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Socrates

From 90 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

About the show

The Public offers a new play drama about a complicated man who changed how the world thought. "Socrates" is a tribute to the man who continues to inspire us to question authority and defend freedom of belief. More…

"Socrates" is an intellectual thrill ride from the philosopher’s growing prominence in democratic Athens through the military and social upheavals that led to one of the most infamous executions in Western history. Tony Award winner Doug Hughes ("Doubt," "Junk") directs.


Member Reviews (90)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

79
Confusing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Overlong, Ambitious

See it if interested in Greek history, Socrates's life, death & methods, the emergence of Plato as philosopher, plays with many characters

Don't see it if don't like nonlinear non-chronological plots or care about Greek history, confused by actors playing multiple parts with unfamiliar names

72
Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Surgically precise dissection of the Greek academic. Stuhlbarg is on a pop-culture roll right now and still chooses the stage. Huge cast.

Don't see it if Intellectual debates.The cast is so large that it resembles figurative gladiators battling it out in a cerebral arena Shakespeare inthe Park

79
Democracy in trouble, Relevant, Verbose, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a philosopher at heart; enjoy verbose, intellectual discourse; Stuhlbarg is absolutely brilliant with a terrific ensemble cast.

Don't see it if First act badly in need of editing; opening scene feels endless; 2nd act is shorter, less wordy, more active & more interesting.

Also As portrayed, the relentless Socrates is one frustrating but lovable m... Read more Read less

78
Slow, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you're looking for an intelligent play that requires a lot of close attention and thinking. Fantastic performances, relevant themes.

Don't see it if you prefer something more action-packed or have a short attention span. If you find long, wordy and slow plays excruciating.

79
Slow, Relevant, Quirky, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy a great debate that never gets properly settled. Michael Stuhlbarg is wonderful.

Don't see it if circular logic, long talky pieces are not your thing

83
Great acting, Long first act, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if historical drama about the Greek philosopher with multiple examples of his logical arguments to get to truth - what is wisdom, virtue etc.

Don't see it if actors playing more than one role; long & academic first half although second act more human as the play gets closer to his death scene

Also worth it for the amazing performance by Michael Stuhlbarg as Socrates.

81
Demanding, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You want to combine theater and Intro to Philosophy in a way that is more engaging than college ever was

Don't see it if You need action without being expected to listen carefully and think...but still be entertained

79
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Interesing play about Socrates'views and effects on Philosophy. Great job by playwright,actor,director,Tim Blake Nelson.Excellent acting.

Don't see it if Subject matter is not of interest to you.Play is 3 hours long and requires a good attention span.

84
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to engage with challenging ideas and can let go of plot during this show. You can accept that the world depicted is male only.

Don't see it if A long, talky debate of philosophical concepts is not your thing.

Also Painfully timely exploration of the nature and hypocrisies of democrac... Read more Read less

80
Profound, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you have admired Socrates & wanted to know more about him. Portrayed by the incomparable Michael Stuhlbarg this is an evening well-spent

Don't see it if You have no interest in philosophy

86
Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you like dramas that have almost no humor in them; you want to see a great scene in the second act that involves Socrates' wife

Don't see it if you want a comedy or a fun play; you can't sit through a 3 hour drama

73
Overlong, Great acting, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if Calling all philosophy majors for a play about the Socratic Method. Wonderful performance by Michael Stuhlbarg in the title role.

Don't see it if Many questions are asked few are answered in the pursuit of Truth. The play is too long and a bit repetitious.

Also Michael Stahlbarg as Socrates keeps this boat afloat. The opening mono... Read more Read less

70
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Too long, Slow, Great acting

See it if a brilliant performance by Michael Stuhlbarg plus an intelligent take on the methods of Socrates can make up for excessive length.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a slow, very long play that is totally cerebral and requires intense listening.

79
Overextended, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in philosophy and history or if you want to see a magnificent performance from Michael Stuhlbarg.

Don't see it if you have little patience for very long discussions about big ideas.

91
Intelligent, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you are interested in life and death of Socrates or if you want to see great Michael Stuhlbarg in action.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the historical figure, or can not or do not like to sit through a long play.

83
History buffs delight

See it if you know the story of Socrates and want to hear a vibrant retelling. See it if you do not know the story and want to.

Don't see it if you are bored by philosophers and have no interest in learning more about Athens, the bed of democracy, and Socrates and Plato.

Also The acting was excellent as was the direction.. I thought the first ac... Read more Read less

70
Masterful, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Michael Stuhlbarg is a very good actor. Socrates is highly political and intense.

Don't see it if Long plays with lots rhetoric and politics turn you off.

70
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You want to see Stuhlbarg on stage.

Don't see it if Excessive jocular homoeroticism will make you uncomfortable. Long, talky shows with not much forward movement make you snooze.

Also There’s just not a lot to this. It’s very thin—story and production va... Read more Read less

88
Riveting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great acting

See it if Michael Stuhlbarg gives a performance for the ages. The central narrative speaks to our present political crisis.

Don't see it if It’s very heady philosophical stuff. It’s 3 hours. The seats aren’t comfortable. If you don’t have the endurance...

80
Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like intelligent theater that uses history to make its statement

Don't see it if you are not ready to listen carefully or don't enjoy historical themes

79
Profound, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if Like “Greek” type plays. Plays with interesting ideas

Don't see it if A bit too long and end could be cut

70
Could stand cutting and possibly rearranging., Thought-provoking, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You want to learn about Socrates and his methods, as I did.

Don't see it if You don't want to sit through a long play that has a depressing ending (spoiler alert--he dies).

Also I'm finding it hard to write about this play. One critic called it "in... Read more Read less

74
Intelligent, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Interesting portrait of a great thinker, his admirers and detractors with clear implications for today. Long, but holds your interest.

Don't see it if Looking for light, snappy affair. This one wants you to think and moves slowly through first act. Second act more rewarding.

78
Thought provoking, Slow, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love Stuhlbarg cause this is his show! If you want to learn about Socrates' life, philosophy and Greek history.

Don't see it if you will be upset that a show was written for 13 men and 1 woman (who only had 2/3 scenes in a 3-hour play), need a shorter night of theatre

84
Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in Socrates the man, philosophy, and history of Ancient Athens. To experience excellent acting in a well written play.

Don't see it if if you can't stay focused for a long, slow & talky play. If you are offended by frank sexual talk and imagery. You want light easy fare.


April 16th, 2019
"Argument and inquiry are the engines of 'Socrates,' starring a sublime Michael Stuhlbarg in the title role. In a meticulously handsome production by Doug Hughes, this is a play that hums with intelligence...Reverence is a heavy thing, and it weighs down this nearly three-hour play, whose overlon...
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April 16th, 2019
"'Socrates' is dragged down by loquacious speechifying, excessive double casting and the general stasis of Doug Hughes's plant-your-feet-and-spew staging...Just when you're ready to give up, however, the spotlight shifts in earnest to Stuhlbarg's arresting performance as a fascinating, fallible, ...
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April 16th, 2019
“Overlong, dramatically flat...There are so many actors...But only one of these actors really commands our attention...If you can get through the first couple of scenes, it’s intermittently exciting to watch...The fact that the play does eventually manage to pull up and away from it is a great cr...
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April 16th, 2019
"Nelson attempts to bring this historical figure to theatrical life but mainly succeeds in boring the audience...The play can certainly be commended for its intellectual rigor and astute illustration of the Socratic method...But it ultimately comes across as more rhetoric than drama...That the ev...
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