Already closed

Must

Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Great acting, Great staging
51
Critics
33
7 reviews
Members
54
46 reviews
 

Film star Bruce Willis presents this new drama, where legendary outlaw Billy the Kid reflects upon the relationships that have informed his life on the night before his murder.

... Read more

​In the New Mexican desert, Billy the Kid is restless and alone. He conjures his mother, his lover, Sheriff Pat Garrett, and the man he thinks might be his father. Through memories, visions, and feverish dreams, he confronts each of them. As he gains real insight into their lives and struggles, he discovers how he went from being a normal kid in New York City to the notorious gunfighter Billy The Kid. At sunrise, he 'Must' face Garrett with this newfound understanding of life, purpose, and infamy.

 


Cast & Creatives (12)


See all questions

To see or not to see (0)

See all questions

Reviews (53)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
33
Avg Score

35
Theatermania

“'Must' never provides any specific insights into the life of the person or the legend...An under-researched evening of theater, with the dialogue, characters, and psychological underpinnings acting more as generalizations than specific and rich elements that add to the overall storytelling. The vagueness is so glaring that despite sharing the names of historical figures like Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, it might as well not be about them at all, making this production far from a must-see.” Full Review

30
Lighting & Sound America

“Pretty much dead on arrival. Billy isn't much of an outlaw...Instead, he comes off as a modern misunderstood adolescent, largely passive and given to nursing old wounds. This is surely the least interesting choice...'Must' has zero dramatic tension...Under the sluggish direction of Gabriel Vega Weissman, there's nothing the cast can do about these sleepy proceedings...’Must’ is visually arresting even when dramatically numb." Full Review

40
Theatre's Leiter Side

“The big question raised by 'Must'…is why Bruce Willis chose to moonlight from his busy acting career to serve as its lead producer…A lugubrious, nonlinear, plotless series of talky, pretentious, mostly two-character, dream-like scenes…While the conversations occasionally reveal friction between Billy and the others, the bleak, non-humorous dialogue is so artificial, elliptical, and metaphorical…that Billy can't meet his maker fast enough despite the show's only one-hour running time.” Full Review

30
TheaterScene.net

“Droning on for an hour, ‘Must’ is playwright Cissel’s stupefying ‘unearthing of Billy The Kid.’ It’s like Arthur Miller took a break from completing 'After the Fall' to write an episode of Gunsmoke...Mr. Cissel’s treatment is a turgid exercise with little action and lots of leaden talk...’Must’ freshly takes a potentially compelling cerebral and psychological approach in depicting the tale but is decidedly unsatisfying.” Full Review

30
Theatre is Easy

"For a Wild West play, there is little in the way of excitement or action. Playwright Charles Cissel deserves some credit for taking a risk and writing a reflective play about the famous outlaw Billy the Kid, rather than an action adventure...It can be hard to follow these scenes. At times, it feels like Cissel used magnetic poetry to write the script, stringing words together without creating a narrative." Full Review

30
BroadwayWorld

"Purports to excavate the background of Billy The Kid but buries the lede beneath lackluster dialogue that mistakes clichés for insight...Encumbered by Charles Cissel's flat prose, these actors fail to register as anything other than cinematic stand ins. In fact they look as if they are marking time along with the rest of us until curtain falls. In lieu of direction, Gabriel Vega Weissman has the actors yell their lines as if increased volume will summon greater lucidity. " Full Review

35
Phindie

“Stewart as Pat Garrett manages to inject some life into his lines, but due to the static, measured nature of their recitations it’s hard to tell about the other, no doubt fine, Equity actors. While the slow formality of Weissman’s direction honors the show’s intentions, the pacing proves too deadly even for dead people...Charles Cissel, as evidenced by the sad, staged poetics of Billy the Kid, is much more likely a poet than a playwright.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
54
Avg Score

82
Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You're looking to see something new, avant garde, and with a fresh take on a well known subject.

Don't see it if You want something more conventional; the play is a little confusing.

61
Clever, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if you like an interesting staging of someone's life. The acting except for role of sheriff was good. Some moving moments with parents.

Don't see it if you want a fully developed story about Billy's life. Program says 90 minutes but show under an hour.

Also I liked the staging and the idea of going back and forth in Billy's li... Read more Read less

43
Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if Like plays without a purpose.

Don't see it if Don't like plays without a purpose .

63
Intense, Well acted, Short

See it if like a well-acted play, short in duration. Or a historical piece with only a vague connection to actual events. It is an introspective piece

Don't see it if you need action. This is an introspective piece and not meant to be taken on any realistic plane.

Also If you wanted a drinking game, where you would end up HAMMERED at the ... Read more Read less

45
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Epic fail, Promising staging

See it if you have time to kill ...& willing to sit on a slow play that can put you to sleep - as the dialogues & sunset stage lights set that mood.

Don't see it if you actually want to enjoy and learn more about Billy in an interesting way. The staging, lighting, costume and cast were promising though.

45
Quirky, Confusing, Slow, Perseverative

See it if the writer is your friend or husband.

Don't see it if you have something better to do with two hours.

65
Boring, Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you are really into Billy the Kid.

Don't see it if you like high energy shows.

95
Clever, Masterful, Profound, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Fan of Billy the Kid.

Don't see it if Your not open minded to someone else's thoughts and demons.

70
Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you want to see a short play that seems too long.

Don't see it if you want to see good actors working with a poor script.

Also Repetitious, redundant, superfluous...... Read more Read less

66
Disappointing, Slow, Hard-to-follow, About history, Some good parts

See it if you like the topic of Billy the Kid and want to see a story showing different aspects of this historic time.

Don't see it if you prefer modern or linear stories.

76
Great acting

See it if you like great acting.

Don't see it if you cannot follow different story lines at the same time.

Also story is clever.

48
During previews
Ambitious, Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if can't really say there is much to recommend this show but as it appears to be a new writer you at least can get a look at that work.

Don't see it if aimless dialogue, overheated theaters, characters who elicit no real emotions all turn you off or disappoint you

47
During previews
Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You want a dark place to take a nap.

Don't see it if If you like a well-written script & good direction.

65
During previews
Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if you have to see every play ever written about Billy the Kid, curious about how the church will have an easy time using this set for service

Don't see it if you don't like repetitive dialogue with little actual & often contradictory content, want to learn about the outlaw, need action & character

Also Despite the play's nebulousness, it does boast a nice piece of eye can... Read more Read less

49
During previews
Great acting, Confusing, Slow, Bizarre

See it if You enjoy non-linear shows based on historical characters that I magazine their interactions with other both living and dead.

Don't see it if You want to see a coherent show that paints a clear picture of who Billy the Kid was, or like good scripts. You don’t want to be bored.

Also This show was really confusing and odd. The acting was actually decent... Read more Read less

36
During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Soporific, Directionless

See it if you must see anything to do with Billy the Kid.

Don't see it if You are looking for a play

40
During previews
Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like short shows with no easily followable plot or you like to see actors make the best of bad material.

Don't see it if You want an engaging plot that makes sense.

Also Show was confusing and didn’t make much sense since there was no backs... Read more Read less

60
During previews
Confusing, Slow, Great staging

See it if you want to see a show about what someone could have thought.

Don't see it if you want interactions that don't feel like 2 monologues. Maybe that was the point, but the "conversations" were overlong for me.

35
During previews
Confusing, Excruciating, Cliched, Bad writing, Generic

See it if You know someone associated w/the production. You're fascinated by Billy the Kid & want to see everything about him.

Don't see it if You want any illumination of Billy. You want life-lile characters that go beyond cliche. You value quality playwriting.

52
During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if The show was a cute concept, but falls short of being entertaining. Show about 1 hour.

Don't see it if If you like a show that is easy to follow.

58
During previews
Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Talky!

See it if you want one hour to feel like three. Perhaps I just didn't get it, but Billy the Kid philosophizing with ghosts just didn't work for me.

Don't see it if You want a play with an understandable plot. I got where it ended up, but it took a very convoluted and incomprehensible path to get there.

59
During previews
Quirky, Indulgent, Slow, Great lighting, Great sound effects

See it if you like experimental western historical fiction dramas in a historical off Broadway space.

Don't see it if you are looking for an entertaining evening with a linear plot.

65
During previews
Great acting, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if good acting; nice staging; good premise

Don't see it if too talky; not as coherent as it could be

58
During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched, Slow, Good acting

See it if you'd enjoy seeing some good young actors perform on an interesting set.

Don't see it if you know anything at all about the life of Billy the Kid; dislike "talky" plays; like realistic dialogue; like some semblance of a plot.

Also If you see this, do not think this is an accurate story of Billy the K... Read more Read less

24
During previews
Disappointing, Cliched, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if This one-hour play feels like three hours and some. The writing is riddled with clichés, for instance, "you are your own hostage".

Don't see it if The desert wind blowing, Billy, the Kid, gets his own version of "This is Your Life", the night before he bites the bullet. Must find exit.