you want a more formal approach to Chekhov. The actors constantly break the fourth wall, which usually annoys me -- but not here.

Also Regarding the breaking of the fourth wall -- when the actors speak to ... Read more Read less

98
Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you have seen or read Uncle Vanya at least once, yearn to understand the nuances in complex relationships of characters in modern context

Don't see it if you cannot sit for 2.5 hours including one intermission, feel uncomfortable with frequent 4th wall breaking, bored by meaning of life plays

Also The opening 4th wall breaking exposition of the play unnecessarily len... Read more Read less

88
Generous ensemble acting, Resonant, Evocative, Relatable & comforting, Austin pendleton rocks!

See it if You want to hear your inner monologue acted out. Are a fan of Austin P! You need some introspection and time with yourself and your thoughts

Don't see it if You don't want to struggle with life's reality. You are uncomfortable with audience participation.

Also It's not a revelation, it's not something you've never heard before, o... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if You want to see a remix of Uncle Vanya - Chekov's classic with humor & an eclectic group of actors. Have a fun night out.

Don't see it if If you need a show that is wrapped in a neat package, don't like Chekov's work, want a serious show, or want a musical.

93
Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see some amazing performers put on a 2 hour about the love and lust through multiple characters eyes.

Don't see it if you are looking for a musical. This is not for everyone, but I knew nothing about Uncle Vanya and still really enjoyed it. Not for kids.

Also Going into the show my expectations were low not know much about what ... Read more Read less

90
Knowing and witty, Great writing, Great ensemble acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you'd like an amusing yet thoughtful play with great characters who fruitlessly complain about things that are part of the human experience

Don't see it if you want to see a straight-up, poker-faced drama; want your Chekov straight; OR as one actor says, " can still get tickets to Tootsie"

Also If you are one of us New Yorkers---and you KNOW you are--who ceaseless... Read more Read less

86
Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if Very accessible, relatable version of Uncle Vanya: life kinda sucks, but you just have to keep powering on. Fun, contemporary telling.

Don't see it if Dislike Uncle Vanya, harsher contemplations of life. Audience participation annoys you. 2 hrs of unhappy people is too much of a downer.

Also Diversity: one lesbian character. From what I could tell, no people of... Read more Read less

30
Poor, lazy writing, Disappointing

See it if you want to be a "writer" of the play. In the performance that I saw a 7 year old girl delivered the best line.

Don't see it if you want good writing

Also This is the play I would probably write, if I wrote plays. That is why... Read more Read less

35
Indulgent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You enjoy pieces that rely on the shock value of breaking the 4th wall and deconstructing over works.

Don't see it if You dislike caricature. Despite the modernization of the language, it feels more wooden than ever.

Also “The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” ― Anton... Read more Read less

78
Absorbing, Dense

See it if you like plays that ponder the daily reality of ones life. Comic relief peppers the play while presenting difficult themes to face.

Don't see it if you want a light, fluffy evening or you don't want to think that hard.

72
Intelligent, Slow, Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You like polysyllabic words or Chekhov, I’m not familiar with the latter, so some things went over-my-head. Funny, mostly. See at least once

Don't see it if You’re not familiar with Chekhov. Don’t like cussing or breaking the fourth wall. Cynicism. I just expected more “suckiness”. Lollipops yay!

78
Entertaining

See it if A fun, fairly straightforward contemporary version of U.V. with some additional humor and quirks and well written monologues. Great acting.

Don't see it if Too long.Since this is set in the present, why didn't Posner give the women something to do besides loving and longing. Jobs perhaps?

81
Great writing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like semi-unconventional narrative structure; you're up for an entertaining yet moving contemplation on life;

Don't see it if breaking the fourth wall irks you; you want neat and tidy endings; you're not a fan of modern takes on Chekhov

Also Halfway through this show, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I had be... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Thought-provoking, Modern, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Even if you didn't like Posner's other take on Chekhov (Stupid F***ing Bird) because this one is much better. Less obnoxious.

Don't see it if You're expecting Uncle Vanya because this is a pretty loose interpretation of that play.

85
Quirky, Resonant, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want a modern take on Uncle Vanya well executed by a first rate cast

Don't see it if you don't like plays that break the fourth wall

81
Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if You want to see a play about the human experience. Enjoyable and funny

Don't see it if If you are looking for slapatick funny, or a musical

82
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you admire Austiln Pendleton & yearn to see Uncle Vanya in modern times with audience participation. Well-done!

Don't see it if You have had enough of Uncle Vanya!


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)