Relevance NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(106 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (106)

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72 Reviews | 8 Followers
97
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if hard hitting show about authors and the personas they cultivate

Don't see it if the play deals with the shattering of images and iconoclasts, also frank discussions of race & sexual assualt

100 Reviews | 15 Followers
96
Absorbing, Relevant important

See it if U WANT 2 C OUTSTANDING INTELLIGENT, WRITING ON WHAT IS MOST RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT TODAY BROUGHT TO LIFE BY A FANTASTIC ACTING ENSEMBLE

Don't see it if U MUST MISS LIFE CHANGING THEATER WHICH I HOPE GOES TO BROADWAY OR ATLEAST TO ANOTHER VENUE.. THIS PLAY SHOULD HAVE A FUTURE

346 Reviews | 93 Followers
94
Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Riveting, Unsettling

See it if You want to watch a battle between the old and new guard with no easy answers. The debates over identity, privilege, and power interest you

Don't see it if You’re looking for easy resolutions or comforting answers. It’s a profoundly uncomfortable show because no one gets off easy. Read more

567 Reviews | 151 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.

89 Reviews | 10 Followers
90
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a nuanced exploration of the pitfalls and challenges of political discourse

Don't see it if You are sick to death of politics

295 Reviews | 84 Followers
90
Spellbinding

See it if you've ever fantasized about revenge or feared losing status/power/money in your community. Fascinating.

Don't see it if you find it hard to believe that an "intelligent" person, blinded by revenge, would make rookie mistake of abusing power. Read more

52 Reviews | 14 Followers
90
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound, Intelligent

See it if you want to see an incredible peace of theater starring the incomparable Jayne Houdyshell and the incredible Pascale Armand. A knockout!

Don't see it if you're not into lectures. It takes place at a conference and a considerable amount of time is used for the speeches within the conference.

366 Reviews | 77 Followers
90
Curiously relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great set and lighting

See it if you want to see something about feminism that does not give you a headache. Great acting, tersely written, and surprisingly rewarding.

Don't see it if you've had enough of this subject. 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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