Prayer for the French Republic
Prayer for the French Republic

Prayer for the French Republic NYC Reviews and Tickets

(197 Reviews)
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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Member Reviews (197)

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909 Reviews | 924 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Must see

See it if Relevant, Timely, Well Written, Important, Well Acted.

Don't see it if 3hrs with 2 intermissions. Time flies though.

884 Reviews | 1014 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You like extremely well written and performed plays.

Don't see it if You aren't in the mood for a 3 hour play even though the show holds your attention throughout.

1048 Reviews | 254 Followers
Fluffy, Slow, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if The relationship of Jews in France. It pontificate at times.

Don't see it if Can be slow but overall pretty good.

546 Reviews | 1881 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.

712 Reviews | 215 Followers
Intelligent, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Epic, Relevant

See it if Family with holocaust roots copes with antisemitism in modern day France. Insightful, with some powerful moments.

Don't see it if Politically charged debates sometimes felt like a soapbox for the author.

708 Reviews | 155 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy family stories & time-spanning epics, plots about the Holocaust, anti-semitism, grief & denial, strong direction, great cast

Don't see it if you have no interest in Jewish history & modern antisemitism, talk of violence & hints of PTSD, deep discussion of what it means to be a Jew

643 Reviews | 279 Followers
Monumental 3 act play dealing w how 5 gens of an extended jewish family in france and elsewhere have dealt with anti-semitism: searing & provocative in focusing on conflict between national identity & jewish affiliation

See it if moving & provocative; maddeningly disputatious family exchange thunder bolts of arguments 2 determine if should leave France; strong cast

Don't see it if portion of play re family dealing w Nazism in France not that compelling; dialogue at times turns to speechifying

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Story of 5 generations of a Jewish family from WW2 to the present along with what has changed in the world and what has not.

Don't see it if The theme of anti semitism which continues into the present is either abhorrent to you or of no interest. Difficult to see a family fearful Read more

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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