The Babylon Line
Closed 2h 20m
The Babylon Line
73

The Babylon Line NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(138 Ratings)
Positive
71%
Mixed
25%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Funny, Slow, Disappointing

About the Show

Lincoln Center Theatre presents Richard Greenberg's new drama about a writer and the special student who reawakens his artistic impulses. Starring Josh Radnor ('How I Met Your Mother') and Elizabeth Reaser ('Twilight').

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Show-Score Member Reviews (138)

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77 Reviews | 12 Followers
91
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you enjoy plays with multiple narratives, that are each resonant and incredibly entertaining. Theatre at its finest / classic R. Greenberg.

Don't see it if you prefer more shallow theatre. The plot is certainly not light, and it requires your utmost concentration. Read more

194 Reviews | 38 Followers
90
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Edgy

See it if you want to be entranced by a smart, small little show. You love HIMYM and want to see Ted Mosby onstage.

Don't see it if You crave spectacle or you're one of those types averse to stories about writers.

130 Reviews | 41 Followers
90
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if You like a good story with some funny moments and some sad, a relatable story but told in a new way. You enjoy great actors & characters.

Don't see it if You don't want suburban stories & you want simple, light plots with all happy endings. You want to see theater but not think about it after.

209 Reviews | 25 Followers
89
Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if Good drama,tragic-comedy Lived in Levittown LI in the 60's

Don't see it if Not interested in serious drama. Are put off by stereotypes of 3 yenta housewifes in Suburbia.

126 Reviews | 26 Followers
87
Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing, Funny

See it if Entire cast stellar, but Ms Reaser's intensely disturbing performance is why this is a dontmiss. And often the writing is sublime literature

Don't see it if you can't abide long character-driven theater - this is a single-setting plot-scanty work joyous only for the characters and quirky scenario

324 Reviews | 71 Followers
86
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if The suburban middle class gathering setup belies the rich character studies created by Greenberg and imaginative staging by Kinney

Don't see it if <spoiler> there is a line that suggests a link to another Greenberg play - the thought of a trilogy took me out for 1 minute

508 Reviews | 337 Followers
86
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious, Nice costumes and set

See it if You want to see excellent acting in a play taking place in Long Island in 1967.

Don't see it if You'd prefer to see a musical. This is an entertaining play but quiet at times and serious. Lots of laughs too though! Read more

51 Reviews | 16 Followers
84
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you're ready for a great, interesting story.

Don't see it if not sure. I really liked it!

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
December 5th, 2016

"Though it offers choice examples of the off-kilter lyricism that is Mr. Greenberg’s signature, 'The Babylon Line' feels like a gifted writer’s notebook, stuffed with beguiling phrases and ideas still waiting to cohere into a compelling shape...The students are embodied by a mouthwatering cast, directed a bit fuzzily by Terry Kinney...Meta meanderings are typical of 'The Babylon Line'...While the most far-fetched of these are entertaining, they never take on much urgency."
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Time Out New York
December 5th, 2016

"'The Babylon Line' is by Richard Greenberg; barbed repartee, shiny epigrams, and baroque arias of loss and longing all come with the territory...Director Terry Kinney steers a fine cast to a nice balance of whimsy and wistfulness...It’s the plotting and momentum of the second act in which things grow fuzzy and attenuated...The digressive wrapping up of narrative threads in the last 20 minutes unfolds less like compelling drama and more like dutiful housekeeping."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
December 6th, 2016

"A fatally mild production…Some of Greenberg's best plays mix disparate modes expertly, whether alternating narration and action or contrasting different versions of history. Both tactics are attempted here, but fall flat because the thing remembered is so banal…What is supposed to be the main story is a nonstarter, in part because we know that Aaron will never respond to Joan’s outrageous propositioning and in part because Radnor and Reaser cannot find anything convincing to play."
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Deadline
December 5th, 2016

"Fine as Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Reaser are, my focus was pulled elsewhere in this provocative but maddening play...Were I more generous of spirit, I would speculate that this is the playwright’s intention, to bury Aaron in his failure. Instead, it’s where I lost interest in 'The Babylon Line,' and I felt that Greenberg did as well, since the ending — the several endings — are a muddle of inconclusiveness."
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Variety
December 6th, 2016

"One of those modest little gems that contains sparks of white light if you look hard enough…This is the kind of unpretentious but thought-provoking play that Lincoln Center always does to perfection…Kinney, who has done terrific work on this show, takes care to keep the chemistry between Aaron and Joan on the boil. But for sheer eccentricity and bittersweet feeling, what really resonates are the lives of all of these characters—especially the secret lives that emerge in their writing."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 5th, 2016

"What a beguiling and unpredictable play...While Greenberg could be criticized for being too discursive, that ends up being part of the play's charm, as stories and revelations about each character shed a different light on them...Kinney and his superb cast are attuned to the silent undercurrents of Greenberg's writing as much as the sly flourishes of wit and cruelty and the elegant streams of prose-like dialogue, making 'The Babylon Line' an idiosyncratic pleasure."
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Entertainment Weekly
December 5th, 2016

"The intimate nature of the small amphitheater-style setup lends itself nicely to Greenberg’s storytelling; when Radnor’s character breaks the fourth wall, it feels like a personal appeal...Aaron's infatuation with Joan feels a little forced — their chemistry doesn’t quite support their near-instant attraction. Luckily, that’s not an issue for the rest of the cast...The quiet, funny script resonates with the evergreen themes of community, desire, and self-discovery. It’s a memorable ride."
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Theatermania
December 5th, 2016

"Greenberg is clearly interested in endings, and he gives us a grand one in this thoughtful and sympathetic drama...Director Terry Kinney crafts potentially explosive moments with care and restraint, allowing the tension in the room to build slowly and surely until we are fully invested...Greenberg sacrifices the tragedy of the moment for the comedy of the long perspective — and we are grateful to him for it."
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