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One Discordant Violin

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging, Absorbing, Great acting

About the show

Based on a short story by "Life of Pi" author Yann Martel, this new work is a moving duet for actor and violinist about finding beauty in unexpected places and what can happen when we reach beyond our grasp. More…

From the show:

From the producers of the critically acclaimed Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. Based on a short story by famed Life of Pi author Yann Martel.

An aspiring Canadian writer is visiting Washington, DC on his first ever trip to the United States. After stumbling upon a group of Vietnam War veterans performing classical concertos in an abandoned theater, he has a life-changing encounter with a forgotten American composer. One Discordant Violin is an extraordinarily moving duet for actor and violinist about finding beauty in unexpected places and what can happen when we reach beyond our grasp.

Member Reviews (25)


Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging, Absorbing, Great acting
Avg Score

Heartfelt, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great music, Great acting

See it if "A duet for storyteller and violinist." Beauty and art can be found in unexpected places and can change how one feels and sees the world.

Don't see it if you are not interested in a cerebral experience; there is a sense of melancholy which might not appeal to all & the music is mournful; wordy

Also Some might think this play slow moving and/or boring. I thought it enc... Read more Read less

Disappointing book, Great violin music, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Solo show but with 2nd non-speaking character playing beautiful violin music; a would-be writer meets a musician (full-time job custodian)

Don't see it if Want more character development and/or more music. Expecting Martel's absorbing work. (I am a huge Life of Pi fan.)

Also Not sure whether weaknesses due to Martel's original story or to the p... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Delicate, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if a work of art has ever touched your soul to such a degree that the experience stands out as life altering, or if you'd like to.

Don't see it if You are not willing to work with the author and actors to understand how something as seemingly inconsequential as a concert can change you.

Meditative, Philosophical, Intimate, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy podcasts like This American Life, Radiolab, Rough Translation. You were a lit major.

Don't see it if You dislike shows that are essentially extended monologues.

Also "I'm looking at a dead event and trying to give it new life. In a sens... Read more Read less

Great staging, Captivating

See it if You want an interesting piece that will suck you into its world with detailed writing, clever staging and beautiful use of light and sound.

Don't see it if You want a show with a strong story - the set up is so intricate that it seems as if it should go somewhere more.

Intelligent, Moving, A theatrical gem

See it if you like short, small, understated plays that grab you and go deep, touching on power of art & life's disillusionment, complex but beautiful

Don't see it if you prefer a large production,don't get plays that just skim the surface of things and let the audience fill in many of the missing pieces.

Beautiful music but not enough to make a play!

See it if U want to hear beautiful haunting music created by Aaron Collier & Jacques Mindreau. It will make you believe in beauty no matter what/where

Don't see it if U expect a fully developed story because it is just a solo actor recounting a chance meeting with a ordinary war vet/janitor & a concert.

Also This story is merely a fragment of a potentially possible full story. ... Read more Read less

Beautiful design, Ambitious, Slow

See it if Like moody, elegiac one man shows. Nice characterization, innovative light/projection design and use of set.

Don't see it if Looking for much of a plot, happy ending, or excitement. Can't stand one man shows

Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like violin playing

Don't see it if ytou dont like long speechs

Great staging, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if The show started with the Violinist played in the darkness and slowly opened up. It was meditative and mesmerizing, told the story in 70 min

Don't see it if If you don’t like a slow play and hope you can find the bright light at the end.

Profound, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you like a good thought-provoking story about art and creating art, and the hardships that go along with it.

Don't see it if do not like small intimate plays.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Music has played a strong role in your life in any way

Don't see it if You don’t have a love for the arts

Resonant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate original, imaginative, sensitive, stirring, intelligent playwrighting, acting, and set design in a virtually one-man show

Don't see it if you prefer dialogue to monologue, and action to stillness, and definitely not if you don't like the violin

Must see, Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Enchanting

See it if Extraordinary theatrical performance. Wonderful! The writing was especially exquisite and haunting at the end.

Don't see it if You hate great theatre

Also The story, performances and music🎻 ... Read more Read less

Intimate, literary, engaging

See it if you like a show that draws on literary allusions and represents one person's moment of transcendence.

Don't see it if you don't want to see what is essentially a monologue.

Slow, Great staging, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if music and staging were interesting and creative. Narrated story was overwrought and never grabbed me- the core was not well developed.

Don't see it if You like fresh words and stories that are moving. The writing lacked the talent of the music and didn’t carry its’ weight.

During previews
Soulful, Exquisite, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Canadian forever touched by memories of forgotten veteran custodial concerto virtuoso.Operatic."With music, the mind's traffic is silenced."

Don't see it if Apolitical multiple-role monologue w/ strings/vocalising."We were defined by wars we didn't follow America into/Same river, different Bush"

Also "I had it all; so; within the reach of my hand"

During previews
Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Exquisite

See it if you enjoy moving, intricate, vivid storytelling, classical violin music, coming of age stories, and reminiscence about the pain of USA wars

Don't see it if you prefer large casts, elaborate sets, costumes, and orchestra, multiple acts, comedies, musicals, or light themes, or you can’t sit 70 min

Also I have never seen a show at 59 E 59 Theatre that I did not adore. I ha... Read more Read less

During previews
Boring & slow, Mediocre script, Superb violinist

See it if you like Yann Martel in any form. But this short story is no Life of Pi & shouldn't be a 75 minute drama. Nothing dramatic happens

Don't see it if you expect an earth-shattering event to take place in this play. The narrator describes his (unseen) experience & his life doesn't change.

Also This boring script reminded me of a short story I wrote in about 6th g... Read more Read less

During previews
Confusing, Overrated, Thought-provoking, Slow, Refreshing

See it if You like classical music, the play starts with beautiful music in dark, it really evokes feelings, then it is followed by a narrator

Don't see it if You are not a fan of small, bare bone theater. You are waiting for action, drama, intensity.

During previews
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Intelligent, Delightful

See it if The consonance and dissonance of sounds in music are allegorical representations of the dreams, aspirations of humankind versus the violence

Don't see it if If you do not like classical music, since violin playing it is critical to the storytelling.

Also aggression and destruction of wars, the rat race, and lives without me... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if you've been at a loss for words over a piece of art, and find beauty in the ephemeral nature of music.

Don't see it if this show is one man telling a story about seeing a concert; it is not always riveting.

During previews
Heartfelt, Unusual, Spare, Ambitious, Slow

See it if you're in search of a tweak on the one-man-show: Anthony Black's literary monologue gets live violin accompaniment from Jacques Mindreau.

Don't see it if you heard "multimedia" and thought "razzle-dazzle." This production is barebones and its use of media is streamlined, if thoughtfully so.

Also Memorable Quote: "Sometimes with music, the mind's traffic is silenced... Read more Read less

During previews
Exquisit violin music, Great staging

See it if you like classical music. A duet by actor & violin. I liked the violin. The actor's riffing was uninspiring.

Don't see it if Do do not like one man show

During previews
Refreshing, Funny, Delightful, Clever

See it if It is a story of a man , simple story that wanted to become a writer but fell in love with music. Very touching simple story.

Don't see it if If you are looking for big stage with many actors.

November 3rd, 2019
"In Search of Soul-Stirring Art: Anthony Black’s play is about the life-sustaining power of creating art. But it never overcomes the dull short story from which it’s adapted."
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November 4th, 2019
3/5 Stars "This overwritten monologue explores well-worn themes...Yet...As Mindreau plays on our heartstrings with his bow, the play’s points about the power of art transform from rambling intellectual argument into emotional epiphany."
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November 3rd, 2019
"Art's Ephemerality Disguised as a Terrifying Haunted House in 'One Discordant Violin': Anthony Black adapts, directs, designs, and stars in a short new play based on a story by Yann Martel."
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November 8th, 2019
"'ONE DISCORDANT VIOLIN' at 59E59 Theaters is for Music Lovers and Many More"
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