Prayer for the French Republic
Prayer for the French Republic

Prayer for the French Republic NYC Reviews and Tickets

(215 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

Five generations of a French Jewish family are threatened by displacement in this world premiere. 

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Show-Score Member Reviews (215)

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62 Reviews | 8 Followers
Must see, Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are conflicted in your feelings about Israel in particular and anti semitism ingeneral

Don't see it if You are not interested in political and moral conundrums

85 Reviews | 42 Followers
Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy brilliant acting. A life changing story. History of the Jewish plight from 1944 today with thought provoking relevant history

Don't see it if you dont enjoy a historical drama. this one is prize winning

570 Reviews | 87 Followers
Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, This is as good as it gets

See it if you liked August Osage, if you love terrific acting and amazing story telling.This is one you really do NOT want to miss.The 3 hours flew by

Don't see it if you are looking for something silly or light. It has a lot of humor, but it makes you think.It moved me enormously.GO!!

137 Reviews | 23 Followers
Riveting, Must see, Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a powerful and profound drama performed brilliantly. See if you want to see a relatable and timely drama that will touch you

Don't see it if If you don't like dramas, especially longer dramas (This is 3 hours in 3 acts), don't like material dealing with Jews or strong language. Read more

104 Reviews | 4 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Intense, Intelligent

See it if You want to sit through a brilliant 3 hour play about the Jewish experience through the years. And if you want to learn a bit of history.

Don't see it if Lengthy plays bother you, or if you don't like the complexity of switching time periods and generational changes.

87 Reviews | 37 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in seeing a play that confronts past abuses, prejudices and political issues with the very same in the present. Brilliant

Don't see it if If you want a light comedy; this play is smart and provocative.

548 Reviews | 1902 Followers
Must see, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Best show of the year so far. Saw it twice. Even at three hours it works so well. The acting is superb. The show is smart.

Don't see it if Just see it. Hang in there and you won't be disappointed.

232 Reviews | 40 Followers
Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if An excellent story that all people can relate to. Great writing and performances. Francis Benhamou is fantastic.

Don't see it if My only big issue was the staging as it felt repetitive and tired especially towards the end of the play.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
February 1st, 2022

"Cromer, a technically astute and emotionally sensitive director, handles the back and forth as well as you might expect — he puts a stage turntable to evocative, if perhaps a little clichéd, use, for example. Still, it’s not hard to feel the show’s tension slacken when we leave the Benhamous. The play’s finale that aims for the lofty and falls short, you may wonder what the future holds for them."
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New York Theatre Guide
February 1st, 2022

"Joshua Harmon remarkably explores a century in the life of one Jewish family while folding in 1,000 years of Jewish history. And in a dramatic feat, the play does not collapse under its own weight. Instead, Prayer for the French Republic is a breathtaking work that skillfully balances the humanity of its characters with sprawling history."
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February 1st, 2022

"While the production is top-of-the-line, the play itself leaves something to be desired. The drama crackles, but doesn't knock the wind out of you as so many of Harmon's plays have in the past. His restraint is evident early-on, when Marcelle asks Daniel who beat him up, and Charles responds only with a cryptic, "Who do you think," allowing the audience to fill in the blank with their own villain, however politically convenient. Also, much of the characters' hand-wringing about Marine Le Pen (who did not become president) and Donald Trump (who did, but is no longer) cannot help but feel stale from the perspective of 2022 (the length of time it takes to develop plays, and the time-warp created by Covid, makes presenting a timely play like this very difficult right now)."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 7th, 2022

Some playwrights pose questions; Joshua Harmon detonates them. His disputatious characters lead with irony, historical data, and steel-trap logic; if these fail, there are always full-frontal verbal assaults. Their ideas are wielded like weapons, and nobody emerges unscathed. Whatever the author's point of view, the other side usually has the best arguments; the time for definitive conclusions is never. Yet even as Harmon digs into humanity's darkest aspects, the result is exhilarating and often surprisingly hilarious. And, in the case before us, heartbreaking.
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New York Stage Review
February 1st, 2022

"After watching the powerful and highly political three-act(!), three-hour(!) Prayer for the French Republic, I had a mental image of playwright Joshua Harmon composing it as if he were working a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle for which some of the pieces fit easily, others were more difficult to align, and some were wrongly included from an altogether different puzzle...Some of this may be a consequence of David Cromer’s direction. All the same, he guarantees that the ensemble acting is emotionally outstanding. Aidem, Seymour, Topol, Ranson, Ben-Dor, Brand, Tigar, all of them distinguish themselves as frightening events rise to devastating outcomes."
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New York Stage Review
February 1st, 2022

"Pierre Epstein, Nancy Robinette and Kenneth Tigar all bring shattering authenticity to the roles of, respectively, the elder Pierre and his grandparents. Following the latter, we witness their joyous relief in being reunited with young Pierre and his father, their utter horror upon learning what has happened to other family members and the miraculous fortitude with which they press on. “We are still here,” Elodie marvels of her tribe some 70 years later, chiming in to answer Pierre’s query about hate. “How? Are we all Houdinis?” There is indeed something magical about the resilience Harmon documents here, and in the end, Prayer‘s defiant optimism may make you feel, history’s harrowing examples notwithstanding, just a little more generous towards humanity in general."
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February 8th, 2022

Joshua Harmon’s Prayer for the French Republic (whose title refers to a blessing added to the Jewish service over two hundred years ago) is a magnificent achievement. It may not have found its final form as of yet but David Cromer’s production now at Manhattan Theatre Club’s New York City Center Stage I is one of the most exciting pieces of theater to be seen on our stages at this time. Harmon’s best play so far and a towering work, it is a play of emotions and ideas that is engrossing and riveting throughout.
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Theater Pizzazz
February 1st, 2022

"Yes, Harmon’s play might even be more effective without that last storyline, which feels tacked-on. And while the show does flow smoothly enough, feeling much shorter than its running time, Takeshi Kata’s set design – which relies on a lot of furniture moving – isn’t ideally suited to the City Center space. Still, we should be profoundly grateful that a work of such ambition, scope and importance was not only written by Harmon, but made it to that stage. The many questions the play poses, not just Marcelle’s, are like most prayers: necessary but not easily answered."
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