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Man From Nebraska

From 189 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent

About the show

Second Stage Theatre presents the New York premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts' drama about a devout man who has a crisis of faith. Starring Tony winner Reed Birney ('The Humans.') More…

Sometimes even the most devout can lose their faith. When Ken (Birney), a middle-aged man from Nebraska, suddenly realizes he's lost his sense of purpose, he goes on a wild adventure to find it. Along the way he encounters a world vastly different from his own, filled with chance meetings and romantic encounters that shake him to the core. Written by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts ('August: Osage County'). 

Member Reviews (189)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent
Avg Score

Disappointing, Edgy, Slow

See it if you want to be taken to another place in life.

Don't see it if you want a consistent show. It gets slow at some parts.

Intelligent, Resonant, Excruciating, Great acting, Intense

See it if Man goes through late midlife crisis and seeks answers while hurting his family. The journey is slow, painful, believable and disturbing.

Don't see it if You want to like the characters or feel uplifted. There are moments of comic relief that make the pain bearable.

Also Sticks in your psyche

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if you wish to see reed Birney at his best. Great use of the huge stage It makes one think about LIFE .Not a weak link in the cast.

Don't see it if you want a razzle dazzle musical. Some depressing scenes but that is life.

Ambitious, Clever, Disappointing, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if you are a Tracy Letts or Reed Birney fan, enjoy mid-life crisis stories & their resolution, enjoy plots with wide scope & many locations

Don't see it if you don't have the patience for a plot to play itself out, do not want to relate to a main character whose decisions who may abhor,

Great acting, Slow

See it if The scenes where the husband goes to England to "find himself" are quite fun - the dance club, art studio, hotel bar, etc...

Don't see it if ...but the beginning scenes at home with the wife are very slow-paced and sleep inducing.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if Verbiage is not always available to us during painful times. This play depicts this perfectly with wonderful acting, staging and writing.

Don't see it if you're more comfortable with thoughts and actions spelled out for you or you can't relate to inner turmoil distancing you from loved ones.

Beautiful, lyrical writing., Layered and thoughtful, Lovely direction by cromer, Excellent cast/birney great., Slow and meditative.

See it if You like theater that takes some risks and makes you a bit uncomfortable. This is thoughtful and rich, multilayered. Will stay with you.

Don't see it if Don't like plays that unfold slowly, looks at crisis of faith, has long pauses and leaves much unsaid. This has delicate, profound beauty.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow, Romantic

See it if Ordinary depressed Joe has crisis of faith and identity, takes a slomo picaresque journey, and returns a more optimistic man.

Don't see it if You have never questioned whether life could be different if other choices were made, or if you can't stand a slow moving play.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Cromer hits it out of the park

See it if you love beautifully written plays, brilliantly acted, and directed by a genius. The dialogue and silences are so real, so true. Perfection

Don't see it if you are mourning the loss of Jersey Boys. But if you like well crafted plays that will make you think, then go. Lotts is amazing. So honest.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you want to see a Tony winner in a slow thoughtful drama about life, marriage, religion and the search for meaning. Great cast.

Don't see it if you need lots of action or you don't like dialogue and character driven pieces.

Pointless, well acted, disappointing, slow but mostly just why bother.

See it if I'm not sure who should see it. It wasn't horrid, nothing bad or offensive- I just didn't care. No questions asked or answered.

Don't see it if You want to be engaged. If you are sensitive to to a whole cadre of folks moving furniture around to create "sets".

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you are a Tracey Letts fan. Great performances by Birney and O'Toole

Don't see it if post mid-life crises are abhorrent to you

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you're interested in an intelligent show about middle aged crises both religious & personal. Beautifully acted by all, esp. Birney & O'Toole

Don't see it if you expect the usual visceral explosiveness of other works by Letts. I found the ending to be unconvincing, but there is much to admire here

Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if If you enjoy existential stories about religion, relationships and lifestyle.

Don't see it if if you want a fast paced traditional story and characters which are easy to predict and understand.

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Relevant

See it if you are tired of plays about the problems of attractive 20/30 somethings with their whole future ahead of them.

Don't see it if you are unable to grasp the fact that older people can have nuanced problems and are not one dimensional caricatures.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you know anyone who has gone through a midlife crisis or crisis of faith. This play addresses these issues with an interesting perspective.

Don't see it if you prefer fast paced or lighthearted drama and don't want to think about personal conflicts.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a play about a couple getting older and finding a new direction.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play about aging.

Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you value good acting and an unusual take on charting a new path.

Don't see it if you are adverse to philosophical meanderings and much talk, little action.

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You are interested in a middle aged man looking for meaning in his life. I enjoyed the slow pace in revealing his progress.

Don't see it if You want lots of drama. This is a play that unfolds in a slow and thoughtful way.

Also I didn't think the ending made any sense.

Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy the work of Tracy Letts and the acting abilities of Reed Birney and Annette O'Toole. Cast is great.Excellent use of space on stage

Don't see it if You are expecting another "August Osage County". The play is interesting and entertaining,but not as accomplished re: plot,ending

Great acting, Disappointing ending, Staging is interesting

See it if You are a Reed Birney fan or a follower of David Cromer's work.

Don't see it if You get impatient with slow-paced plays.

Also I wanted to see this show for the reputed great acting, and it was not... Read more Read less


See it if You are down for an account of a man going through a disorienting crisis of faith. As in life, it does not resolve quickly or neatly.

Don't see it if You prefer comedy & lighter fare, your drama in tidy packages. You'll leave this at the curtain, but will think and talk about it later.

Slow, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of Tracy Letts or Reed Birney and game for a measured, intellectual exercise and for quirky character and staging choices.

Don't see it if you're sensitive to sexism--on reflection, I felt the female characters came off as dependent & marginalized & the men thus less sympathetic

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You're looking for something that stays with you. If I'd reviewed right after, it would be lower. But I can't stop thinking about it.

Don't see it if You don't like religion, existentialism, unexpected humor or heartbreak...

Riveting, Intelligent, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you've ever fantasized about how your life would have turned out if you'd made different decisions.

Don't see it if you dislike shows that are slow.

February 15th, 2017
"Though its words are well chosen and artfully placed, Tracy Letts’s 'Man From Nebraska' has a radiant respect for what cannot be said...An uncommonly gentle and compassionate work, which anatomizes characters and situations so classic that they are often dismissed as clichés...Very much of what ...
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February 15th, 2017
"Letts can do grotesque and emotionally raw, but here he reins in his darkest dramatic impulses. The writing builds up a humane character study, but it rarely raises the room temperature...At its core, the play—handsomely staged by Cromer and scrupulously acted by a fine ensemble—is about choosin...
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February 15th, 2017
"It must be said that once Letts establishes his provocative premise, he doesn’t develop it in fully compelling fashion. The episodic play moves in fits and starts, marred at times by lugubrious pacing and narrative digressions...Nonetheless, under the sensitive direction of David Cromer, 'Man Fr...
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February 17th, 2017
"Under Cromer’s suggestive direction, the life of Ken Carpenter (Birney) teeters on some existential ledge between darkness and darker darkness...Birney is marvelous to watch as this decent man struggles to find his moral footing in a strange new landscape. Laughing at Ken’s innocence is not an o...
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