Already closed | 2h 25m | West Village

Mayakovsky and Stalin

From 28 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the show

This dramatic character study explores two distantly connected relationships: that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his wife Nadya and of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married lover Lilya Brik. More…

From the show:

The newest work from legendary poet/playwright and off-off Broadway pioneer Murray Mednick is a dramatic character study incorporating historical footage and photos to explore two distantly connected relationships: that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his wife Nadya, and of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married lover and “muse” Lilya Brik. 


Member Reviews (28)

MEMBERS SAY:

Slow, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious, Disappointing
68
Avg Score

79
Great writing, Intelligent, Slow, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if to see a study of the lives of several key figures in Stalinist Russia via a literate cautionary tale about the collision of art & politics.

Don't see it if you're not interested in Soviet Russian history; you require a linear storyline; you prefer visual spectacle to a loquacious play of ideas.

89
Beautifully played, Beautifully staged, Engaging, Analytic, Smart

See it if the early decades of the Soviet Union, its art & its human tragedy interest you.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a Dr. Zhivago knock-off.

Also Murray Mednick was doing innovative theater work a half century ago & ... Read more Read less

40
Long, Boring, Slow, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You've always wanted to go to a show that was so boring you left during the intermission. Boring, confusing, lots of screaming. Uggh.

Don't see it if You don't leave during intermissions. I seriously considered listening to a podcast.

65
Great singing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy Russian history and cultural norms of that period, you will think favorably of this play.

Don't see it if Russian history is not your thing.

45
Great wall projections, Disappointing, Bombastic, Repetitive

See it if I love this period of history and this could have been an opportunity to parallel current politics but bad acting, & long monologues

Don't see it if dragged down this blurry confused production. With the exception of the fabulous artwork and amazing wall projections,this was excruciating

Also Mayakovsky is such a bold poet-- where were his words-- the state- of ... Read more Read less

78
Ambitious, Intelligent, Wordy, Complex, Great acting

See it if You're interested in well-acted historical plays and open to creative presentation.

Don't see it if You're looking for a lot of action or multiple set and costume changes. It's complex in its ideas, not in its staging (which is well done).

60
Leaden reminder that authoritarian control ruins both art and artists., Slow, Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You are a student of Soviet era art and politics and just can't get enough about them.

Don't see it if You have limited knowledge about and interest in Soviet era art and politics.

76
Quirky, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if you like narrated plays about historical people and how they interlock. Are interested in the effect totalitarians have on others.

Don't see it if you like a linear narrative or mind a lot a narration in general. Mind interlocking but not overlapping narratives.

Also the first act doesn't really work as it takes a long time to get into ... Read more Read less

80
Well-acted, Talky, Cryptic, Passionless, Intellectual

See it if you're interested in the history and characters of early Russian communism.

Don't see it if Came away feeling I wouldn't pass the final exam.

94
Must see, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy excellent writing with a stellar cast supported by superb staging and lighting. An intelligent insight.

Don't see it if You are used to fluff and have no attention span.

80
Mayakovsky and stalin: un-perfect together in a play!, Mayakovsky and stalin: interesting as two parts but not as a whole, An exposition of many victims and one evil incarnate: stalin

See it if you are interested in Russian history, and are well read on Stalin's evil legacy.

Don't see it if you have no interest in Russian political and cultural history.

Also I did not know about Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Russian futurist poet an... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if unusual and smart play, with excellent acting and production values and some good emotional scenes - but cerebral otherwise

Don't see it if conflict in concept: too much exposition (probably necessary but) overwhelming for a novice and primitive for someone who knows the period

70
Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in Russian history/literature; would like to see some good acting in a small but intellectual piece.

Don't see it if You want a plot driven play or don't have a lot of patience for a rather slow production.

Also A recording of Mayakovsky reading his poetry is available online. This... Read more Read less

71
Intense, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You like politics.

Don't see it if You find politics and history unappealing

80
Great acting, narrative, and nuance

See it if You are interested in the period and enjoy extensive exposition and a finely-tuned production with great performances

Don't see it if You want quick pacing, plot, and drama

Also More:... Read more Read less

70
Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you enjoy plays rooted in some sort of history

Don't see it if you bore easily by historic plays

80
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like character studies and unique, complicated relationships

Don't see it if You like your plays linear and plot-driven

71
Intense, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you are a history buff and fascinated with the personal intrigues of historical figures.

Don't see it if If you are suffering from attention deficit issues, this play is wordy and erudite. You will lose the thread of the plot

96
Great writing, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you would like to see outstanding actors in an excellent, thought-provoking play.

Don't see it if you dislike non-linear plots

Also I find it hard to understand the negative reviews that this play has r... Read more Read less

During previews
54
Confusing, Ambitious, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like torturously long stories that are historically inaccurate.

Don't see it if If you don’t like confusing gibberish coming from actors who tend to emote.

During previews
61
Murderous villainy papered over, What were they thinking, Excruciating, Boring, Circular

See it if Stalin's wife repeatedly commits suicide in act I; Stalin ponders need for strong future; & Maykovsky fools himself. A mess.

Don't see it if you want to learn about Stalin or Mayakovsky. Wikipedia, flawed though it is, has more info on them & their cohorts than this play.

Also As a longtime student of Russian history & poets I thought this would ... Read more Read less

During previews
53
Boooooring, Dizzying, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if Only if you must to support someone from the cast and she/he will not forgive you if you skip

Don't see it if Just love yourself and save 2 hours of your life by simply not going. You will not learn anything or see something worth seen

Also First preview and...tradition, tradition: 20 minutes delay because of ... Read more Read less

During previews
46
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if Lack of cohesion, too much aggrandizing rhetoric and ideological fury. Difficult to follow.

Don't see it if You do not like historical plays

During previews
55
Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing, Banal

See it if Very disappointing play. I found it long, tedious and boring agreeing with most of the reviewers so far. The acting however was okay.

Don't see it if You're looking for a somewhat fast paced, cohesive, and understandable play.

During previews
56
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if IF YOU WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT JOSEF STALIN AND HIS WIFE.IT WAS INFORMATIVE ABOUT THEIR LIFESTYLE AND THEIR THOUGHTS.IF YOU LIKE HISTOR

Don't see it if IF YOU WANT ELABORATE STAGING AND GREAT DIALOGUE.

Also ICAL FACTS AND A INSIDER'S LOOK AT THE MAN NAMED STALIN.


August 1st, 2018
for a previous production "Murray Mednick Probes History in 'MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN.'"
read more

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Cast & Creatives (2)