The Beast in the Jungle
Closed 1h 45m
The Beast in the Jungle
79

The Beast in the Jungle NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(127 Ratings)
Positive
79%
Mixed
17%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great staging, Enchanting, Romantic, Great dancing, Ambitious

About the Show

The Vineyard presents this new adaptation of Henry James’s classic 1903 novella, which fuses dance, drama, and music in its telling of the powerful and romantic tale of love and loss.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (127)

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55 Reviews | 12 Followers
100
Exquisite, Absorbing, Enchanting, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if The dancing is outstanding--Irina Dvorovenko is a dream, and to be able to see her in such a small space isn't to be missed.

Don't see it if It is a story of a life wasted--destroyed by succumbing to fear, and, in particular, a fear of love, so it isn't "happy" in that sense.

139 Reviews | 26 Followers
100
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to experience a beautifully staged and acted play that is thought provoking and meaningful. The dancing is captivating. A must see

Don't see it if You prefer a movie or ballgame. There is nothing not to like!!

266 Reviews | 27 Followers
100
Must see, Marvelous dancing, Brilliant, Wonderful kander music, Glorious

See it if you love Tony Yazbeck' dancing, you enjoy ballet that includes dialog, you like a good story with superb choreography

Don't see it if you don't appreciate ballet; you like a more conventional musical that includes songs

VSG
243 Reviews | 67 Followers
97
Mesmerizing, Fantastic dancing, Exquisite, Enchanting, Intelligent

See it if brilliant music by Kander, choreography by Stroman, exquisite dancing by Yazbeck and Dvorovenko -inspired by H. James novella is your cup 'o

Don't see it if you are "dance blind", unsympathetic to inner wounds that might prohibit commitment and deep love, if you are anti-romantic and need lyrics. Read more

124 Reviews | 28 Followers
95
Enchanting, Great staging, Gorgeous lighting, Wonderful choreography, Great cast

See it if It's mesmerizing. The direction, the cast, the dancing, the lighting all lure you into the story. Beautiful night at the theater.

Don't see it if If you want more story than dancing. But the show will pull you in. Read more

186 Reviews | 367 Followers
95
Absorbing, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you love intelligent, creatively staging with beautiful John Kander music and stunning, intimate ballet dance interspersed throughout.

Don't see it if you hate dance, hate intelligent stories, or need very fast pacing and lots of constant motion. Read more

64 Reviews | 8 Followers
95
Enchanting, Great staging, Must see

See it if you want to see Yazbeck dance Stroman's dances. Go to see movement and design merged so smoothly, elegantly, & effortlessly. A visual treat!

Don't see it if you want something big, loud, brassy, riotous, upbeat, and in your face. You have to pay attention here if you want to be drawn in.

don
506 Reviews | 1010 Followers
95
Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Must see

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also Read more

Critic Reviews (35)

The New York Times
May 23rd, 2018

“While James’s ‘Beast’ is about life-denying emotional paralysis, this latest version focuses on the more active perils of promiscuity and its tedious cousin: commitment phobia...I was always happy to see the Beast, since it usually put a stop to the annoying dialogue and let Mr. Kander’s haunting, minor-key waltzes take over...The view of our leading lovers is blocked by a mountain of name-brand cultural baggage and cumbersome back stories."
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Time Out New York
May 23rd, 2018

“Adapted from a James novella in the sense that roadkill might be said to be adapted from a deer...The show squashes James’s elegant psychological study of repression into a vulgar, banal and laborious dance play. It has the guts to fail big, and those guts wind up everywhere...Long and wordless sequences of balletic dance...provide relief from the narrative...The respite is never enough. The beast is always there, lurking. The beast is in the play.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
May 23rd, 2018

“Sometimes beautiful, and often frustrating ‘dance play’...Despite the show’s attempts to take its audience places both romantic and dark, and despite Kander’s sweeping, often beautiful music, I fear I often felt resistant to its pull...The frustrating thing about Thompson, Kander, and Stroman’s take on James’s novella is that they reframe his study of nameless menace as an easier piece of psychology."
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New York Daily News
May 23rd, 2018

“Intriguing and semi-successful show...The dancing is strong and elegant. Dvorovenko is light on her feet and powerful. Yazbeck reeks ease and athleticism. But a twirling, leaping, posing chorus of women at times gets silly. As directed, Marcher's fear sometimes appears to be acute appendicitis. More distracting is clunky narration and dialogue that keeps interrupting the flow...Easy to admire for ambition, experimentation and fine performances, but it's a mixed bag."
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The Hollywood Reporter
May 23rd, 2018

“The cast is first-rate...But the bounty of talent counts for little in a tedious, inert piece that awkwardly shoehorns numerous dance interludes into a thin storyline...Dialogue is sparse...Dance sequences plentiful, but Stroman's ballet-inspired choreography quickly begins to feel repetitive...The overall effect is underwhelming, feeling constrained on the small stage. The same can be said of Kander's waltz-flavored score, which proves typically melodic but unmemorable.”
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The Observer
May 23rd, 2018

“While this creative team brings plenty of craft, the result is that of conventional artists straining to experiment. Tender slides into crass; subtlety jostles with overstatement. If Agnes de Mille unfurled a passion project, it might resemble this: pop-balletic passion that verges on pantomime silliness...That core triteness is never fully mitigated by swoony music or flashy dancing...Dance storytelling wedded to a talky book means that we grow over-informed about an already meager narrative."
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Theatermania
May 23rd, 2018

“It's a disappointing miss...Rarely has a show with this amount of virtuosic dance moved so sluggishly...Some of that is endemic to the source material, which is about as thrilling as a collection of run-on sentences about wasted time can be...Marcher's story has the potential to shake the soul by turning the commonplace into the mythic. Regrettably, Thompson's treatment makes it feel more like a made-for-TV cautionary tale...At least there's decent underscoring to distract us."
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Lighting & Sound America
May 24th, 2018

"The vulgarization of the original material wouldn't matter if 'The Beast in the Jungle' had a life of its own, but, without the presence of song to act as a bridge between the dialogue and movement scenes, this is an awkward dance-drama hybrid...Most of the time, 'The Beast in the Jungle' plays like a musical for which somebody forgot to hire a lyricist...Time and again, 'The Beast in the Jungle' is undone by its leaden book, especially the framing device."
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