Already closed | 1h 45m | Gramercy

The Beast in the Jungle

From 127 member  reviews
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. More…

From composer John Kander, Tony-nominated playwright David Thompson, and five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman, 'The Beast in the Jungle' is the story of John Marcher, a man haunted by personal demons, whose great yet unfulfilled love affair with an unforgettable woman spans decades and continents. With a waltz-inspired instrumental score, and choreography that traverses the worlds of ballet and contemporary dance, this reunites the creative team behind 'The Scottsboro Boys.'

1h 45m | Already closed | Vineyard Theatre (Gramercy)

Member Reviews (127)


Great staging, Enchanting, Romantic, Great dancing, Ambitious
Avg Score

Melodramatic, Romantic, Cliched, Great dancing, Banal

See it if you want to see a superb debut by ABT's Dvorovenko in an otherwise 2nd rate "dance play" from a crack creative team a bit off their game.

Don't see it if Thompson's trite, mawkish & histrionic dialogue will spoil ur enjoyment of Stro's dance (which speaks well enough for itself) & Ebb's music.

Cliched, Disappointing, Romantic, Banal, Quirky

See it if A stalwart actor (Friedman) a great B'way hoofer (Yazbeck) & legendary composer (Kander) are among the collateral damage in this miscarriage

Don't see it if Nothing quite gels in this dance/literary drama It should be elegant & subtle; it's overblown & insipid Book is leaden & choreo uninspired

Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Must see

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also

Also Partner's 100% ( A first) and my 90%.. Spectacular dance. Great lighti... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Great dancing, Innovative, Dark

See it if enjoy dance used to tell a story, with live musicians, like outstanding dancers led by Tony Yazbeck. & created by Susan Stroman as a romance

Don't see it if Don't like stories told entirely in dance with hardly any dialogue, expect singing in musicals, not a fan of Tony Yazbeck, not a romantic

Powerful dancing by yazbeck is reason to see this dance drama; choreography meh: susan stroman of "the girl in the yellow dress" fame, what happened?

See it if 2 see up close Tony Y in signature slashing style, fine ballerina Irina Dvorovenko/dance troupe in uber emo tale of love thwarted

Don't see it if showing how Y's “inner beast” derails happiness so over the top almost satire; Kander's music/Stroman's choreography not inspiring

Enchanting, Great dancing, Romantic, Entertaining, Great writing

See it if you want to be swept off your feet by a lovely, romantic show with a simple (but not simplistic) story and beautifully performed ballet.

Don't see it if dance isn’t your thing, or you’re too macho to appreciate a beautiful love story.

Great staging, Slow, Romantic, Disappointing, Trite

See it if You love dance set to music that sounds classical, but is newly-composed.

Don't see it if You’re expecting a musical (there’s no singing), or classic John Kander music. While the music is lovely, the play is too simple and bland.

Great staging, Entertaining, Romantic, Great dancing! music!!

See it if You like dance plays with music by Kander, directed by Stroman. Lead dancers Yazbeck & ABT’s Dvorovenko allow you to forgive the plot.

Don't see it if You need the usual big time musical, with extravagant dance numbers, songs, big plot, scenery & costumes, dialogue, etc.

Also I stayed for the talkback with Susan Stroman and the cast.This is a da... Read more Read less

Vacuos, Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if I really cant. I was so looking forward to this and could not wait for it to end.

Don't see it if You want three dimensional characters doing anything of interest. Redundant, repetitive. Misses the point entirely.

Entertaining, Great staging, Great dancing, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if you like romantic stories, wonderful dancing, and heavy narration, love ballet - Ms. Dvorovenko is wonderful

Don't see it if you want to see more of Tony Yazbeck's dancing and less narration

Also "The Women" were wonderful and it was fun how their circular numbers t... Read more Read less

Cliched, Ambitious, Great dancing

See it if you're a Tony Yazbeck fan or want to see delightful choreography by Susan Stroman.

Don't see it if you're expecting a well-written play. This could be beautiful as a dance piece, but minus the dialogue...

Mesmerizing, Exquisite dancing, Sometimes cliché storylines compensated by creative storytelling technique, Sensual, Imaginative & poetic

See it if a visual feast of dance, choreography, art, and abstractions offering a cautionary tale of self-trust and using time meaningfully appeals.

Don't see it if you prefer storytelling not issued through some (exceptional!) dances; disapprove of extramarital affairs; need shocking or happy endings.

Also An admirer of both Henry James' works and Tony Yazbeck, I hoped to fal... Read more Read less

Beautiful music, Heartbreaking

See it if See if if you like Kander's music, and enjoy dance.

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of Kander's music, or the dark and sad themes he seems to be attracted to. I'm not a huge fan of the story.

Also This is ultimately a love story about a man with a mental health issue... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Ambitious, Great dancing, Indulgent

See it if you want to see some great dance pieces and hear some lovely Kander melodies.

Don't see it if you're looking for a coherent, story-line. There are some terrific visual images, but the plot is repetitious,

Ambitious, Intelligent, Great dancing, Great score, Great acting

See it if You love drama told through dance with connecting dialog , a musical without lyrics or a dance with words , whatever , it works

Don't see it if You don't like dance or drama

Banal, Indulgent, Slow

See it if and only if you are a fan of Tony Yazbeck.

Don't see it if a dance play is not something you find particularly enjoyable.

Haunting, Beautiful, Great dancing, Romantic, Must see

See it if You want to see a haunting and beautiful show in an intimate space. Yazbeck and Dvorovenko shine and Friedman is brilliant.

Don't see it if You don't like shows that use dance to tell the story, although it is beautifully done here.

Also This show is unique, heartbreaking, captivating, and beautiful. I didn... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Great staging, Romantic, Great dancing

See it if you like ballet or dance shows that have a little bit more of a set story.

Don't see it if you are not a dance fan.

Absorbing, Great staging, Romantic, Charming, Poignant

See it if a fellow fan of Tony Yazbeck or Peter Friedman—both give compelling performances—or of John Kander, whose music is emotional & exquisite.

Don't see it if you demand a traditional play, void of dance or music, or want grittier material or more character development. My advice: Don't miss this!

Different, Great staging, Great acting, Great dancing

See it if you want to see something very different. This is a play with dance. Susan Stoman created gorgeous choreography with top-notch acting.

Don't see it if you do not like dance. The play is 75% dance and 25% dialogue.

Banal, Cliched, Insipid, Slow, Fine dancing

See it if Decent dancing and a tuneful music are enough for you to like a show.

Don't see it if You cannot abide a dreadful book and completely unlikeable characters.

Disappointing, Overly sentimental

See it if fine actors and dancers in uninspired choreography and a weak script

Don't see it if repetitive and mundane music and a sentimental melodrama are not for you

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

Ambitious, Confusing, Great staging, Romantic, Quirky

See it if Peter Friedman gives weight and gravity at its center; Dvovorenko and Yazbeck are perfectly cast in their multi-tool roles

Don't see it if Story is a bit obtuse, predictable and simplistic; stellar Stroman work only dresses up so much

Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow, Cliched

See it if You want to see Tony Yazbeck shirtless. It was just about the only thing that kept my attention during this 100 min slog of a "dance play."

Don't see it if You're expecting to catch light in a bottle twice after the success of The Scottsboro Boys. There's very little to enjoy here.

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 hauntin...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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......
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