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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

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.

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".

Great acting, Disappointing, Quirky, Cliched

See it if you are looking for great acting and direction

Don't see it if This was not Lett's best work. The play has taken 15 years to get to New York. I can see why

Slow, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Vacuous

See it if you like Reed Birney (I do);u like shows that leave a lot to think about; like shows that ponder ideas;

Don't see it if you like defined plots; like action; like resolution; don't like wandering, thought-provoking, empty dialogue; expect something to happen

Also For Tracy Letts - it was a let-down. Perhaps after August, Osage Count... Read more Read less

Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Introspective

See it if the great cast will balance out a long set up, and for me, an unrealistic route to a resolution

Don't see it if you don't already have a ticket

Disappointing, Great acting

See it if can believe in the the unbelievable reaction to a man in his mid life crisis.

Don't see it if you want to leave in a good mood or feel good in the thoughts that you spent money to see this show.....

Ambitious, Disappointing, Intelligent, Relevant, Slow

See it if The rebuilding of a man's spiritual house will put you in awe of creation. Excellent direction implants story ideas better than the script.

Don't see it if Watching simple lives crumble is too Inge for U. Tracy tries to manifest the sublime but lets us down by retreating into domestic strife.

Disappointing, Episodic, Vague, Well acted, Very dark

See it if you want to see a middle American man in a mid-life crisis with little revealed about the nature of that crisis or its outcome.

Don't see it if expect a play that provides insight into religious belief or efforts to change your life style - the main topics raised and unexplored.

Great acting, Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you are happy to see a piece with an interesting story and a brilliant leading actor

Don't see it if you want a story with a clear through-line; you can't stand sitting in silence; you need all actors to be the same caliber

Great acting, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if Curious about Letts before Osage County and an ensemble of fine performances (Nana Mensah, well done!)

Don't see it if Questions raised but not dramatically confronted. Last of the Red Hot Lovers as seen from Omaha. Unconvincing mid-life crisis play.

Confusing, Great staging, Overrated

See it if great staging is your thing

Don't see it if you are looking for deep and provoking meaning

Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging, Slow

See it if You have a serious connection to your faith and are intrigued by someone who loses their faith. For Reed Birney and the cast.

Don't see it if I just didn't really care about an older white guy who loses his faith. As an atheist, I just didn't care for this show.

Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Slow

See it if You want to see a show about a man's crisis of faith that has him abandoning his family.

Don't see it if You mind watching boring characters on the stage.

Great acting, Disappointing, Great staging, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if you're a big Reed Birney fan - his performance is excellent

Don't see it if you want to see a well-written female character; good dialogue is important to you

Disappointing, Resonant, Slow

See it if If you are a fan of Reed Birney, you'll want to see him in this play; otherwise, you can skip this one. Promising start that unwinds fast

Don't see it if A rather clumsy, predictable drama that should have had more to say about its subject but fails to deliver. Boring writing and direction.

Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if if you enjoy productions about exploring the questions of life, your beliefs & convictions. You enjoy a slow reveal .

Don't see it if If your interested in fast paced, highly charged theatre with a clear resolution.

Disappointing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you want to see Reed Birney. He is exquisite. His journey is riveting and thought-provoking. His part is well acted and written.

Don't see it if you expect great writing and acting. The daughter was poorly written and the wife was not as complex as Reed. I was disappointed overall.

Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you get free tickets or have a friend in the show. It's not bad, just not worth the price of admission.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play about the meaning of God or religion. There is no serious discussion of either. Plot is contrived and implausible

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if Enjoy Reed Birney. He's wonderful as always.

Don't see it if Expecting something similar to August Osage County. Couldn't be more different in style or plotting.

Disappointing, Slow, Sexist, Self-indulgent

See it if you want to see the older male version of Eat, Pray, Love. You have to see anything by Tracy Letts.

Don't see it if you don't care for self-centered people who think the world is only about them & don't care who's hurt in their quest to "find themselves."

Also I love Reed Birney, who plays the main character, but even he couldn't... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Resonant

See it if you always wanted to see the actress whose character on Younger claimed to love truffle butter. You are a Reed Birney fan - he's fantastic,

Don't see it if you don't like shows that leave questions unanswered

Great acting, Slow

See it if You want to see amazing acting and interesting stylized direction.

Don't see it if you bore easily and are not interested in seeing a middle aged man have a rather ordinary mid-life crisis.

Dated, Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You want to watch a group of great actors (well staged), and an older white mans existential crisis about his lack of faith sounds exciting.

Don't see it if You are hoping for women who are full dimensional characters too, you want a play that is relevant to our times not a throwback to the 50s

During previews
Slow, Disappointing, Great acting, Indulgent, Boring

See it if You like very slow moving plots that seem to take forever to get on a forward track. You enjoy plays about religious faith.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy watching excruciatingly slow plots about middle aged people trying to "find themselves".

During previews
Revival, Oddly newly relevant, Lacking in affect, A bit disjointed

See it if The curse of the white middle American almost comes to life and reminds us who may have voted Republican. Who's interested in a crisis of...

Don't see it if if the sufferer is inarticulate? Some clever staging, a few decent actors, but frosty direction hampers emotional connection.

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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Cast & Creatives (16)