Public Enemy
Closed 1h 30m
Public Enemy

Public Enemy NYC Reviews and Tickets

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

About the Show

The Pearl Theatre Co. presents a punchy and raw adaptation of Ibsen’s 'An Enemy of the People' from the playwright behind Broadway’s 'Blackbird,' David Harrower. 

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Show-Score Member Reviews (69)

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116 Reviews | 53 Followers
Great acting, Masterful, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if All Henrik Ibsen fans & those who like stories of idealism, morality/ethics ,& societal issues and right vs wrong. Resonates with today.

Don't see it if Not for those who seek frivolous light entertainment.

292 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you think the original is talky and undramatic, this witty update is vivid and stimulating. A revelatory central performance.

Don't see it if You want mindless entertainment. Otherwise, any serious theatergoer shouldn't miss it.

50 Reviews | 20 Followers
Intense, Relevant, Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a riveting, updated version of an Ibsen classic. Its timeless themes are still relevant and cannot fail to move you.

Don't see it if you want light entertainment or don't like to see updated adaptations of classic plays

440 Reviews | 89 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if Excellent translation and brilliantly acted . absorbing drama relating to today's political climate. A must see.

Don't see it if If you only enjoy light musicals.

412 Reviews | 189 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You Are an Ibsen fan and like plays with only dialogue and little action. How much will you give up to defend your beliefs of what is right?

Don't see it if You like action. You fall asleep during long monologues. Your mind is made up and cannot be changed. Read more

113 Reviews | 15 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want to experience a stand out performance by the actor who plays the doctor. This modern adaptation of the Ibsen play is very well done

Don't see it if You like light entertainment or reminders of how little things change when it comes to politics

102 Reviews | 90 Followers
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if are an ibsen fan and will find this 90 minutes of fast paced drama so riveting.

Don't see it if not into political drama or great dialogue.

332 Reviews | 41 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to hear about an issue that is relevant. You want to see powerful acting. You want to see someone who is passionate about a cause

Don't see it if You want light and fluffy. You don't want to hear about people in office hiding the truth about contaminants in the water.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
October 25th, 2016

"Harrower retitled it 'Public Enemy,' spruced up the translation and shaved the five acts to a 90-minute sprint—which the Pearl Theater is now presenting in a satisfyingly sturdy staging...Hal Brooks’s modern-dress production does well by the story...Mr. Cole fully comes into his own as Stockmann turns his last stand into a grandstand about the 'majority getting what it wants'...In this society, you can be corrupt or you can be a zealot. What bleak options this thought-provoking show offers."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 13th, 2016

"Harrower's version, which eliminates some minor characters, streamlines the text, moving so fast that the characters are all but reduced to puppets, striking new attitudes every few minutes...This production is probably good enough to introduce the inexperienced to 'An Enemy of the People,' but we have seen better treatments of this script in recent memory. In the end, it tries too hard to place the action in the modern-day world of official spin, denial, and prevarication."
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October 16th, 2016

“David Harrower’s new streamlined version of Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy of the People’ retitled ‘Public Enemy’ is rousingly taut and tense. Performed in modern dress, the Ibsen original has been updated in language so that it has a believably modern feel. While Ibsen’s 1882 drama dealt with ecology and economics, Harrower’s version is much more pointedly political. Hal Brooks’ exciting intermission-less production makes this a timely drama in the current election season.”
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Theatre is Easy
October 10th, 2016

"The Pearl could not have picked a better time to give us 'Public Enemy'...Although this is an adaptation, it isn’t far from what’s written in 'An Enemy of the People.' Trump-mania is not specific to this year...Keating as Aslasken is a cheeky scene stealer. I was laughing hysterically every time this quirky character crept onstage...A majority of 'Public Enemy,' however, doesn’t live up to its climax...Unfortunately, the transitions are sometimes the most interesting thing happening onstage."
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Theater Pizzazz
October 17th, 2016

"Eerily timely and shatteringly relevant, it is a must-see for the establishment. It deals with truth and the price truth-tellers pay, a concern throughout recorded history...The cast of 'Public Enemy' is superb, as we’ve come to expect from The Pearl, and Hal Brooks’ direction is spot-on. Jimonn Cole gives a heroic performance as Dr. Stockmann, one every acting aficionado will want to see."
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October 11th, 2016

"'Public Enemy' is certainly super timely...Harrower did more than wrestle the five-act play down to a 90-minute single act...He altered Ibsen's text so that Stockmann's targets go beyond the town's politicians to include the whole consumer society and our apathetic selves. Harrower's head-to-toe, slimmed-down text sticks to the essential story...The problem here is that the performances all around are more okay than outstanding."
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Stage Buddy
October 10th, 2016

"Harrower has fashioned a taut 90-minute intermission-less version of Ibsen’s Norwegian original...The acting in this production is disappointing—lackluster and a bit stilted. Brooks has attempted to add some excitement to key scenes by adding ominous music cues and/or bathing the stage in red light. But it’s the unnerving complexity of Ibsen’s and Harrower’s writing that dominates the proceedings and makes the show worth seeing, not the performances or the stage trappings."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
October 18th, 2016

The essential issues remain in place but everything has been brought to the level of agitprop melodrama. Whatever its value in reducing the play’s themes to a high-school civics class lesson, Harrower’s adapting the play to a present-day context simply doesn’t work. It’s not credible for Kiil, for example, to be so ignorant of the fact that bacteria can’t be seen by the naked eye and use that as an excuse to dismiss Stockmann’s claims.
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