Closed 2h 30m
Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band
Midtown W

Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band NYC Reviews and Tickets

(57 Reviews)
Members say
Ambitious, Confusing, Great singing, Entertaining, Quirky

About the Show

Ma-Yi Theater Company presents a rock 'n' roll remake of Ibsen’s classic verse drama about what happens when we sacrifice everything to be most fully ourselves.

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Member Reviews (57)

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Ambitious, Confusing, Entertaining, Quirky, Slow

See it if Energetic cast of actors/musicians nearly keep this rock opera adaptation of Ibsen's epic mythic poem afloat. Stronger editing would help

Don't see it if Songs often loud & confusing leaving us adrift.Barall needs stronger book scene connection Matt Park as Peer needs to charm us more

Clever, Quirky

See it if caught the last perf. some intersting tales some good acting nice new theater space for the company

Don't see it if a bit to loud.. but worth the trip

Critic Reviews (10)

January 24th, 2017

"It’s a fun idea and a brash one, but here it mostly makes a fragmented story feel even less forceful…Ms. Barall could have made further cuts to the rambling original, but the greater problem is that the songs don’t add much to the book scenes. For the most part, they are merely atmospheric, which tends to bog down the story, already boggy in its original form, rather than propel it. Peer sings that all he and the moon ever do 'is go around and around and around and around.' This show, too."
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January 23rd, 2017

"Amid all the 21st-century updates, the piece loses its feeling of wonder and universality...Lyrics are lost in a sea of rock-and-roll machismo, and the story unfortunately goes with it...'Peer Gynt's' inherent questions of identity and the fundamental purpose of a life remain compelling and ultimately do make their way to the audience. However, a little less noise, both figurative and literal, would have paved a much smoother path."
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January 27th, 2017

"Having chopped away several hours' worth of material, Barall and her collaborators still haven't been able to extract a workable drama from the seemingly endless tangle of scenes and characters…The laughs were few and far between. But neither did the story of Peer's progress prove gripping or meaningful. Even in its abridged form, the narrative still suffers from sluggishness and a lack of dramatic interest…For all the talent expended, this is a long, long evening."
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January 25th, 2017

"An ambitious retelling of 'Peer Gynt.' Unfortunately, its creators go in for smug posturing that crush its traces of sincerity...A major flaw is Peer Gynt. Personable co-composer Park plays the title role...His acting ranges from pleasantly monotonous to ineptly excessive. He strains to be charismatic...Director Tamburri’s staging is adept at conveying visual spectacle...It is certainly possible that it may lend itself to a musical incarnation but that is not demonstrated by this production."
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January 24th, 2017

"The scenes are often entertaining, the songs fantastic, and every so often, the piece is emotionally moving. But there are lots of unnecessary and sometimes baffling scenes and moments that do not help the piece move forward…A rock music adaptation of Ibsen is an exciting and potentially amazing idea, but there’s nothing wrong with editing down the excess characters and plot lines from the original to get to the heart of the story."
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January 23rd, 2017

"Barall dutifully and brilliantly follows the Norwegian folklore through an existential lens. Director Tamburri runs with the concept, highlighting how presence heads to spirit. Under his direction, the actors effortlessly shift and interact as characters and musicians...Park is transfixing and electrifying in the title role of Peer, a true rock star complete with guitar skills. Also co-composer, he audaciously leads the company through the ups and the downs as Peer’s stories gallop apace."
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January 22nd, 2017

"An interesting piece of theatre, though not always successful...They have taken the redemption out of the show and replaced it with vulgar language and at times crude jokes meant for a generation that finds this funny...What Ma-Yi’s new production does is rock out, sometimes to a fabulous height and sometimes not so great...I found Jack Tamburri’s direction sloppy and Michi Barall script not to my taste, but I can see with cleaning up how this could appeal to a young downtown audience."
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January 27th, 2017

"Daring but quite scattered...If you don't know the story, you're likely lost. Michi Barall layers the lyrics with integral information that, at times, is lost in the muddled sound. If you're looking for some really great music, Lieber and Park have provided it…Matt Park didn’t quite take command as Peer…I can guarantee this story can be perfectly told in ninety minutes. Perhaps with proper trimming and cohesion in the book and score, 'Peer Gynt' could be something cool."
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January 31st, 2017

"’Peer Gynt’ demands a strong directorial approach and an incisive eye for adaptation, neither of which fully materializes in Ma-Yi Theater's ‘Peer Gynt and the Norwegian Hapa Band’…The result is often engaging and occasionally poignant but lacks a coherent take on Ibsen's notoriously incoherent tale...A stronger relationship between story and song could give the production the emotional center it somewhat lacks."
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January 25th, 2017

"Director Jack Tamburri keeps the action going in this epic story that takes place both in reality and in Peer’s imagination...A very talented group of actors makes up the cast…The weakest part of the production is the choreography, which felt diluted for a production so full of life. Meredith Reis’s stage, set up like a bandstand at a bar replete with shimmery copper streamers, provided the right backdrop...'Peer Gynt' is right to be reinvented as a rock-and-roll odyssey."
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