Public Servant
Closed 1h 35m
Public Servant

Public Servant NYC Reviews and Tickets

(98 Reviews)
Members say
Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Slow

About the Show

Theater Breaking Through Barriers kicks off its 40th Anniversary season with this world premiere drama by Bekah Brunstetter ("This Is Us") about a county commissioner and a woman who needs his help.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (98)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
178 Reviews | 32 Followers
Relevant, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You want to explore the father/daughter dynamic.

Don't see it if You are looking for light and breezy.

251 Reviews | 26 Followers
Refreshing, Absorbing, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you're like TBTB productions and love supporting their efforts; you want a good story with 3 excellent actors

Don't see it if you only like musicals

56 Reviews | 32 Followers
Somewhat moving, Well acted, interesting plot, clever set

See it if you're hesitant to see something by a This Is Us writer, but are willing to give a small, well-acted play a chance.

Don't see it if you dislike small theaters. Can't think of another reason. This play is worthwhile. Read more

61 Reviews | 6 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate creative set design, true-to-life characters.

Don't see it if you prefer large casts.

78 Reviews | 5 Followers
Intelligent, Refreshing, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in politics, physically disabled, family relationships; good acting; an enjoyable night out

Don't see it if you like musicals or shows with many characters or big productions/sets or are uncomfortable seeing a very talented disabled actress

120 Reviews | 12 Followers
Resonant, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want a thought provoking show that makes your mind wander to tangential matters.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical-which this is not.

594 Reviews | 144 Followers
Great staging, Ambitious, Slow

See it if Great use of minimal set; not easy being a public servant or a father - then again, life isn't easy; caring conquers opposing viewpoints.

Don't see it if you want a fast paced play with action & snappy dialogue; sometimes the plot & the acting feel forced - is it the writing or direction?

74 Reviews | 26 Followers
Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You like theater based in realism where characters explore relevant issues like abortion, women's relationships with their bodies, power

Don't see it if you don't enjoy moral quandaries. Definitely don't see it if you are rigid in a solidly pro-life stance. Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
June 11th, 2019

“’Public Servant’ is the second part of a trilogy that started with Ms. Brunstetter’s ‘The Cake’...The new play is about parenthood, paternalism and what it means to work for the people...’The Cake’, though, is a more polished and organic work than ‘Public Servant’, whose plot and dialogue can seem forced...Dramaturgically, it feels engineered...It’s a handsome production, though.”
Read more

June 6th, 2019

"A heartwarming vision of how life could be, if not a particularly enthralling drama...Although their performances feel broad, the three actors fully commit to each beat...Director Geordie Broadwater crafts some tender moments between the actors, but it's not enough to compensate for a sluggish production...Brunstetter wraps everything up in an almost ludicrously happy conclusion."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
June 7th, 2019

“Under Geordie Broadwater's direction, the action ambles at an unhurried pace, taking time for moments of insight into three sadly deprived lives...And sometimes Brunstetter's throwaway sense of humor casts a strangely revealing light...The cast is adept at inhabiting this scratchy, solitary trio of lost souls...But ‘Public Servant’ is dogged by a certain falsity, a problem not helped by an eleventh-hour scene.”
Read more

Theater News Online
June 6th, 2019

"Edmund T. Morris' white picket fence that greets us inside Theatre Row for Theatre Breaking Through Barriers' world premiere of 'Public Servant' may not initially impress us, but it proves before long to be the ideal metaphor for Bekah Brunstetter's gripping play - it's both deceptively simple and deceptively smart.
Read more
June 7th, 2019

“’Public Servant' attempts to combine two separate and unconnected stories, twisting the play out of shape in order to join them...The two stories not only seem unrelated but it is rather contrived...The play is to be complimented for giving work to actors who might be marginalized but without the story being solely about those issues but making it part of the lives of the characters...Nevertheless, the cast is quite engaging and sympathetic."
Read more

Theatre is Easy
June 18th, 2019

"The evident awkwardness and discomfort the characters display regarding Miriam’s CP, and their discussions with her about it, allow 'Public Servant' to tackle misconceptions and stereotypes head-on without ever becoming too preachy or PC. This accomplishment is one of the strongest aspects of the production...'Public Servant,' much like a TV drama, is quick to pivot towards a happy ending and a heart-warming message."
Read more

Front Row Center
June 7th, 2019

“Brunstetter throws Ed, Hannah, and Miriam together at critical moments in their lives...But the play winds up without a strong single central core. It becomes about the intermingled relationships between the three of them...There is a lot of heart, there is a lot of truth, but I missed some humor which was only sparsely in evidence...One of the things she absolutely aced was the character of Miriam whom she endowed with Cerebral Palsy.”
Read more

New York Theater
June 7th, 2019

“Worthy and worthwhile new play...’Public Servant’ feels similar to 'This Is Us' in the way it weaves in social/political issues gently into the characters’ lives, and how it shares with that show its emotional and optimistic approach: The individuals are each sad and flawed but loving; they have problems, they have disagreements, there will be losses and sacrifices, but if they can support one another as a family/a community, things will work out at the end.”
Read more