Smokefall NYC Reviews and Tickets

(69 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Confusing, Clever, Quirky, Absorbing

About the Show

MCC Theater presents a tale of magical realism colliding with manic vaudeville in a family drama that looks closely at the fragility of life and the power of love.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (69)

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57 Reviews | 22 Followers
Absorbing, Funny, Thought-provoking, Exquisite

See it if you're interested in a combination of Kushner, Wilder, Beckett, and Magic Realism The ideas about time and death left me meditative.

Don't see it if you want simple storytelling. This play makes you work.

124 Reviews | 27 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Funny, Edgy, Confusing

See it if You like clever shows about family relations.

Don't see it if You don't like plays that are a bit silly and trek into the area of magical thinking.

431 Reviews | 129 Followers
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great writing, Quirky, Resonant

See it if You like plays that have themes about love, memory, loss, rebirth.

Don't see it if You don't like material that has quirky characters, plot points, and scenes, or when time isn't always linear.

548 Reviews | 1899 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You want your emotions stirred and you want to see brilliant performances.

Don't see it if Think-y shows aren't your thing.

408 Reviews | 86 Followers
Weird, Surreal, Poetic, Thought-provoking

See it if you like surreal and poetic plays that make you think. you enjoy clever drastic shifts in style and tone between scenes

Don't see it if you don't like weird shows, you get easily confused by nonlinear storylines

665 Reviews | 125 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Intelligent, Original

See it if If you want to be challenged. This is so good in so many ways. The staging was incredible. I wish there were more plays like this.

Don't see it if If you want to think. If you are looking for fluff this is not for you. In my ranking this is a rare 2!!!

252 Reviews | 61 Followers
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You love Zachary Quinto, can relate to dysfunctional families, like thought provoking pieces, can get sarcasm and wit.

Don't see it if You have a perfect family, don't like deep philosophical conversation, or you expect to see Spock as opposed to Dr Spock.

761 Reviews | 165 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you enjoy the unusual, the nonlinear, a bit of magical realism, something not literal but mysterious, like Zachary Quinto

Don't see it if You only like realistic, chronological plays, can't abide with figures from different eras popping on stage together, don't like the ominous

Critic Reviews (46)

The New York Times
February 22nd, 2016

"Mr. Haidle’s flights of imagination mostly left me less than enraptured...The director, Anne Kauffman, has made a specialty of adventurous new writing...and the cast is first-rate...But the play’s characters are defined exclusively by their eccentricities and flights of odd lyricism; they have no believable emotional pulse...When you have a fetus quoting Michel Foucault, you are moving beyond absurdity and treading dangerously close to plain old pretentiousness."
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Time Out New York
February 23rd, 2016

"Welcome back to Haidle’s brand of whimsical literalism, where commonplace ideas and character types are tricked out in self-conscious structural gimmicks that serve mainly to gild the obvious... its evocation of Thornton Wilder’s 'Our Town' only points up, by contrast, the sententious cutesiness of a play that treats, for example, 'the world is round' as an insight."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 22nd, 2016

"It’s as dark as you please, but so cute in its approach and so heavy-handed in its symbolism that it ends up belittling the very ideas it wants to advance...Anne Kauffman has directed without her customary verve...the theatrical energy almost never rises to the level necessary to support such a complicated agenda. Even when it starts to, it is usually shut down by another bit of annoying whimsy, or the realization that the philosophy underlying it is often no more profound than Dr. Phil."
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New York Daily News
February 22nd, 2016

"Anne Kauffman, a solid pro, repeats directing chores and guides this capable enough new cast, but even so the play delivers a few flashes of whimsy and not much else...The show’s takeaways are pretty obvious. We lose people. Life comes full circle. To love is 'the greatest act of courage.' That may well be. But it’s hard to love this 'Smokefall.'"
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February 22nd, 2016

"It turns out the show is yet another domestic drama about the all-American nuclear family, this one trying hard to distinguish itself from other domestic dramas about the all-American nuclear family by stylistically swerving from realism to surrealism...No one says anything the least bit interesting, and whatever we know about these people we learn from Quinto, who is called Footnote and plays the narrator."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 22nd, 2016

"The strained interactions among these barely defined characters seem to go on forever...Telling instead of showing, the playwright spoon-feeds his themes as if he's afraid the audience will be too obtuse to catch on....For all their considerable efforts, the performers are hobbled by characters who feel less like flesh-and-blood figures than creative conceits. There's tragedy aplenty in 'Smokefall,' but it's doubtful you'll find your eyes tearing."
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February 22nd, 2016

"It often feels more like a college seminar on magical realism than a rigorous example of the genre...The actors are miraculously able to deliver this dense text in a way that doesn't sound like they're reciting from an essay on world literature...Unfortunately, director Anne Kauffman's production is equally lifeless...Likely to appeal only to undergraduate philosophy students (and those who wish they could be in college forever)."
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Lighting & Sound America
February 23rd, 2016

"Haidle has given himself quite a tightrope to walk, blending domestic drama with wild flights of fancy and vaudeville-like routines, the farcical often occupying the same space as a pervasive melancholy. But darn it if he doesn't pull it off, shifting dramatic and emotional gears with the skill of a top race car driver, even as he conducts a conversation about the forces that shape our lives: chance, choice, genes, and destiny."
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