Men on Boats
Closed 1h 30m
Men on Boats

Men on Boats NYC Reviews and Tickets

(72 Ratings)
Members say
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Delightful

About the Show

This joyfully anachronistic retelling of the 1869 Powell expedition, originally produced by Clubbed Thumb, transfers to Playwrights Horizons as part of its Company Residency program.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (72)

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146 Reviews | 28 Followers
Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Original

See it if You want to have a great night of fun and laughs, see an original production with a superb ensemble of women playing men's roles in history!

Don't see it if You don't appreciate a good ensemble of all women playing male roles. Or if you're looking for a basic staged drama classic.

317 Reviews | 109 Followers
Refreshing, Original, Hilarious, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy strong ensemble pieces. You enjoy design that feels low budget/creates space without using exact replicas of the items.

Don't see it if You're looking for a kitchen sink drama or typical Broadway staging.

170 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you are looking for a fun bit of history done with an all female cast of women actors who will knock u off ur feet!

Don't see it if You want true to form history lessons and don't want an all woman show.

53 Reviews | 14 Followers
Smart, entertaining, delightful

See it if historical irony is your cup of tea & you like seeing a talented female ensemble in a fascinating script, well directed and choreographed.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play where women play male characters or if you want realism. This is highly theatrical, wonderfully so.

118 Reviews | 27 Followers
Ambitious, Delightful, Great staging, Refreshing, Original

See it if you're into seeing a brilliantly staged, deliciously acted & poignantly provocative show; one of my faves of 2015 beautifully remounted here

Don't see it if you prefer not to use your imagination when encountering a historical story; if you just can't with adventurous casting; if you need realism

536 Reviews | 279 Followers
Clever, intelligent, witty, laugh out loud funny, great ensemble

See it if you want to see a gender-bending take on Powell's expedition. Ingeniously staged by Will Davis. Powerhouse ensemble acting! Do not miss.

Don't see it if your taste runs to the more conventional. Also, if you do not like historical plays.

66 Reviews | 13 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want male dominated history to get reclaimed & repurposed by an all female ensemble. Crazy inventive staging. So so so clever.

Don't see it if you want big set pieces, men, history stripped of humor.

448 Reviews | 88 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You long to think, be challenged, and entertained by a talented cast!

Don't see it if Are challenged by non-traditional staging and casting.

Critic Reviews (26)

Time Out New York
August 1st, 2016

"Playwright Backhaus gender-flips her hardy crew and asks director Davis to stage the impossible: vessels barreling over waterfalls and hairsbreadth escapes from drowning. Silly? Sure. Thrilling? Oh, yes...Although Backhaus’s sly inventory of male weakness can grow repetitious after an hour or so, the cast is a dream team of experimental pros and fresh faces, mining the pathos and genuine heroism of the story...'Men' has simply the best acting ensemble Off Broadway right now."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
August 11th, 2016

"It’s a tricky balancing act: The anachronistic dialogue and implicit gender commentary keep raising issues the dialogue does not resolve, or even address. That’s probably a good thing, because too much earnest issue-mongering would surely sink the delicate craft of the play before its 100 minutes were up. The terrific performances, amusingly detailed but seriously inhabited, also help to keep it afloat...The play lands in an unanticipated place of real, if fleeting, feeling."
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August 1st, 2016

"The rationale for casting an ensemble of actresses to enact Major John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Colorado River expedition eludes me. But as penned by Jaclyn Backhaus and directed by Will Davis, 'Men On Boats' is off-the-canyon-walls funny. A joint Off Broadway production of Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons, the show combines the playful inventiveness of the former with the theatrical discipline of the latter. Paddle or portage your own boat to the theater — but get there."
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August 1st, 2016

"There's no attention drawn to gender in this boisterous new comedy, imaginatively directed down to the punctuation by Will Davis. 'Men on Boats' uses the lens of the present to explore a story from our shared cultural past. The result is kind of ingenious...This perfect 10-member ensemble perform their roles with laserlike precision. It's their skill, and the tug-of-war between the old and the new, that makes 'Men on Boats' such refreshing, enjoyable theater."
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August 4th, 2016

“The imagination and wit involved with the production of director Will Davis' pocket-sized mounting of Jaclyn Backhaus' ‘Men on Boats’ is well-suited to provide an enjoyable 95-minute excursion...It's when ‘Men on Boats’ takes to the land when the story expresses its heart...There is no apparent commentary or lampooning involved with having the excellent company playing their male characters except, perhaps, that it's rare to see woman play these kinds of roles.”
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Lighting & Sound America
August 12th, 2016

"'Men on Boats' spends much of its time on verbal gags that don't quite land and multiple instances of cast members engaging in pretend acts of derring-do...These sequences, not terribly amusing in themselves, become wearying when spread out over an hour and forty minutes...The play finds a sharply satirical point of view only briefly...The rest of the time, however, 'Men on Boats' is a trip without a clear destination."
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Talkin' Broadway
August 1st, 2016

“Backhaus, director Will Davis, and the cast are all operating in perfect coordination to create a brief (95-minute) evening of unremitting adventure and craziness...If the show has a flaw, it's the vaguest sense of potential pointlessness...When the journey is an absolute blast, it's okay if the destination is only 8 out of 10. ‘Men on Boats' has more than enough brilliance to keep it afloat."
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August 2nd, 2016

"Kudos to Clubbed Thumb for originating this spirited and intelligent production of 'Men on Boats'. (The play began at the Wild Project as part of their 2015 Summerworks festival). 'Men on Boats' is a finely-tuned adventure that transports you back to a time when the wonders of discovery still existed and heroes/heroines were the backbone of a nation."
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