Relevance NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(106 Reviews)
Positive
67%
Mixed
28%
Negative
5%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious, Intelligent

About the Show

MCC Theater's world premiere drama centers around a collision of ideals within the feminist movement. Who decides your worth?

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Member Reviews (106)

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815 Reviews | 889 Followers
87
Funny, Entertaining, Reality tv(ish), Great acting

See it if You like trainwrecks. Well-written and intense. Funny.

Don't see it if You can see the misogyny behind the veil. You don't appreciate men depreciating women's attitudes. Read more

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
55
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing, Verbose

See it if you love Jayne Houdyshell (who doesn't?); you want to see a polemic on feminism vs post-feminism with a bit of drama shoe-horned in.

Don't see it if sitting thru a 90-minute lecture on sexism, racism & the effects of social media on individuals' lives isn't your idea of compelling theatre

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
92
Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if not afraid of confrontational drama tackling racism/feminism. Ms. Houdyshell finally lands role to exhibit her range. Who owns the trenches?

Don't see it if you require a play with more action than talk or if you cower at strong women who have something to say about gender politics. Discourse.

461 Reviews | 710 Followers
72
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Challenging, Absorbing

See it if you’re interested in shows with strong female leads or enjoy engaging in challenging dialogues.

Don't see it if you’re intimidated by strong, opinionated women or are in the mood for something light.

601 Reviews | 88 Followers
72
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if you like a story about strong women and issues such as women's rights and racism. There is intense dialogue from the two main characters.

Don't see it if you want any answers to issues such as women's rights and racism. Read more

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
51
Indulgent, Slow

See it if If you enjoy hearing characters talk ad-nauseum about womens' studies (feels like a PhD thesis, not a play). Penultimate scene is fun.

Don't see it if You want realism, as the show feels forced & fake. Very unnatural dialogue.

464 Reviews | 101 Followers
36
Somebody needs to pay for this mess

See it if You want to see the very very early stages of a play. I could make the argument that this was a rehearsal that I witnessed tonight

Don't see it if If you are bothered by an actress Who is reading from a script most of the show Read more

379 Reviews | 132 Followers
76
Ambitious, Great acting, Provocative, Short but dense, Left the show invigorated but ambivalent

See it if the show has verbal pyrotechnics, condensed ideology going for it even if it’s negligent in areas. Stimulating even if not wholly satisfying

Don't see it if you dislike plays so open to interpretation they might deadlock the conversation, or so full of triggers they preclude clear thinking Read more

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
February 25th, 2018

"Lee’s play descends into what feels like a clash of talking points that never jell into persuasive form...Shows an admirable willingness to wrestle with uncomfortable subjects. It also shares an honorable refusal to provide conclusive answers...or to tilt its sympathies heavily toward any one of its prickly characters. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to feel much interest in, let alone liking for, any of them...Feels like an intriguing rough draft prematurely thrown into public view."
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Time Out New York
February 25th, 2018

"'Relevance' stages a power struggle between ambitious women of different generations...The cast is solid, and director Liesl Tommy does an impressive job of keeping the action lively even when the dialogue spins into highly intellectual territory, and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew's stunning projections underscore the role of social media in driving a wedge between the old guard and the new. Fasten your seat belts: It’s going to be a bumpy conference."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 26th, 2018

"This sharp, disturbing examination of the shifting tectonic plates of contemporary culture stands out from the glut of insistent progressive issue plays. It earns its title by focusing not on a what, but on how we talk to one another today...In the new town square, we become competitors rather than communicators, snipers looking for hits. It’s this recognition, along with its quartet of powerful performances, that makes Lee’s play feel not only timely but frightening."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 25th, 2018

"It's admirable to see a playwright addressing such weighty topics, but 'Relevance' proves intellectually overstuffed and dramatically undercooked. Too often echoing the sort of academic symposiums that feature heavily in its plot, the play threatens to sink under its own weight. Only the talents of its formidable lead performers, Jayne Houdyshell and Pascale Armand, keep it afloat...'Relevance' emerges as a confusing muddle when it comes to what drives these two combatants."
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Theatermania
February 25th, 2018

"Liesl Tommy helms a production that often feels phoned-in...Still, Tommy succeeds in conveying Lee's story and ideas, and there are some big ones here...Even if you don't fully buy the play's contrivance, you cannot resist feeling something about the provocative themes behind it. Lee deserves points for bravely attempting these theatrical triple axels, even if he occasionally lands on his ass."
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BroadwayWorld
March 7th, 2018

"The opening scene spells out the conflict within minutes...The always outstanding Houdyshell is perfectly cast...Despite Tommy's sharply-played production, the play's climax is a disappointingly sluggish scene where Hanneck attempts to publicly discredit Ukweli's authenticity, and the playwright asks us to consider the 'Revelance' of the truth when fighting for justice...Though focused on feminism, there is a universality to Lee's themes."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 26th, 2018

"Much of this amuses and a great deal of it is stimulating, but 'Relevance' suffers from a certain blurred focus...The problem, I think, has to do with the way the ladies are represented...Liesl Tommy's slick, fast-moving production goes a long way toward keeping 'Relevance' entertaining, even when it is at its most unbalanced, and her cast is topflight...'Relevance' is timely, never dull, and sometimes very funny, but there's better, deeper, more mordant comic drama lurking inside it."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 25th, 2018

"Until its ending, which fizzles disappointingly, Lee's 'Relevance' is terrific...Plays out like a high-stakes chess match...Lee's script careens off the cliff in spectacular fashion...The chasm between these women's races and ages is palpable and it's heartening that Lee explores it with such uncommon insight. It's too bad that 'Relevance' squanders its promise in the service of theatrical fireworks which don't ring true."
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