Make Believe
Midtown W
77

Make Believe NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(207 Reviews)
Positive
81%
Mixed
17%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Clever, Intelligent

About the Show

Bess Wohl returns to Second Stage after her funny and poignant play, "American Hero," with a look inside the minds of children, their parents, and the mysteries of childhood that haunt us forever.

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Member Reviews (207)

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74
Clever, Plot holes, Dysfunctional family dramedy, Absorbing, Strong acting

See it if you like dysfunctional family plays w strong premise. 4 siblings in trauma; re-visit as adults. Well acted. Gr attic set.

Don't see it if you want a believable plot. Lots of holes; unconvincing kids section too lg and choppy Still, MB's clever & absorbing. All white cast.

78
Absorbing, Lots of twists, Great acting, Great writing

See it if Great plot with lots of twists and variety. Engaging and interesting. Great actors especially the children.

Don't see it if First part has some long scene transitions that are odd especially since they don't repeat.

Critic Reviews (18)

August 15th, 2019

CRITIC’S PICK "In ‘Make Believe,’ Four Children Meet Their Inner Adults: Bess Wohl’s daring, mysterious new play is a comedy of underparenting and a tragedy of selfishness. Or is it the other way around?"
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August 15th, 2019

★★★★ "It's the oldest strategy in the dramatic playbook: the 'retrospective' plot, in which a buried secret is dug up and brought into the light...That's why Bess Wohl's 'Make Believe ' has such freshness: The writer has found a new way to cut old cloth."
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August 15th, 2019

"The Unreal Land of 'Make Believe': Bess Wohl's play about childhood and its ripple effects."
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August 15th, 2019

"The latest effort from Bess Wohl, author of the acclaimed 'Small Mouth Sounds,' explores the lingering effects of a traumatic event on the lives of four young children."
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August 15th, 2019

"'Make Believe' Reveals the Seriousness Lurking Behind Playtime: Bess Wohl's latest show depicts abandoned kids at play."
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August 16th, 2019

"Therapy is Child's Play in Bess Wohl's Engrossing Drama 'MAKE BELIEVE'"
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August 16th, 2019

"'Make Believe' is populated with children who play some very adult games; the playwright, Bess Wohl, is a pretty audacious game-player herself…Make Believe would challenge any director, but Michael Greif's intensively detailed approach makes every moment count."
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August 15th, 2019

"'The Games That Kids Play.' Fine acting brings Bess Wohl's tender new drama to realistic life at Second Stage Theater"
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August 15th, 2019

★★★★ "'A Sentimental but Not Syrupy Nostalgia Trip.' Children of the '80s will especially enjoy Bess Wohl's nostalgic new play, set in a memory-filled family attic"
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September 10th, 2019

"Bess Wohl's new play, 'Make Believe,' is a fascinating study of how the traumas of childhood affect our adult lives, particularly the damage seen and unseen parents inflict on their offspring. Director Michael Greif…has piloted a fine cast of eight actors both young and mature."
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August 15th, 2019

"The power (and limits) of imagination. The ways we repeat (and defy) our own family history. The ways we lived then (and now). These are heady subjects to throw together in one play - especially one that's only 80 minutes long, yet that is exactly what Bess Wohl does."
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August 22nd, 2019

"In Bess Wohl's new play a shimmering quartet of young performers (all under 14, two of them under 10), kids marking time in their playroom attic while they wait, much too long, for their mom to come home."
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August 27th, 2019

"Make Believe, the new play by Bess Wohl... is darkening our summer days in the best of all possible ways..The opening is a wildly tension building set-up, one that goes on a bit too long for its own good, but in the adult end, the device works, as the weight is fully implanted for their return thirty-two years later....making it difficult to forget these kids and the damaged adults they grow up to be."
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T
August 30th, 2019

"The nature-nurture psychological debate and the predestined-free will theological debate collide in Bess Wohl's 'Make Believe'...resulting in the brave and somewhat disturbing exploration of the blurred boundaries between what is perceived to be real life and what is perceived to be make-believe."
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August 15th, 2019

"'Make Believe' is about childhood neglect - first the experience and then the long-term effect. That, anyhow, is how a psychologist or a social worker might describe it. But theatrically, Bess Wohl's play is about… ellipses. slow moving, on purpose - slow to reveal what's going on."
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August 26th, 2019

"In Bess Wohl's play 'Make Believe,' surviving childhood is relative. Recovery can take a lifetime."
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August 21st, 2019

"'Make Believe' is more concerned with its gimmicky premise, the creation of atmosphere, the revelation of character, and the sussing out of offstage events than it is about actual plotting…The beautifully realized performances make it…believable enough."
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August 16th, 2019

"Bess Wohl's new comedy portrays a quartet of Gen X siblings at two points of life-changing family crisis. The dialogue sparkles with wit that's hip and distinctively off-beat; the subtext is frequently disturbing and sad (and always believable)."
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