Ends Jan 07


Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking
12 reviews
34 reviews

From Fellowship for Performing Arts comes the unlikely and true love story of renowned Oxford scholar and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis and the much younger Joy Davidman, a divorced Jewish New Yorker.

... Read more

In the first New York revival of this Tony-nominated play, the smart, brash Joy (a former Communist and Christian convert) bursts into Lewis' sedate, middle-aged life and upends it. Lewis is as shocked as anyone to discover that he and Joy have fallen deeply in love - and then almost immediately he must contend with the equally deep pain of losing her when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. 'Shadowlands' - also an Oscar-winning film - is a moving portrait of love and loss, faith and doubt, as inspired by Lewis' own 'A Grief Observed.'

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Reviews (46)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

“It can be calming to sit for a while with a sturdily crafted, nicely cast play that was mild even when it was new...The plot is wholly unsurprising...This iteration doesn’t always trust the pauses in the script...But Mr Gerroll and Ms. Abramson are appealing comic actors, smartly restrained and surrounded by a strong company...In its old-fashioned-ness, ‘Shadowlands’ is hardly a breath of fresh air. But it is a breath of different air, less charged than our own.” Full Review


"An incisive piece of writing. And as a mouthpiece for these metaphysical musings, it doesn't get much better than Daniel Gerroll, who stars as C.S. Lewis...Gerroll is infinitely truthful in his manner of blending intellectual confidence with emotional uncertainty, the conflict at the heart of 'Shadowlands'...Gerroll and Abramson are charming stage partners, and it's a delight to see their characters' friendship turn to love." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"There are a few awkward touches in Christa Scott-Reed's production but she has elicited fluent performances from her two leads, who easily convince us that these two polar opposites could be soul mates...A solidly constructed piece of work that builds to a heartbreaking climax. Even those who aren't particularly sympathetic to Lewis' ideas can be moved by the painful lesson that he learns." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“The play's brief moments of fantasy are embedded in an otherwise realistic, mildly stuffy drama…Gerroll gives a believable portrayal of the mild-mannered, bookish, British intellectual, shy with women, and retiring…Abramson's Joy…is almost a caricature of the pushy New York Jew…and lacks the brainy heft the role demands. 'Shadowlands' requires two equally balanced leads to keep us honed in on what should be a tear-jerking relationship; absent that balance…there are no tears to jerk.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"C.S Lewis isn’t alone in deriving literature from the romantic alliance. Nicholson’s 'Shadowlands' is another look at his illuminating experience...'Shadowlands', which begins and ends with Lewis lecturing the audience as congregation, is a heartfelt sermon. Beautifully acted by Gerroll, Abramson, and the entire cast and directed with quiet sympathy by Christa Scott-Reed, the production has the effect of a prayer delivered tenderly and even humorously." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

“The historically balanced drama marches forward, sometimes a bit too slowly and properly, but all with very good taste indeed. The cast all do a fantastic stiff-upper-lipped job...A heart warming play about the bravery of stepping into the arena of Love. Knowing full well that pain and suffering comes on the backside...Jack dives in to the pool of Love and Pain, gracefully and quite properly, like any good solid Brit would do. And we applaud that brave step forward.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"As C.S. Lewis, Daniel Gerroll is outstanding...He keeps the material alive despite the fact that the wordy, overlong play makes the same point repeatedly in slightly varied reiterations that threaten to become tedious...Gerroll has endowed his character with the spark hidden vitality, and guides us through the verbiage as if he were, indeed, a professor himself...It is beautiful to watch Lewis open the door to his soul, revealing the wonders that lie beyond." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"A casual correspondence with Joy Davidman Gresham blossoms into intellectual companionship Lewis has never experienced with a woman...Nicholson’s dialogue between the two is eloquent, stimulating, and distinctly specific...Scott-Reed conducts this symphony with a sure and imaginative hand...Authentic in every way, moves fluidly, and holds visual interest. Its tone is pitch perfect.” Full Review


"A sincere enough revival...Although I enjoyed seeing the contrast in personality that Abramson brings to Davidman's slightly abrasive facade, it is really hard to imagine what sparks could have been ignited between Jack and Joy. Certainly in real-life it must have...Director Christa Scott-Reed does what can be done to keep the protracted predictabilities at bay." Full Review

The Playfixer

“I saw the original Broadway production...and I had my doubts as to whether the cast of the Off Broadway revival could come close...Happily, the leads at the Acorn do come close in this superb production...Scott-Reed’s direction is top notch, and her supporting cast the same. The settings by Tighe are ingenious and absolutely gorgeous, as is Spivey’s lighting...Of the 10 plays I saw last week, ‘Shadowlands’ was by far the best.” Full Review

National Review

"'Shadowlands' blends the lightness and humor of a good romantic comedy with just enough theological depth to engage the intellect without feeling like homework...'Shadowlands' asks a simple question and proposes a tough answer. Where is God when we suffer?...The cast is excellent...Gerroll plays his part with the right mix of cool manners and hidden warmth. Abramson is vibrant and commanding." Full Review

Eyes on World Cultures

“This is a deeply moving production that never succumbs to melancholy. Gerroll as Lewis is absolutely spot on – understated yet conveying the intense trauma of loss. His brother, Warnie, played by Vennema is the delightful and sweet – and at times – bumbling Englishman. The one misstep is when Abramson mistakes Yankee enthusiasm for a character oblivious of her surroundings. Then she is more the British idea of a crass American than a convincing spirit.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Absorbing, Must see, Profound, Great writing

See it if C.S. Lewis is of interest and fine acting the dialogue is intriguing. A friendship that develops into a romance and marriage.

Don't see it if you have issues with god and religion

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if you enjoy a well made sentimental play, with good size cast, some great acting and an interesting story. A big show for the small Acorn.

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of talking, or monologues, or a play about a loved one dying and the meaning of love, pain and suffering.

Also Terrific production - fine play. But the chemistry between the leads w... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Smart, Quiet and lovely, Some magic and tears

See it if Interested in watching a very traditional, reserved person fall deeply in love with someone very different from himself. I was enchanted.

Don't see it if You don't want to consider issues of faith, God, love, understanding. This one's a tearjerker, so there's that, too.

Also Based on true events, this story is in very good hands. All the actors... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Romantic, Great writing

See it if you are a C.S. Lewis fan; enjoy biographies and learning about people's lives; and like romantic stories...

Don't see it if you don't like shows that touch on death and dying...

Also I found the majority of the First Act to be a bit stuffy and slow, but... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Informative

See it if You are interested in C. S. Lewis' life and/or like love stories even if they have a sad ending

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with plays about cancer

Terrific story and cast

See it if You like a good old fashioned story well done

Don't see it if You only like musicals or comedies

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You are a fan of great acting and/or C.S.Lewis.

Don't see it if stories about people dying from cancer don't interest you

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing

See it if Poignant tale with deep emotions, love, religion, hope, etc all mixed together. Show runs 2 hrs 20 min but flies by.

Don't see it if You'd be upset at pain and suffering and the tragic outcome at the end. But the show really makes you think.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of CS Lewis or like to be in a most intimate theater setting where you feel a part of the show. Cast is strong and set is good

Don't see it if you do not like stories based on some truth. This show differs greatly from the 1991 B'dway version and yet feels so real and true to life.

Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great writing

See it if You like this genre of a show. Go to no bull with raging Robert World Press to see my review. I liked how they did staging, different then

Don't see it if 1990 version of the show. Lead actor was tentative, stumbled over lines. Other cast were good. All In all a very good .No BULLRAGINGRobert

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want more from theater than simple entertainment. Excellent performances and interesting philosophies.

Don't see it if you want something light and fluffy or if seeing a show with a cancer victim will depress you too much.

Delightful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Informative

See it if want to see a thoughtful drama about CS Lewis late in life. The staging was great and the script kept my interest - a story still relevant.

Don't see it if you don't like any discussion of philosophy or religion; don't like period pieces; or talk about cancer and death.

Also A nice story well told with just the right amount of humor intersperse... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You are interested in plays that discuss serious philosophical topics in a highly palatable way.

Don't see it if Serious drama is not your thing.

Also I had seen this when it originally opened and remember liking it much ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great writing

See it if you enjoy fine drama at its very best. Excellent acting, good staging. There is wonderful humor and also extremely moving moments.

Don't see it if you like fluffy dialogue or comedy.

Also After seeing a new show called The Portuguese Kid which was a waste of... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if Lovely play based on a true story. Excellent acting and very engaging. A fulfilling evening at the theater.

Don't see it if Do not see if you prefer musicals or light dramas.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You’re looking for an emotional play

Don't see it if You need a frolic, this is funny at moments but overall heavy emotions

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Romantic

See it if you want to see an improbable love story which happens to be true, anchored by lovely truthful performances. A must for C. S. Lewis fans!

Don't see it if you only like high drama or escapist entertainment. Also if you are allergic to any discussion of religion or faith.

Great acting, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if You are a fan of CS Lewis or enjoy unusual and romantic love stories.

Don't see it if if you do not like sad stories which include death or prefer traditional love stories.

Exquisite, Masterful, Profound

See it if You want to see a play that explores the concepts of love , death, and suffering with a delicate touch. Also, it's about CS Lewis.

Don't see it if While Shadowlands isn't depressing, it's not exactly a feel-good tap musical.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in an intelligent drama about faith and the life of a great intellect

Don't see it if if ¥ou ar bored by philosophy or theology

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you enjoy philosophical and thought provoking story telling.

Don't see it if you want to see a light, fluffy show. This is a show for the deep thinkers.

Also I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this show. It really reso... Read more Read less

Funny, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like plays base on true stories, very good directing, liked how the director intertwined his stories with the life events

Don't see it if may seem a bit old fashioned

Some charm but the preaching diminishes it

See it if A mild evening is on your list, full of wit and charm, though marred by its Christian pretenses.

Don't see it if An abrasive version of Joy will disappoint you. You'll be shocked by the sudden collapse of acting skills in its final moment.

Enchanting, Must see, Profound, Romantic, Great writing

See it if if you like great actors in a great ensemble beautifully directed. working off of a great script.

Don't see it if if your looking for a farce or an escapist romp.

Also Came out of the theater feeling like I did when I first saw "It's a Wo... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A moving portrait of older people in love.

Don't see it if Don’t see it if you don’t want to see older people in relationships.