Long Lost NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(116 Reviews)
Positive
61%
Mixed
29%
Negative
10%
Members say
Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing, Absorbing, Cliched

About the Show

The Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies returns to MTC with a funny, unsettling play about the limits of compassion and filial obligation.

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Member Reviews (116)

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45
Unfocused, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if There are a couple scenes that were okay.

Don't see it if Unfocused and too long. Last scene drags on forever. Whole story amounted to nothing.

55
Indulgent, Great acting, Disappointing, Banal, Cliched

See it if An excellent ensemble (esp Tergesen), lavish sets & Sullivan's stable direction are all unable to survive the plodding, lame melodramatics

Don't see it if Surprisingly tepid work from Margulies It's the sort of drama you talk back to as if it were on TV - because its quality is a bad soap opera

Critic Reviews (23)

The New York Times
June 4th, 2019

“This dispiritingly predictable portrait of incompatible brothers is truly surprising only in its failure to surprise...Directed with Teflon smoothness...This 90-minute work is so conventionally and efficiently set up and structured, providing full and expected delivery on every teasing promise of things to come, that it might serve as a basic blueprint in a Theater 101 class...The thoroughly professional cast does as well as can be expected with roles that rarely engage our sympathy.”
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Time Out New York
June 4th, 2019

“In a quietly explosive 90 minutes, the play explores the difficulty of letting go of the past, and how seemingly small cracks in relationships can lead to foundation-shattering destruction...Sullivan has assembled a superb cast. Parisse excels as the tightly wound Molly, Tergesen shifts from charming rascal to cruel ne’er-do-well with ease, and Wolff is endearing as a young man deeply affected by the secrets of his elders. But the standout performance comes from AuCoin, who is riveting."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 4th, 2019

“The cast is first-rate...The problem is with the play...The shoehorned profusion of melodramatic plot twists feels more appropriate for a season-long daytime soap...Such plot machinations and familial themes are a hallmark of many of the playwright's previous works, but they're handled here with an uncharacteristic lack of finesse...’Long Lost’ is never really boring...It's just a shame all this top-notch effort has been put into a play we feel like we've seen."
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Variety
June 4th, 2019

“Both siblings excel at this tame game of fraternal warfare...The problem is, Margulies gives us little context for this edgy interplay between brothers...The characters are well-drawn and well-spoken. But because there’s nothing seriously at stake here, their quarrel shapes up as being largely about language itself. How to make words hurt. How to slap someone in the face with a slur...Margulies has a great ear, but lacking credible context, language is only pretty talk.”
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Theatermania
June 4th, 2019

"It lacks original insights and compelling theatrics, and ends with an unsurprising, ‘had to be done’ conclusion. There have been better plays about this subject matter, and Margulies has written some of them...Sullivan's production doesn't do the play's questionable dramaturgy any favors, either. His staging actually compounds the bigger problems I had with the unfocused script — namely, its underdeveloped characters and lack of a discernible protagonist."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 18th, 2019

“A black-sheep drama that, at first glance, looks like yet another tour through a familiar landscape of domestic dysfunctions. Yet, under Sullivan's taut direction, the questions it poses look increasingly knotty; before long, one starts to appreciate how the playwright has wrought a domestic miniature that has much to say about the way we loathe now...Sullivan's cast of four is highly skilled at these tribal war games.”
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New York Stage Review
June 4th, 2019

“Margulies has long demonstrated his ability to devise compelling characters in dramatic situations. Margulies begins in similar fashion in his new play, but before he long loses his way...If there are problems with the writing, AuCoin, Wolff, Parisse, and Tergesen each make a good case for their characters. Manhattan Theatre Club has provided a typically expert production under the direction of Daniel Sullivan."
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New York Stage Review
June 4th, 2019

“Although ‘Long Lost’ has been composed by Margulies with his typical craftsmanship, this story of a troublesome black sheep lacks originality and suspense...While the play is smoothly rendered by experienced hands, there is no reason why this terribly inert drama should be produced at all except that a distinguished artist such as Margulies wrote it. Too bad that the playwright did not have the insight to shelve it and save everybody a lot of wasted effort.”
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Theater News Online
June 6th, 2019

"’Long Lost’ surprises because it is so unsurprising. Yes, there are revelations, including one you see coming...and another you don’t. Even so, there’s not a lick of tension, which makes the between-scene music sound all the more pulpy. The modestly interesting takeaways are reminders of the delicate balance of relationships and that families can have more than one black sheep...Under the direction of Sullivan, the acting is strong even when the script turns up clichés.”
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TheaterScene.net
June 11th, 2019

"The play offers no catharsis as the actors are so low-key throughout, all much too calm even when the stakes are rising. As a result, there is little or no tension even when we realize the pattern that each scene will offer a worse revelation than the one before. Tergesen's black sheep Billy gives us no clue as to the reason for his malignant behavior. Both AuCoin as his brother David and Parisse as David's wife Molly are cool and sophisticated when they should be losing their temper."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 6th, 2019

“From the moment the lights go up, we’re on familiar terrain...There are no heroes or villains in this family play – only victims...Sullivan directs with a sure hand...Watching Billy and David in their existential conflict, one is reminded of Lee and Austin, Sam Shepard’s dueling brothers...In all the renditions of this timeless story, the conflict between two blood brothers is endless and unresolved, and the damage, meanwhile, is devastating.”
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CurtainUp
June 5th, 2019

“Sullivan has assembled a superb cast. Parisse excels as the tightly wound Molly, Tergesen shifts from charming rascal to cruel ne’er-do-well with ease, and Wolff is endearing...The standout performance comes from AuCoin, who is riveting...Its shortcomings notwithstanding, 'Long Lost' is never boring, thanks to the fine cast, staging and Margulies's crisp dialogue. Whereas his four characters have a lot of serious things to say to each other, their messages too often get lost in the telling."
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Front Row Center
June 5th, 2019

“Allow me to steal a remark from a patron sitting next to me that sums up the review part of this review, as he whispered to his companion half-way through the production, ‘Haven't we seen this play a bunch of times already?’...I have to point out and highlight the talents of both Parisse and Wolff. They both lifted each scene, and the actors that were in it with them, and made the watching...at least worthwhile...The play also does not live up to the wonderfully active and versatile set design.”
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Exeunt Magazine
June 6th, 2019

"So shadows—and secrets, and drama—are promised, and, sure, Margulies delivers, but they arrive mundanely, predictably, like the USPS...But the problem is also the cold air in the production. The direction, by Daniel Sullivan, lacks urgency and a firm atmosphere of confrontation to work the play’s turns...Though no single element of it is cause for ire or serious disdain, 'Long Lost' neglects to transcend the formulas it sticks to, making it, at best, an unremarkable trip to the theatre."
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C
June 4th, 2019

"But the play doesn't cohere because Billy never acts altogether consistently or even realistically. If you're trying your charm your way into a well-ordered family, would you immediately start smoking weed, down a six-pack of beer and blast the TV in the middle of the night, especially knowing how each of these actions would trigger Molly's short fuse? And does he really think buying them a box of coffee and Dunkin' Donuts will make everything better?"
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Theatre's Leiter Side
June 9th, 2019

"Fairly soon after 'Long Lost' begins it becomes increasingly apparent that we've seen this play before. Well, not this play per se but one or more very much like it…'Long Lost' relies too heavily on conventional tropes and unconvincing developments to make its mark…Veteran director Daniel Sullivan hasn't done much to fire the play's dramatic engines, which barely get out of neutral."
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Gotham Playgoer
June 16th, 2019

"Unfortunately, the 'magic' effect of MTC’s Stage II on set designers does not seem to apply to playwrights. I have seen too many clunkers with great sets here, including this one...The characters are so underwritten that it is hard to care much about their fate. The actors do a respectable job trying to breathe life into their roles. Daniel Sullivan’s direction is fluid, but even he cannot elevate trite material."
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The Wrap
June 4th, 2019

“The absolute flatness of Billy’s encounters with David in his office and then Jeremy in the family’s luxurious Park Avenue apartment is punctuated only by several bombshells, which go off like clockwork every 10 minutes. Rather than ramping up the drama, these revelations about illness, incarceration, infidelities and a double homicide expose the mechanics of the plot...Aucoin and Parisse render their respective characters with far more sympathy than they deserve.”
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Cultural Weekly
June 5th, 2019

"Could easily have become a soap opera or Lifetime-TV-movie...But Margulies does not fall into the trap of making Billy a one-dimensional villain bent on destroying his sibling’s happiness...Margulies shades his characters in life-like gradations of grey and drops tiny hints of plot which later explode with significance. Daniel Sullivan provides a sturdy staging, keeping stereotypical histrionics to a minimum, thus affording each revelation maximum impact."
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Diandra Reviews it All
June 5th, 2019

"’Long Lost’ focuses on two brothers that have pushed each other away to the point that one simply does not want the other...’Long Lost’ is concise, fluid, and witty in how it shows that, ultimately, some people are not compatible; even if they are brothers...At 90 minutes, ‘Long Lost’ felt like a quick, fresh delve into a family avoiding their truths as much as they avoid each other.”
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Off Script with Dan Dwyer
June 5th, 2019

“Margulies’ ‘Long Lost’, in its premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club, is a play that’s exceptionally well written, directed, cast, acted and staged. It’s also exceptionally unoriginal...Family secrets get revealed; some you can see coming right from the first scene, other revelations - after countless dramas about family dysfunction - seem like nothing new. The lifeblood through which Margulies keeps the heart of 'Long Lost' pumping is his precisely drawn characters...Sullivan paces it all solidly.”
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Edge New York
June 11th, 2019

"The dramatic device of an unwelcome, unstable sibling turning up and upsetting the protagonist's well-ordered life is nothing new, but 'Long Lost' does manage to take some intriguing turns...Yet the pace of 'Long Lost,' which is directed by Daniel Sullivan, does flag at times, especially during some of David and Billy's conversations. Though it is a slim 90 minutes, the play feels longer."
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B
June 6th, 2019

“The smooth direction, incredible sets, and fabulous four person cast bring the story of two warring brothers to life. However it still has an unshakeable sense of familiarity that leaves you wondering where you've seen it before...While not a bad play at its core, where ‘Long Lost’ falls short is that the stakes never seem high enough...You're never quite sure...why the audience should be sympathetic...It's crisp, and with some surprising wit, it makes for a fine afternoon of theater."
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