New York | 2h 10m | Already closed


From 29 critic and 73 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents a a high-stakes comedy by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Lindsay-Abaire about two women of a certain age locked in a no-holds-barred battle to the death. More…

When the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her desirable room in the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility with new-arrival Marilyn, she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden. Starring Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Holland Taylor and directed by Tony and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce.

The New York Times

"For a play centered on a seemingly irreconcilable conflict, 'Ripcord' sustains a low tension level...Some theatergoers may leave 'Ripcord' with a faint, nagging hunger for more substance. At one point, Marilyn, asked about why she never gets mad, says, 'It always leads to an ugly place, and I don’t care for ugly places.' For better or worse, this production seems to share that attitude." Full Review


"The writer has come up with an amiable if simplistic crowdpleaser, in the form of a duel of wits between 'odd couple' roommates in an assisted living facility. Although smartly directed by David Hyde Pierce, the slender sitcom hangs for dear life on the appeal of its engaging stars." Full Review

The Wrap

"At the core of 'Ripcord' is a Lifetime movie struggling to escape the quirky trappings of David Lindsay-Abaire‘s comedy...Director David Hyde-Pierce makes the most of these theatrical flourishes, as well as a few others, to distract you from the basic premise...Lindsay-Abaire turns some of the schmaltzier moments on their head, and things turn out to be not as they first appear." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"The night is not a waste by any means. We are surprised more than once as the plot and these two women pick up steam. And the performances, with the exception of a few blown lines, are pure pleasure. This is a play that entertains without making you think too much. David Hyde Pierce’s direction is solid and unaffected. Still, you may leave the theatre as I did, wanting just a bit more from these two complex women." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"If 'Ripcord' never really decides what kind of play it wants to be, there is the pleasure of seeing two accomplished pros at work. It's too bad that Lindsay-Abaire can't quite extricate himself from the confines of the standard odd-couple formula. Surprisingly, it is most entertaining in its wildest, least-credible moments. Otherwise, the element of surprise is missing; as soon as the author puts his conflict in place, it's all too clear how it will end up." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"He's taken a comedic premise that would seem primed for stage-shaking laughter, and delivered something that gets at best a strong handful of hearty chuckles and a few fuzzy feels. Rest assured, there's no danger that any tickers will stop ticking at this one...Although there's plenty to like in 'Ripcord,' it's more notable for what it lacks." Full Review


"Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and actor-turned-director David Hyde Pierce bring their professionalism and comic timing -- but little credible justification -- to 'Ripcord.' This is a good-natured formula comedy about a female odd couple in an assisted living facility...Everyone is very good but, we have to ask what is all this talent doing in this sitcom?" Full Review


"It helps immeasurably that the two stars of Lindsay-Abaire’s heavily contrived play, are Marylouise Burke and Holland Taylor. Both are gems... As 'Ripcord' progresses—the uneven direction is by David Hyde Pierce—the two ladies play a series of escalating pranks on one another, jokes that cross over early into the painful and cruel." Full Review

Great acting, Disappointing, Quirky, Cliched

See it if You don't mind theatre that is very close to tv sitcom. A waste of good talent.

Don't see it if You want a worthwhile theatre experience.

Cliched, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if Even two wonderful actors couldn't save this lazy play by David Lindsey-Abaire who should have known better. Story not surprising and boring

Don't see it if You wan to see ecellent playwriting and a believable story.

Cliched, Banal, Unpleasant, Uninsightful, Great lead actresses

See it if you want to see two outstanding actors wasted on inferior material. Burke and Taylor are terrific, but the script is annoyingly insipid.

Don't see it if you require a funny/smart script. I was absorbed by the performances, but repelled by the story. Such a shame!

Cliched, Predictable, Repetitive

See it if you like Nancy Meyers movies. You like the two lead actresses and want to see them on stage.

Don't see it if you're not part of MTC's older subscriber base. Play goes on for longer than it needs to without entertainment value or plot justifying it.

Disappointing, Fluffy, Funny, Cliched

See it if you are a fan of the leading actresses

Don't see it if you have little patience with sitcoms that get weighed down with cliched sentiment and misguided efforts at pathos.

During previews
Cliched, Mildy funny, Mediocre, Good lead actresses, Predictable

See it if Like Marylouise Burke and/or Holland Taylor

Don't see it if Two fine lead performances are not enough to make a play worth seeing.

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