Sabbath's Theater
Closed 1h 55m
Sabbath's Theater
80

Sabbath's Theater NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(237 Ratings)
Positive
87%
Mixed
8%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Raunchy, Funny, Entertaining, Ambitious

About the Show

Philip Roth’s funny and moving novel comes to life in a new play from Ariel Levy and John Turturro.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (108)

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ERF
112 Reviews | 60 Followers
97
Great acting, Funny, Full frontal, Foul-mouthed, Filthy

See it if you want to see absolutely top-notch performances by these great actors in a raw and engrossing show closely following Roth's novel.

Don't see it if you are easily offended by nudity and strongly sexual themes; or don't want to see a dialogue-driven play on a spare black box stage. Read more

778 Reviews | 148 Followers
95
Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Raunchy, Funny

See it if Excellent acting, on the dark side with laughing at some parts.

Don't see it if Raunchy talks sex and nudity, not a light show.

269 Reviews | 81 Followers
91
Great writing, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting

See it if You enjoy a story with a unique point of view told in such a way you may never forget. This is a New York theatre treat that is very special

Don't see it if You are not interested in a male point of view obsessed with his presence and purpose in the world. It is wordy and quirky

729 Reviews | 415 Followers
90
Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Powerful acting in this absorbing play.

Don't see it if If you prefer a musical then skip this one.

64 Reviews | 24 Followers
90
Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if It was funny. EDGY GOOD ACTING.

Don't see it if This was a show about sex and it is not for your Grandma. There is full frontal. . I loved it.

1205 Reviews | 344 Followers
90
Intense, Edgy, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you are a Roth or Tuturro fan, but also for Marvel and Kravits who deliver this material with good direction and lighting, mostly black box.

Don't see it if explicit sexual conversation and action is not for you.

54 Reviews | 12 Followers
90
Masterful, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if Tour de force by all three cast members. John Turturro is a genius. Deeply moving and powerful show. Among the best writing I’ve ever seen.

Don't see it if You expect a light and relaxing evening. This is a very funny show, but it is also emotionally complex and intellectual.

206 Reviews | 35 Followers
88
Ambitious, Intense, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if All 3 actors: amazing job. Loved the multiple roles of supporting cast. Turturro was impeccable. Tad dated but doesn't matter. Zest 4 life.

Don't see it if if you want a linear plot this is not for you. If you are offended/uncomfortable with graphic/sex.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
November 3rd, 2023

" 'Sabbath’s Theater', no longer a book and not quite a play, is best enjoyed as a celebration of its performers. But it’s never as unholy as it wants to be."
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Time Out New York
November 3rd, 2023

"Despite the transgressiveness of the source material—the late Philip Roth's scabrous novel, considered a masterpiece by some and purely masturbatory by others—the play is an impotent affair, with three excellent actors working awfully hard to screw inert vignettes into a whole...Sexuality is front and center here, and by the end, Turturro has even given us the full Mickey. But he only exposes the body of this tortured and terrible miscreant, and not the character's soul."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 2nd, 2023

“The production is a faithful-to-a-fault adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, by Turturro and the author Ariel Levy, that gets stuck in translation. It’s the story of a chronically, self-destructively passionate man, but its writers can’t figure out how to render that fire onstage. The raw materials are there, but the spark is lacking.”
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The Wall Street Journal
November 9th, 2023

“Ms. Levy and Mr. Turturro have certainly done their best to capture the highlights, if generally exulting in sexual transgression can be so described, of Mickey’s turbulent life. But in attempting to squeeze Roth’s novel into less than two hours of stage time they have hollowed out its emotional impact. What’s left is mostly moments of lurid outrageousness—which pall quickly.”
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Theatermania
November 3rd, 2023

"Their reproduction of Roth’s language, Levy and Turturro bring a desperately needed voice of delicious transgression to the American stage. That alone makes 'Sabbath’s Theater' worth seeing."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 2nd, 2023

“Passages that seem so vivid on the page feel flat and stagey when acted out; rather than gasping at Mickey masturbating at Denka's grave, one instead notes how artfully the projection designer depicts the emission of sperm. The play reproduces most of the book's key events but its most distinctive feature, the author's scalding, offensive, irrepressible voice, is muted.”
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Talkin' Broadway
November 2nd, 2023

“With direction by Jo Bonney, the performances are uniformly excellent. Turturro gives a fearless, no-holds-barred performance...To the credit of the adapters and designers, there is a good deal of theatricality in this excursion into Roth's world. Nevertheless, there's a certain amount of irony in the notion that ‘Sabbath's Theater’ may be best suited to the page and not the stage.”
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TheaterScene.net
November 13th, 2023

Philip Roth’s 1995 Rabelaisian novel "Sabbath’s Theater" would seem a strange choice for stage adaptation both as it is considered Roth’s raunchiest – if not filthiest – book and it moves around a great deal to places in New England, New York, New Jersey and Venice, Italy. The stage adaptation by journalist Ariel Levy and actor-director John Turturro who also stars in The New Group’s production at the Pershing Square Signature Center is not really a play but a staged reading. Performed by Turturro and two actors, Elizabeth Marvel and Jason Kravits, taking all the other parts, this very doubling reinforces the feeling that this is not a fully realized play.
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