Already closed | 1h 45m | West Village

Mrs. Murray's Menagerie

From 69 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the show

Ars Nova presents The Mad Ones new work in which the creators of a 1970s children’s television program have commissioned a focus group to probe the parents of the show’s target audience.  More…

Over stale coffee and donuts, a group of strangers navigates the murky waters of American belief and perception.


Member Reviews (69)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking
78
Avg Score

90
Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you're looking for a delightful, modern play with hilarious characters and insightful reflections on how people behave in a group.

Don't see it if you're looking for a spectacular script that can stand alone without great performances.

Also I really loved this play. It's true that it's a one scene play where n... Read more Read less

60
No pay off, Great acting, Confusing, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy quick, somewhat witty dialogue.

Don't see it if if you want a play that builds and has a conclusion or resolution. There's a certain evenness with no change in tone or development.

21
Funny, Overrated, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if you want a mediocre episode of television put on stage.

Don't see it if you expect a little more for your money when you go to the theater.

30
Confusing, Fluffy, Indulgent, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if You like strong performances, time specific settings, and gorgeous set design.

Don't see it if You generally appreciate theater with plot, theme, or any semblance of illumination...this has none of that.

100
Masterful, Great acting, Clever

See it if You enjoy profound commentary in nuanced conversation. If you like the style of The Mad Ones’ other work, you’ll enjoy this one.

Don't see it if You are unable to understand or pick up the subtleties of human relationships.

During previews
70
Dull, Well played, Condescending, Observant, Smart

See it if you’d like to see the latest piece from the moment’s most lauded theater collective.

Don't see it if you want to see a traditional play.

Also After a sold-out run for its lauded “Miles for Mary” last season at Pl... Read more Read less

During previews
47
Repetitive writing and story, Good acting but for what?, Disappointing

See it if I wouldn’t recommend this play. Slightly amusing at times but the story is so boring and repetitive.

Don't see it if I had loved this group’s previous show Miles For Mary but this did not live up to that. Missing something. Not funny. Story went nowhere.

Also The staging (people sitting around a table for the whole show) reminde... Read more Read less

During previews
40
Overrated, Insipid, Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you want to be as perplexed as I am as to why this play even exists. Given a few good performances, there is nothing to recommend this play.

Don't see it if you don't like plays in which the characters do not have an arc. Much of the dialogue is repetitive. Nothing much happens during the play.

Also There is really not enough substance to hold one's attention for 90 mi... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Unusual, Slow, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if you are a people watcher and enjoy seeing them reveal themselves in an unusual format; surprisingly realistic focus group of many personalit

Don't see it if you prefer plays with a plot driven format, physical action and drama. This piece is more of a slice of life situation.

Also This show was a lot of fun for me - not for everyone certainly. Not as... Read more Read less

During previews
81
Great acting, Resonant, Sly, Temperate, "funny"

See it if you like people watching & look out for telling behavior/remarks. Opposite of melodrama. Observant, exact, controlled, understated.

Don't see it if you don’t read the micro as well as the macro. Not a high energy show. As well done as it is, the ordinary can be only so compelling.

Also There's a crucial, blink-and-you-miss-it moment at the end. That final... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Fluffy, Indulgent, Quirky, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy plays that are more about keenly-observed characters and small moments than a driving plot or big overarching themes

Don't see it if you need plays to be "about" something other than shared human experience

During previews
70
Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Funny

See it if You’d like a very realistic slice of life with characters you’ll recognize. Many laugh-out-loud moments. Great dialogue.But no real ending.

Don't see it if The play steadily establishes its characters, building tension like Wolves & Miles for Mary, then fizzles out. Truly a lost opportunity

Also The characters are reversed from what they would have been in the ‘70s... Read more Read less

During previews
45
Disappointing, Boring, Slow, Insipid

See it if You want a night out and get the $5 tickets. You want to see something new - and understand that it may not be good.

Don't see it if You want something of any substance - it has none. You expect something of the caliber of Comet of 1812 or Rags Parkland from Ars Nova

During previews
58
Amusing but disappointing

See it if A slice of life, ensemble piece interests you.

Don't see it if A plot driven, big laughs so is what your looking for.

Also I saw this groups previously play, “Miles for Mary” and really enjoyed... Read more Read less

During previews
100
Riveting, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You like dialogue theatre and enjoy feeling like a fly on the wall

Don't see it if You prefer visual/spectacle theatre

Also If you liked Miles for Mary you’ll like this. It’s simply fantastic.

During previews
56
Disappointing

See it if You like character studies. Subtle comedy.

Don't see it if You’re looking for hug laughs, or a plot driven play.

Also I appreciated that the play is something different in style and struct... Read more Read less

During previews
69
Unfinished, Slow, Intelligent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you love the Mad Ones and want to see these great actors work or if you want to see a work in progress and get a glimpes into the process.

Don't see it if you want a clear plot or dramatic tension. Nothing much happens. There are funny moments but a lot of missed opportunities. It gets tedious.

During previews
69
Great writing, Great acting, Clever

See it if If you like strong ensemble work, subtle & sly writing, and a story that "shows" rather than "tells"

Don't see it if You like flash

During previews
80
Smart, Original, Refreshing

See it if you're into the magic of live theater and are willing to forgo a strong storyline.

Don't see it if you insist on a conclusive ending to every story.

Also Just as in Miles for Mary, the collective is very good at subtly build... Read more Read less


April 8th, 2019
"Though not quite as emotionally powerful as its predecessor, it is just as funny and, in some ways, more momentous...How such minutiae mount into a crisis is a mystery built into the company’s method. Some of it has to do with the subtle, super-sharp direction by Mad Ones member Lila Neugebauer....
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April 8th, 2019
"It’s delicate and refreshingly anticlimactic, very funny but joke-free, a seemingly unassuming but pointed example of the kind of painstaking group character study that the company has marked as its turf...Lila Neugebauer guides from the outside with her characteristic understatement and precisi...
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April 17th, 2019
“The collaborative troupe the Mad Ones has a winning formula...Its newest production, again under the note-perfect direction of Neugebauer, winds back the clock to the late seventies, as six parents, plied with coffee and doughnuts, participate in a focus group for a beloved children’s TV show. U...
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April 8th, 2019
"While the company's attention to detail is admirable, their work feels like the theatrical equivalent of — go on, call me a philistine — a Frederick Wiseman documentary. The authenticity is undeniable, but it makes for tedious viewing...Although all the ensemble members deliver finely detailed, ...
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