Signature Plays
67

Signature Plays NYC Reviews and Tickets

67%
(58 Reviews)
Positive
40%
Mixed
43%
Negative
17%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Great staging, Disappointing

About the Show

In honor of its 25th anniversary, Signature Theatre presents an evening of three one-act plays by a trio of American masters.

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Member Reviews (58)

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962 Reviews | 338 Followers
65
Ambitious, Original, Great staging, Dizzying, Challenging

See it if you love experimental theater. All have fascinating moments w/strong staging and acting. Sandbox is punchy; Drowning slow; Funnyhouse weird!

Don't see it if you like traditional theater. This is highly challenging, unusual material. Not easy enjoyment. Not my thing, but memorable.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're willing to be challenged by expert staging of 3 brilliant examples of 60s avant-garde theatre, still powerful & relevant today.

Don't see it if you have no interest in examining the human condition, acceptance, memory and identity, explored in captivating, unconventional ways.

657 Reviews | 147 Followers
68
Indulgent, Overrated, Great staging, Dated, Quirky

See it if you fondly recall the days of avant garde theater, think pretentious is a compliment, like a program of one acts by 3 writers, want to think

Don't see it if you have trouble following the vague, odd, pretentious, let's be weird for weird's sake type of shows, are put off by the odd and bizarre

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
75
Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you missed out on the absurdist movement of the 1960-1970'x. It is fun to reflect back on.. What was this?

Don't see it if you need less thought provoking theater. One has to laugh and cry at the Albee 15 minute play It was the first time for us for the last play

593 Reviews | 264 Followers
67
Three avant garde plays by albee and other masters; for some - very deep, for others - what the f***?

See it if you enjoy absurdist plays addressing big issues (duty to old re dying, why "monsters" have feelings, etc.); strong acting ensembles

Don't see it if you want your plays to have discernible plots, you'd have no clue about meaning of impenetrable "Funnyhouse of a Negro" without wikipedia

585 Reviews | 220 Followers
75
Ambitious, Great staging, Slow, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You're a theatre aficianado and want to see a great production of three rarely staged plays.

Don't see it if You dislike more abstract/experimental theatre pieces that tend to test your patience.

532 Reviews | 488 Followers
65
Uneven, Experimental, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you dig experimental theater and you're willing to draw your own conclusions.

Don't see it if you expect to be able to clearly discern what the shows you see are intended to mean.

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
40
Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if The Albee was the best: entertaining, interesting and funny. Second play was OK but so slow (on purpose). Last play was confusing & boring

Don't see it if Probably don't see it. If you do go consider leaving at intermission. The first two of the three plays were fine.

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
May 22nd, 2016

"Under the accomplished direction of Lila Neugebauer, these works still have the power to engage, amuse and, above all, disturb…In every case, this first-rate creative team has done its job. That is to say, they’ve created unfamiliar worlds that somehow feel deeply, ineffably familiar — the sort of places that you visit as you’re falling asleep. And all the places you’ve ever lived, and all the people you’ve ever been, start to mingle and merge into one eerie, endlessly reflected entity."
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Time Out New York
May 23rd, 2016

"Although wildly diverse, the three pieces that make up Signature Plays are all grappling with death...Albee, Fornés and Kennedy have been breaking rules since the late ’50s and early ’60s, and today’s most daring playwrights have absorbed their influences—but what a joy to hear this raw music straight from the source. Director Lila Neugebauer delivers each work with a custom-tailored design and approach to performance, treating them not as museum relics."
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Theatermania
May 22nd, 2016

"A trio of brilliant plays…In each work, Lila Neugebauer's direction is nothing short of extraordinary. With the impeccable performances of her cast, she combines the diverse tones, techniques, and themes into two humorous and frightening hours of theater...This electric production is a feast for the eyes as well as the brain. It's also further proof that Lila Neugebauer is one of the theater's most versatile and accomplished directors working today."
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BroadwayWorld
May 25th, 2016

"Two of the plays, the Albee and Kennedy entries, premiered in the 1960s, a time when 'downtown theatre' was defined by the kind of experimentation and symbolism that baffled as many as it inspired...This is one of those rare instances where an Edward Albee play can be considered the most accessible of a collection...'Drowning'...is a lethargically-paced play...'Funnyhouse of a Negro' at its time, was a rare instance of a black woman writing about black women."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 2nd, 2016

"A kind of sampler of the avant-garde from the last several decades...The results are distinctly mixed...'Funnyhouse of a Negro' more than lives up to its bizarre gothic atmosphere, making itself the only one of the three plays on display to feel thoroughly contemporary...If the first half of ‘Signature Plays’ offers less than one has any right to expect, the opportunity to see a first-class production of Kennedy's play is not to be missed."
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Talkin' Broadway
May 22nd, 2016

"The Sandbox,’ ‘Drowning,’ and ‘Funnyhouse of a Negro’ are all major pieces worthy of examination, and given thoughtful, well-considered mountings here under the direction of Lila Neugebauer, so they do not seem depressing per se. What you get instead is a potent, pungent look at how three different towering American theatre artists have approached the difficult subject of identity and conquered it on their own unique, highly theatrical terms."
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Theatre is Easy
May 22nd, 2016

"A wonderful evening of absurdist plays…The star of the evening is director Lila Neugebauer. Any lesser talent may fumble with the three plays’ absurdism, or lose sight of the distinctions between each play’s unique approaches to heighted language. Neugebauer excels in finding relatable ties to unfamiliar worlds...It is her acute dramaturgical eye that ties all three distinct plays together in a cohesive evening of theater."
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CurtainUp
May 22nd, 2016

"Directed by Lila Neugebauer, the 'Signature Plays' are beautifully (it's tempting to say ideally) cast...Each offers a distinctive slant on existential angst, finding humor as well as pathos in the characters' suffering...As studies in loneliness, alienation, and unease, the Signature Plays fit together nicely as a single evening...The themes and the zaniness that marked the mid-century avant-garde are so familiar now, on stage and off, that they're no longer viewed as absurd."
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