New York | Already closed


From 7 critic and 47 member reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Great acting, Excruciating

About the show

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. 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.

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


“'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


“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

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


“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

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


"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

Clever, Great staging, Great writing, Masterful, Profound

See it if Fan of Billy the Kid.

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

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.

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.

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

Hard-to-follow, Slow, Disappointing, 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.

Confusing, Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Boring

See it if you are really into Billy the Kid.

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

Short, Intense, Well acted

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

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


See it if You want to know how generous Bruce Willis is to put his money in a really bad show. Good set and good lighting

Don't see it if You want something good and or entertaining.

Confusing, Slow, Quirky, 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.

Disappointing, Slow, Confusing, 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.

Confusing, Dizzying, Excruciating, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if Like plays without a purpose.

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

During previews
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Poor stage directions, poor direction

See it if You want to see a new play with the substance of a very good play. It had all the elements I hoped for when I read the description.

Don't see it if Poor stage instructions by the author and poor direction make the production difficult to enjoy. Dooling is less than than engaging

Also The play has very good potential. The author has combined a "Christmas... Read more Read less

During previews
Intense, Great acting, Great staging, Slow, Confusing

See it if You like rustic western background mixed with highbrow philosophical metaphors and great acting. Finding story behind confusing dialogues.

Don't see it if You're looking for a light, relaxing and entertaining show that doesn't need much thinking. This show is a lot of work to perform and follow

During previews
Great acting, Slow, Clever

See it if You are interested in Billy the kid. Like plays that are slow and not quite linear. An interesting semi historical story

Don't see it if You prefer something linear or fast paced and a bigger production. Have no interest in Billy the kid or philosophical takes on history

During previews
Slow, Great staging, Intense, Confusing, Dated

See it if you know story of Billy Kid or enjoy plays with ghosts.

Don't see it if you are expecting conventional historical play or are unfamiliar with this figure.

During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Confusing, Insipid

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

During previews
Disappointing, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if good acting; nice staging; good premise

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

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You're if you can enjoy wandering plays. I enjoyed the actors and the set.

Don't see it if If you like plays that tell a story with a clear plot.

During previews
Confusing, Great staging, Slow

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.

During previews
Very good acting, Nice staging, Disappointing, Confusing, Slow

See it if You want to know more about the personal life and family of Billy the Kid in a show performed by a very good cast with a nice stage setting.

Don't see it if You're expecting a play with a good plot. This show is slow moving, excessively talky, and confusing. It's difficult to sustain interest.

Also "60" may be a generous rating for "Must" but the cast is very good, th... Read more Read less

During previews
Great staging, Great acting, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You like shows with a historical basis, nonlinear script, committed acting

Don't see it if Like linear stories, need big sets, are unfamiliar with the Billy the Kid history

Also I was a little confused throughout, knowing nothing about Billy the Ki... Read more Read less

During previews
Good actors labor under a script that does not make much sense

See it if Plodding fantasy of Billy the Kid with the ghosts of his parents and a made-up friendship with Sheriff Pat Garrett. Good acting, though.

Don't see it if First preview -- the actors expertly delivered some good dialogue that -- strung together -- did not make a play.

During previews
Indulgent, Slow, Quirky, 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.

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

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.

Cast & Creatives (12)