Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown E

Mr. Toole

From 10 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing, Slow

About the show

Vivian Neuwirth's new drama creates a deeply personal reflection on the life of John Kennedy Toole, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces. " More…

From the show:

Before he was an author, John Kennedy Toole was a teacher. That’s how Lisette, one of his students at an all-girl’s college in New Orleans, knew him and loved him.

Through her eyes, amid the music, magic, and mystery of The Big Easy we, too, learn to love “Mr. Toole.” The teacher a student will never forget becomes a legend the world will always remember.

Member Reviews (10)


Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing, Slow
Avg Score

Relevant, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Intelligent

See it if you are interested in Mr Toole and his history, (though too drawn out).

Don't see it if you can't tolerate poorly done southern accents, excessive loud nagging and shrieking by the mother, vague hints of other issues.

Also With a bit of rewrite and editing, this could eventually be a good sho... Read more Read less

Literary, Clever staging on what must be no budget, Sag in the middle, Southern emotion, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of Confederacy of Dunces, interested in overbearing mothers, or have sympathy for the pain of rejection on the creative spirit

Don't see it if you have little patience for low-budget productions or a script that could probably benefit from an edit or two.

Also Lovely acting in the Tennessee Williams vein; if you are a fan of the ... Read more Read less


See it if Want clearly professional actors doing their best with the play.

Don't see it if You don't want a story that is unfortunately not engaging and very slow.

Evocative, Well-worth seeing, Moving, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Great acting and portrayal of repression, grief and mother's love. Interesting story well-told. Shades of Tennessee Williams.

Don't see it if You are triggered by suicide. Expect a full out theatrical production. Are frustrated with small spaces.

A worthy exploration

See it if You are a fan of John Kennedy Toole or A Confederacy of Dunces. You enjoy developmental theater cleverly executed on a shoestring.

Don't see it if You are looking for big production values or a breezy theater experience. This offers neither.

Also Each of the actors was quite special in their own way. Spahn in a tota... Read more Read less

Great acting, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if While it's not perfect, the writer has created a wonderful world for the actors to perform in. And the actors deliver. All of them.

Don't see it if You expect a perfect show, as this one is clearly in development. It's quite moving.

During previews
Indulgent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if curious about J. K. Toole's life and how Confederacy of Dunces became a classic after his death, enjoy mother-son stories, bio-dramas

Don't see it if not a fan of Toole or his masterwork, don't enjoy slightly staged works using same set for multiple locations or unnecessary flashbacks

Also This has the potential to be a much stronger play although the cramped... Read more Read less

During previews
Too long, Disappointing, Irritating fake southern accents, Extremelly interesting story miserably told

See it if You want to know a little bit about John Kennedy Toole. A lot about mother blaming.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of histrionic acting. irritating characters irritatingly portrayed. why 2 hours when so little is said.

Also This is all atmosphere and faulty concepts of the south. This is the 1... Read more Read less

During previews
New orleans comes alive, Confederacy of dunces author takes center stage

See it if You’d like 2 hrs on John Kennedy Toole & his struggle to write & get recognition, a battle taken on by his mother after his death. Strong.

Don't see it if You dislike a biographic, Toole, or Confederacy of Dunces or dislike long plays.

Also A delightful show, on a sad subject, the suicide of discouraged writer... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Like good acting and Confederacy of Dunces.

Don't see it if Expect a finished product.

March 5th, 2020
"Trying to Remember Teacher: Vivian Neuwirth’s play is a fictionalized recollection of the life of the novelist John Kennedy Toole, who died before his Pulitzer-Prize winning classic 'A Confederacy of Dunces' was published."
read more
March 6th, 2020
"'MR. TOOLE' at 59E59 Theaters Depicts a Captivating Backstory of John Kennedy Toole"
read more
March 5th, 2020
"An irritating and unfocused work dominated by two highly unpleasant characters whose professions of adoration are really smoke screens for their narcissism."
read more
March 4th, 2020
4/5 Stars. "A new play about 'Confederacy of Dunces' author John Kennedy Toole reflects on the toll and rewards of inspiration, with intensity and subtle wit."
read more

Related content

Cast & Creatives (3)