Perfect Arrangement
Closed 1h 45m
Perfect Arrangement
82

Perfect Arrangement NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(19 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
11%
Negative
0%
Members say
Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Funny

About the Show

Primary Stages presents the story of two gay U.S. State Department employees in 1950 who have been tasked with identifying "sexual deviants" within their ranks.

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Member Reviews (19)

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962 Reviews | 339 Followers
70
Clever, Absorbing, Visually rich, Well acted, Uneven tone

See it if you like polished plays and don't mind a problematic script. The premise is great, but the tone careens from flippant/humorous to serious.

Don't see it if you need more than a gorgeous set/costumes and strong performances. The look at 1950 gay relations gets muddied. Disappointing. Read more

850 Reviews | 896 Followers
70
Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant

See it if it's a great play. Really well acted. None of the actors stand out as being the weakest link so the flow is never broken. Fabulous costumes!

Don't see it if ending is self righteous, hard to believe and, in historical terms, misguided. Some shows think that a sad ending makes them more serious.

826 Reviews | 1004 Followers
77
Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant

See it if You enjoy dramedies about relationships and stories about the LGBT community and what they faced back in the 1950s.

Don't see it if You don't like stories focusing on the LGBT community.

431 Reviews | 132 Followers
78
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You appreciate socially relevant stories, are interested in recent history, have strong memories of the 1950's.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy seeing shows with gay characters.

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
81
Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if Terrific performances. Handled a serious topic deftly.

Don't see it if I didn't love the ending. It was a bit cliched.

109 Reviews | 340 Followers
85
Funny, Resonant, Great acting

See it if you're looking for an entertaining evening of 1950s style (dialogue, costumes, setting) with an edge. The cast is fantastic.

Don't see it if you can't get past a few well-intentioned cliches. The ending is heartfelt and true to the style of the piece, but a bit cliched.

119 Reviews | 40 Followers
81
Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Great costumes, Great casting

See it if You like getting tense with anticipation, knowing things as an audience member that some characters don't know.

Don't see it if You don't want to be immersed (through decor, costumes, dialogue) in the period in which the show takes place.

112 Reviews | 35 Followers
95
Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a hilarious play about a subject that's rarely talked about that also makes you think

Don't see it if you're not a fan of shows with stressful situations

Critic Reviews (20)

The New York Times
October 19th, 2015

"Mr. Payne is a deft and witty writer...Under Michael Barakiva’s direction, the cast is uniformly appealing and mostly able to negotiate the tonal sashays that the script demands...But so much of the play is so quick and so quippy and so very near farce that more serious discussions of rights and responsibilities don’t land."
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Time Out New York
October 15th, 2015

"Contrivances build up, and the ending veers into righteousness. What looked like a 1950s sitcom turns out to be a 1980s sitcom in disguise, capped with liberal messages to applaud. But 'Perfect Arrangement' moves quick and looks nifty. Better yet, it features a pair of really capital performances. Even when the play seems overarranged, they are damn near perfect."
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Deadline
October 16th, 2015

"An attractive and engaging curiosity...How long they will remain complicit in order to maintain their secret lives is the moral dilemma that gives the 'Perfect Arrangement' unexpected power. It’s lovely to look at — and treacherous as hell."
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Theatermania
October 15th, 2015

"Usually a playwright has to choose between writing a laugh-out-loud comedy and a very serious drama. Topher Payne has written both with 'Perfect Arrangement.' With a stellar cast and zippy direction, this 1950s sitcom-style comedy set during the Lavender Scare (in which sexual 'deviants' were targeted for dismissal from federal employment) manages to keep us in hysterics even as the circumstances become no laughing matter."
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BroadwayWorld
October 21st, 2015

"The sitcom tone smoothly transitions into something more serious and rebellious. 'Perfect Arrangement' is beautifully structured like an episode of I LOVE LUCY that never would have aired. Under Michael Barakiva's snappy direction, the nutty twists and turns are played with crisp comic panasche instead of as a parody, by a terrific ensemble."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 16th, 2015

"This is an imperfect 'Perfect Arrangement' -- sometimes sharply witty, sometimes almost leaden in its moralizing, and sometimes too silly for words. It doesn't help that the play climaxes with a come-to-Jesus finale in which too many characters successively realize that honesty is the best policy."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 15th, 2015

"There's much that's entertaining and thought-provoking about 'Perfect Arrangement,' but it would be better if Payne didn't himself discard Kitty's lesson so readily. He may have happened on a compelling way to immerse us within the mores of a different time. But by working too hard to connect that era to ours, he forgot that all revolutionaries, like all housewives, are not easily categorized."
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TheaterScene.net
November 1st, 2015

"'Perfect Arrangement' is a witty and engrossing well-made play in its depiction of a life style that now seems foreign in an age of same-sex marriages and openly gay heroes and icons. However, the ending in which the author presupposes a gay civil rights movement, circa 1950, does not ring historically true. Nevertheless, up until the ending, 'Perfect Arrangement' is taut, humorous and absorbing in its use of the most popular dramatic form of the 1950’s, the well-made play."
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