Already closed | 2h 5m | East Village

Nathan the Wise

From 64 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing

About the show

Classic Stage Company presents a play about a wise Jewish merchant (F. Murray Abraham) who tries to bridge the gaps between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in 12th century Jerusalem. More…

Muslims, Christians, and Jews live side-by-side in Jerusalem, 1192, but their fragile truce could collapse at any moment. As the tension mounts, the ruling Sultan poses a loaded question: 'Which religion is the one most beloved by God?' Nathan, a pious Jewish merchant, is charged with answering this query in order to secure the continued safety of his people. Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham plays Nathan the Wise, perhaps the greatest Jewish character in all of Western dramatic literature next to Shylock.

Member Reviews (64)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing

Ambitious, Clever, Funny, Intelligent

See it if Caught it last night but alas ,today is the last performance, Great acting by entire cast esp.. F. Murray Abraham , An oldie for our times.

Don't see it if continued from the positive... great set by the "almost in the round: CSC. Actors are super with speaking to the 3 sides of the audience.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting

See it if You'd like an 18th century work facing the religious conflict in the Middle East with humor, warmth & suspense led by For. Murray Abraham

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with Middle East issues-still relevant today-being treated with a touch of humor and old fashioned coincidence

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Original, Cliched, Dated

See it if you want to see a rarely-performed 18th century play that pleads for religious tolerance.

Don't see it if you do not like didactic plays or historical dramas

Excruciating, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy a good cast taking on some classic writing, translated for contemporary audiences.

Don't see it if you have trouble sitting through a SLOOOOOOOOOOW first act,

Great acting, Intelligent, Clever, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if for Abraham's great performance and how a play this old is relevant today

Don't see it if you don't care about what makes a well written matter

Banal, Enchanting, Great acting, Edgy, Insipid

See it if Good story line

Don't see it if you like violence and gritty realism.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if You'd enjoy a well-acted, no frills piece about differing religions under sultan's rule. The unraveling of ancestral trees ends happily.

Don't see it if You do not like shows with religious themes.

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Slow

See it if You appreciate masterful F. Murray Abraham inhabiting a role and telling a story. All the actors are credible and the last part very moving.

Don't see it if You can't tolerate a very slow first act that sets the dynamics in motion. Lots of talking vs action.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like F Murray Abraham, who is fantastic. The writing itself is okay, though surprisingly relevant given it was written centuries ago

Don't see it if you're looking for a big budget production or something light and fluffy

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if The time period-a break during the Crusades-interests you. You'll learn some history & examine time worn questions of prejudice & family.

Don't see it if You want your historical plays aptly treated-no crossed legs by female characters, or brash & insipid portrayals by young male & female lead

Great acting, Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if you're a Murray Abraham fan. And if you like plays that make you think. It's a fairly subtle essay on religious tolerance - not for today.

Don't see it if you don't like to think. You're going to need to bring something to the table to enjoy the play.

Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Hilarious

See it if like to be entertained, by a group of talented actors. Although the plot it may seem silly afterwords, it did not during the performance.

Don't see it if like serious, profound, intelligent, riveting theater. This play is a charming escape.

Engaging, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you're in the mood for a story about religious tolerance. It's a lovely play and I enjoyed it a lot.

Don't see it if you're put off by religious themes. The show isn't "preachy", but religion is a central point of the story.

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if You enjoy classic theater with striking parallels to the present, fantastic acting, and a great story on religion/people.

Don't see it if You are easily bothered by women's roles in classic theater, don't enjoy plays about religion, or don't like slower moving pieces.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to see Abraham give a wonderful performance. If you want a fascinating dialogue about religion and humanity.

Don't see it if You're impatient to get to the good stuff; act 1 feels a bit slow as it sets up for act 2, which is wonderful & engaging, & worth the wait!

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if you enjoy great acting, comedies, or parables.

Don't see it if you prefer more serious plays dealing with a heavier topic.

Enchanting, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if fables are your thing, or the possibility of coexistence among the three major religions hold infinite possibilities

Don't see it if well, you already missed it.

Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You love an interesting story with a great ending. If you want to come out of the theatre smiling... Great play

Don't see it if No reason not to see this.

Relevant, Shakespearean

See it if you like Marlowe's Jew of Malta or are interested in the Crusades.

Don't see it if you're Islamophobic.

Banal, Cliched, Dated, Great acting, Slow

See it if you like dated fairy tales about religious equality and peace. What a waste of great acting.

Don't see it if My advise is not to see it.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You like unusual stories in an intimate setting with an incredible cast. Guaranteed enjoyable night out.

Don't see it if You don't like a story that has something to do with religion

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like history or are interested in inter-religious relations. Of course then there is F Murray Abraham...

Don't see it if you want a modern perspective.... this is a very old play. The plot becomes obvious fairly early on.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if excellent

Don't see it if I would not say do not see it everyone needs to see this

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Profound

See it if you want to see a 1779 revival of a play tackling the subject of religious conflict by a fine company, led brilliantly by F. Murray Abraham.

Don't see it if you don't have the imagination to appreciate a timeless subject. We are all of the family of man, and a feared stranger may be your sibling.

Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you like period pieces that are eternal

Don't see it if you find twists in the plot hokey

April 13th, 2016
"Do not give up too early on 'Nathan the Wise'...Beginning with the piercing parable that opens the second act, the play grows increasingly engrossing...The staging, by Brian Kulick, doesn’t necessarily help...The cast is mostly good, with Mr. Abraham giving another quietly intense performance......
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April 13th, 2016
"Thoughtful and sincere, it combines a dramaturg’s love of theater history with a yen to connect today’s headlines to yesterday’s footnotes...If this sounds a tad academic, perhaps it is...But the play is gently engaging on its own terms. The marvelous F. Murray Abraham brings worldly wit to his ...
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April 14th, 2016
"'Nathan the Wise' offers Abraham an opportunity to chill or, more aptly, to warm up some, in a production that with one exception treats the play as a fine romance and not merely some fairy tale...The play is beautifully orchestrated, the characters all in balance even as they look great in Abra...
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April 13th, 2016
"The story boasts timeless urgency, but sags under a convoluted plot. Brian Kulick’s spare, well-acted revival plays up the strengths. In 1192 Jerusalem, a trio of cultures live in fragile harmony...The play unravels as ancestral secrets emerge, tricky family trees are shaken and mistaken identit...
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