Prodigal Son
Closed 1h 35m
Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son NYC Reviews and Tickets

(107 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents John Patrick Shanley's world premiere starring Robert Sean Leonard about a 17-year-old from the Bronx attending a private school in New Hampshire.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (107)

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112 Reviews | 22 Followers
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great writing, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you like smart plays.

Don't see it if you like spectacle theatre.

509 Reviews | 336 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if Anyone would like this show. I think that people in their teens and twenties would love it but I'm 54 and I loved it too.

Don't see it if Everyone would like it

216 Reviews | 223 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Epic, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy a drama with clever characters, lots of twists and an open ended ending.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy becoming part of the characters' lives, or if you want to know a final outcome to the story.

207 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you love John Patrick Shanley -- and if you like boy's school dramas. The fugue of past, present and future at the end is masterful writing.

Don't see it if don't like interior dramas without much outward action. -- or if you don't want to see an extraordinary performance from a gifted young man.

55 Reviews | 11 Followers
Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like Shanley plays

Don't see it if You want something light and silly

506 Reviews | 1005 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see

See it if It is a must see not only for the question re: morals but to see a star in his youth. 20 year old Timothee Chalmet is superb.. Let us watch

Don't see it if you want fluff.

89 Reviews | 37 Followers
Absorbing, Edgy, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if Love Great writing and staging. If you want to see superb acting with a riveting storyline.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with religion being discussed or boys in boarding schools.

58 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You like Shanley, want to see a young actor with a big future, remember the agony of being 16, smart, & desperate to figure out who you are.

Don't see it if you've seen too many coming of age stories set in prep schools

Critic Reviews (36)

The New York Times
February 9th, 2016

"It is filled with the sort of self-worshiping, self-flagellating self-centeredness you associate with boys tormented by their raging hormones. Even when it portrays other characters, 'Prodigal Son' is inescapably all about Jim...Jim is a character in search of an author to explain him to himself. Strangely enough, the man that Jim would become seemingly has yet to achieve the distance to make this struggling artist-in-­the-­making worthy of a play of his own."
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Time Out New York
February 9th, 2016

"A keen, passionate portrait of the author as a poetry-spouting romantic punk torn between literary dreams and his roots in the Bronx...He directs his own production with a tender hand...The play is lean and cool-headed, but it contains one or two emotional explosions that cast the previous action in a new light...The night’s revelation is lanky Chalamet as Jim, nailing the Shanley accent and swagger. He gives one of the most impressive stage debuts I’ve seen in years."
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New York Theatre Guide
February 11th, 2016

"The language in Shanley’s script is beautifully crafted. Actors live their entire lives and don’t get to say such original and juicy turns of phrase. But it must be said that Chalamet does not rest on the strength of the words, he brings this tortured young boy right to you. He touches a common memory in our hearts; he’s that dangerous brilliant young man you never could have brought home to your parents and/or the young lonely person that you were at fifteen."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 9th, 2016

"Telling the story of the two teenage years he spent at the Thomas More School confirmed him in his artistic path, it displays all of his mature talents for moral inquiry, rich dialogue, and compelling scene-making — and not incidentally creates a role that the 20-year-old actor Timothée Chalamet is able to knock out of the park. But 'Prodigal Son,' like its biblical namesake, is also a mopey and vexing testament to the confusions of self-regard."
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The Wall Street Journal
February 11th, 2016

"Finely directed by the author himself and exceptionally well acted by a five-person cast led by Timothée Chalamet, 'Prodigal Son' is a heart-sore portrait of adolescent turmoil that bears the stamp of hard-earned truth on every scene…I want to see 'Prodigal Son' again soon, and I expect I will...It strikes me on first viewing as the best thing that Mr. Shanley has given us since 'Doubt.' You can’t get much better than that."
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New York Daily News
February 9th, 2016

"Thoughtful and measured, the show takes its own sweet time to reveal itself...Shanley, who directs, skillfully guides the actors well. His production is less successful. The scene changes are slow-moving, as trees slide and snap into place. The music, even though it’s by the likes of Paul Simon, tugs too heavily on the heartstrings. But those are all quibbles with this satisfying play."
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February 10th, 2016

"Shanley has done an excellent job of directing his own play, entrusting the role of this overindulged youth to the extraordinarily gifted Chalamet…The real but largely unexplored drama lies in the conflict between the literary Jim, who writes beautiful poetry and philosophical essays, and the self-destructive Jim, who drinks, steals, and seems determined to get himself kicked out of school."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 9th, 2016

"For a work that announces itself as highly personal, this is an opaque portrait revealing little beyond the author's romanticized self-image as an embattled hero...The writing doesn't match the elegance of the production...The chief reward is the acting, which keeps the play involving even as it grows more frustrating."
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