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

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

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.

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...

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,

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.

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

Ambitious, Disappointing, Romantic, Slow

See it if you want to see what the powerhouse creative team came up with, even if it falls short of expectations. Just okay for such big hitters.

Don't see it if you want to see a play with dance or see a dance with dialogue - it falls short on both so doesn't fully satisfy either.


See it if You Love Dance. If the physical story is enough for you.

Don't see it if you're looking for depth. There's not much here past the production values.

Banal, Forced, Twee

See it if um, I guess, you like seeing Tony Yazbek dance?

Don't see it if you are a fan of the novella. Yeesh.

Great dancing, Slow

See it if you love dance

Don't see it if you are looking for an actual play or deep story. The story could have been condensed to 5 minutes.

Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Unique

See it if you want to see a visually gorgeous show with storytelling told through acting, dancing, puppetry, lighting, music & staging.

Don't see it if you want a happily ever after or don't want to be left thinking. Also if you want big showstopping production numbers.

Also I thought it was a lovely show, but it just didn't completely click fo... Read more Read less

Insipid, Dizzying, Great dancing

See it if the dancing ia great but...

Don't see it if ... the story is insipid

During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Great singing, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if Has great dancing and staging. The lead is terrific.

Don't see it if You want what seems to be the same music over and over. This one can get away from you, boring at times.

During previews
Hokey, Sexy, Handsome, Muddled, Uneven

See it if a little sexy dancing & a brilliant supporting actor make an evening for you.

Don't see it if hybrids of theater & dance leave you cold.

Also This is not Henry James & I do not care. Creators should make the best... Read more Read less

During previews
Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Misses the emotional mark, Nice dancing

See it if you want to see what's on Kander's mind post-Ebb.

Don't see it if You like freshness in your musicals.

Also A sour take on memory, aging, and regrets with a strong cast, mostly w... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Well staged, Unengaging

See it if you are interested in a musical play that replaces songs with expressionistic dancing. A strong cast. Stroman's choreography uneven.

Don't see it if you expect the "plot" to be dramatized. Most of the story is told through monologues and rarely does the production show v. tell emotions.

Also The lighting is extraordinary.

During previews
Ambitious, Confusing, Great dancing, Overwrought

See it if You LOVE dance. The dancing is absolutely beautiful. And Tony Yazbeck, wow!! So handsome and moves so beautifully.

Don't see it if You don’t like dance, and/or aren’t familiar with the novella this show is based on. I found myself getting disinterested easily.

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if Like Kander's music, score is excellent; like danced drama.

Don't see it if Dialogue is stilted; choreography poor, even though by Stroman. Performances don't stand a chance with poor material, except fine score.

During previews
Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if The dancing and choreography are amazing, visually very beautiful at times and great staging. The dancers are all wonderful

Don't see it if the same music throughout the 1 1/2 hours, it becomes rather boring the lead actor not a sympathetic, likable character…

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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