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Shining City

From 29 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Intelligent

About the show

Two-time Tony winner Matthew Broderick stars in the Irish Repertory Theatre's revival of Conor McPherson's psychological thriller about a man plagued by visions of his dead wife's ghost. More…

'Shining City' is a haunting play, dense with urban lives that brush against one another while never making contact. John (Broderick) seeks help from Ian, a counselor, after the unexpected death of his wife. Though shaken by the loss, John is troubled by more than just grief; he has begun to see his wife’s ghost in their home. As their sessions unfold, secrets and lies are exposed in this play in which a simple tale turns out to be anything but. 'Shining City' reflects on the guilt, anxiety, and restlessness of two lonely men.

Member Reviews (29)


Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Intelligent
Avg Score

Absorbing, Funny, Resonant, Intelligent, Insightful

See it if You would enjoy an excellent play about the struggles of middle aged people searching for connection, identity, and renewal.

Don't see it if You are looking for lighter material or something more appropriate for younger audiences.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful, Slow

See it if you enjoy plays with good dialogue and very little action. Broderick is giving his best performance in eons. Kudos to the supporting cast!

Don't see it if you need a play with a lot of action. Also, if you can't focus on excellent writing.

Entertaining, Great acting, Original, Great staging, Too many words

See it if You want to see Matthew Broderick perform perfectly timed monologues in a psychological thriller with twists & turns; Great Supporting cast

Don't see it if You expect Hitchcock Expect a smoothly written script with perfect character development

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see Matthew Broderick's best performance in years!

Don't see it if you don't like ambiguity.

Intelligent, Low-key, Miscast, Prosaic, Resonant

See it if writer McPherson's ability to find haunting poetry in day-to-day exchanges is up your alley. The production's strong.

Don't see it if you want more pyrotechnics. The play's shine is dimmed by a fairly flat staging & Broderick's inability to connect w others.

Intelligent, flawed, fine direction,good acting with a fine performance by matthew broderick

See it if Interesting plot but flawed. Fine direction, good acting especially Matthew Broderick,at Irish Rep.

Don't see it if complicated and strange Irish plots are not to your taste.

Resonant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You've never been to Irish Rep before, never seen a Conor McPherson play before, simply adore Mathew Broderick.

Don't see it if If you want to see McPherson at his best, because this production won't deliver on that. It's a good production, but far from a great one.

Intense, Matthew broderick was such a pleasant surprise, excellent timing , delivery and believable in his character, Parallel plot lines of two men suffering loss of self, Thought-provoking, Good casting and direction

See it if You believe that Matthew Broderick can delve deeper into character, want an enjoyable , engaging theatre experience with a few surprises.

Don't see it if Aren't interested in the struggles of priests and grieving men.want a passive experience.

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you love Matthew Broderick (who is still a one-note actor, even here) or if you want to see the newly renovated Irish Rep theatre

Don't see it if you want plays to be about something interesting or important or historic, or something...anything at all. This was meant to be ghost story

Great staging, Great writing, Original, Resonant, Exquisite

See it if You want to see a better version than the Broadway one of ten years ago

Don't see it if Lots and lots of unfinished sentences bother you

Absorbing, Slow, Great writing, Intelligent, Blahderick

See it if you enjoy (mostly) well-acted slow-burn Irish contemporary drama with a supernatural bent or are a devoted Broderick fan.

Don't see it if You can't tolerate Broderick onstage. He has lengthy monologues, and his flat, awkward performance nearly scuttles this whole thing.

Absorbing, Clever, Original, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You like a little bit creepy.

Don't see it if You can't wait for the final punch.

Slow, Disappointing, Well acted, Well intentioned, Dry

See it if You love Matthew Broderick and you try and see everything he does. He is subtle and intelligent here, but miscast. A slow telling of play.

Don't see it if You've seen the play done elsewhere, likely with more life and a better mastery or Irish oratorical traditions. Too dry, not haunting or fun

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Dizzying

See it if you can score a ticket

Don't see it if you have no sense of humor

During previews
Major plot gaps, Slow, Moderately engaging, Disappointing, Uneven acting

See it if you like short, atmospheric, talky plays. It should be an acting showcase, but Broderick's too focused on his accent (he did well) to act.

Don't see it if you want meaning. This is mostly for entertainment; the plotting makes no sense. The Irish Rep's renovation is nice, and the set is lovely.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if Matthew Broderick is in good form. The other two leads are great. It is nice to see this play in an intimate site

Don't see it if You don't want to see the reborn Irish Rep. new seats, loos & elimination of the side seats.although I was one of the few who did like them

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Overrated, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you like Matthew Broderick or O'Connor, psychological ghost stories, close up views of crumbling marriages, shocking surprises

Don't see it if you don'l like stories told that ramble off the point, plays about psychiatrists, crumbling relationships & characters immobilized by fear

During previews
Broderick go bragh -- great play

See it if Matthew Broderick, who summered as a child in Ireland, acts in a pretty good brogue. He knew his lines. I liked his therapy monologue.

Don't see it if But a friend thought Matthew delivered it in a monotone. The star, though, is Billy Carter, an Irishman, as the conflicted therapist. Spooky

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You like Conor McPherson's writing and enjoy a good serious play.

Don't see it if You are expecting Matthew Broderick to be funny. It is a drama. He plays a complicated man with minimal facial expression and a foul mouth.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if You want to think. Broderick (not my favorite) is perfect. He fits the role. Wonderful thoughtful play. Good writer.Lots to talk about after

Don't see it if You want light fluff. This has laughter but is very serious.

During previews
Slow, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if You love seeing movie stars on stage even if they're badly miscast and their performance is barely mediocre.

Don't see it if You don't like long-winded stories told in a monotone. I deserve therapist fees for sitting through MB's boring confessional monologues.

During previews
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you're a fan of McPherson; if you'd like a deeply thoughtful [sometimes funny] exploration of people's inability to connect or communicate.

Don't see it if you want a show that's light, unchallenging, or comedic, or resent any reference to the supernatural. A lot of talk, a lot of mystery.

During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky

See it if You want to see Matthew Broderick in a whole new light, don't mind a plot that is very dizzying and somewhat mind boggling, but compelling.

Don't see it if You want a straightforward, simple plot.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Clever

See it if A great show with an engaging story line and a talented cast.

Don't see it if You have an issue with a "Ghost Story" element to the play.

During previews
Entertaining, Silly ending, Slow at times, Interesting characters

See it if you would enjoy a play which creates two somewhat undefined characters that you want to know more about

Don't see it if you don't like plays which have little action, lots of talk (mostly well-written), and feel somewhat unfinished

June 9th, 2016
"A great play being given an exemplary revival…Mr. Broderick turns in his most assured and affecting stage performance in years…It lacks the gooseflesh-raising quotient of earlier versions of the show I’ve seen…But in swapping dank shadows for a warming clarity, Mr. O’Reilly illuminates the poeti...
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June 9th, 2016
"Broderick turns in a delicate, credible performance as John, a widower who has started seeing his wife’s ghost around the house...Director Ciarán O’Reilly’s production is lucid, tight and fluid, with Carter quietly terrific in a tricky role...A rich, unforgettable piece about projection and tran...
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June 9th, 2016
"The drama is an actors' showcase, and it's here that the production falls short…Broderick never effectively conveys John's truly tortured soul, coming across as vaguely uncomfortable rather than anguished…Carter is much more effective as the similarly emotionally wounded therapist…The play's sta...
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June 9th, 2016
"Four Dubliners face the living and the dread in this fine-tuned revival of McPherson’s moody modern ghost story. Broderick delivers star power and a moving performance as John, a guilt-racked widow. Carter anchors the drama as Ian, a troubled therapist juggling John, a girlfriend (Dwan) and a sc...
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