Already closed

The End of Longing

Members say: Disappointing, Cliched, Funny, Indulgent, Banal
57
Critics
43
31 reviews
Members
61
117 reviews
 

MCC Theater presents a bittersweet comedy about four dysfunctional not-so-young adults. Written by and starring Matthew Perry of 'Friends' fame.

... Read more

An alcoholic, an escort, a self-diagnosed neurotic, and a well-intentioned dimwit walk into a bar...Meet Jack, Stephanie, Joseph, and Stevie: four lost souls entering their forties and searching for meaning. Broken and deeply flawed, they find their lives irreversibly entwined no matter how hard they try to break free of one another. Also starring Jennifer Morrison ('Once Upon a Time,' 'House').

 

Cast & Creatives (11)


Reviews (148)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
43
Avg Score

45
Newsday

“Perry’s Off-Broadway debut isn’t very good…Jack is a slovenly, glib, often aggressive mess, and there’s a certain ‘been there, done that’ authenticity to Perry’s earnest portrayal. It’s less easy to buy that he’s also meant to be a charmer…Many feeble quips make you miss the ace ‘Friends’ writing room…The line between Perry and his alter ego appears to be thin, which makes the show, as clunky as it is, a strangely fascinating exercise in celebrity catharsis.” Full Review

40
Theatermania

"Mildly entertaining but mostly cringe-inducing...It's basically every rom-com you've ever seen, presented in 100 minutes of predictable plot development and lowest-common-denominator jokes. At least director Posner gives this apparition from the '90s an attractive production...The performances are also decent...Jack...delivers a tearful monologue to an AA meeting. The moment is brave and slightly uncomfortable, but it still doesn't salvage 'The End of Longing' from being a giant cliché." Full Review

35
BroadwayWorld

“Midway through the proceedings switch from sex comedy to addiction drama…At this point it becomes apparent that Perry has written a role that he seems incapable of convincingly acting…Perry begins the play as a parade of gag lines that place his characters into well-known types, so when he calls on matters to get serious, there's no dramatic foundation…I can't imagine the play being accepted by a company of this stature without a celebrity's name attached to it.” Full Review

55
Variety

"Lindsay Posner’s direction doesn’t give the actors any way to rise above their stereotypes...Only Kim, with her natural comedic gifts, manages to get an honest laugh from the corny repartee...There’s no question that Perry put his heart into this play, this role, this moment of truth — and the redemptive purging it promises. But the whole enterprise is so self-serving, it really doesn’t need an audience to do its job." Full Review

20
Time Out New York

"The play spends 100 minutes feeding at rock bottom, alternating between coarse quasi-humor, strained melodrama and maudlin romance. Many of the lines seem to think they are jokes, but forget to include the joke part...Writing this play may have been a therapeutic exercise for Perry, who has battled alcohol and drug addiction; you can sense him sweating out the toxins. That’s commendable but personal. The public result is a sweaty, toxic play that only makes you long for an ending." Full Review

45
The Hollywood Reporter

"Squashes its attempt at tackling dark themes with a glib approach that ill-serves both the subject matter and the performers...The playwright’s inexperience becomes evident from the paper-thin characterizations and lack of credible plotting...Perry at least demonstrates that his extensive TV comedy experience has rubbed off. The evening features many amusing one-liners...Posner keeps the proceedings effectively fast-paced...But he’s unable to infuse the evening with emotional authenticity." Full Review

40
The New York Times

"If Jack is convincingly darker than your typical sitcom denizen, Mr. Perry doesn’t have the verbal and dramaturgical skills as an author to take the play—his first—where the character is leading...With few exceptions, the play remains trite even as it approaches seriousness...Under the direction of Lindsay Posner, 'The End of Longing' seems like staged television...Perry has written a synthetic play that mostly points out just how much better 'Friends' was written." Full Review

55
New York Theater

"Perry’s bravery and his star appeal, along with Lindsay Posner’s swift direction and the competence of the three other cast members, help make MCC’s production of 'The End of Longing' come off as better than the script deserves...His characters are all one-note...Very little of it feels plausible. This is largely because much of the dialogue is stilted and strained, especially the attempts at humor." Full Review

30
Lighting & Sound America

“Perry succumbs to the superficialities and easy gag-slinging of the sitcom format...The relationships are so thinly conceived as to beggar belief; the one fundamental requirement of the genre—that the audience care about the couples getting together—is left glaringly unfulfilled…Posner's direction is slick, but there is little he can do with a script that substitutes gag lines for character insights...The play that Perry seems to be going for needs to be much funnier—and much sadder.” Full Review

60
Front Row Center

"A well-intentioned homage to hope...The play, not surprisingly, has a sitcom flavor to it. The scenes are short and melodramatic...The play begins with a premise that we do not believe. The story plugs along, however...Perry writes some very funny lines...The good news is that Perry has created characters that are not the cookie-cutter variety...Only in the final scenes does his writing border on sophomoric...It is not great theatre, but it does stick with you." Full Review

50
Theatre's Leiter Side

“A woozy rom-com that isn't quite able to walk the straight line without wobbling…The friendships between Jeffrey and Jack and Stephanie and Stevie lack basic credibility. Perry provides so little about these people apart from their most obvious characteristics, it's hard to see them as little more than superficial figures whose raison d'être is to differ sharply from one another…Perry is a believable drunk but his character is too unappetizing to make his romance with Stephanie plausible.” Full Review

0
AM New York

"Embarrassingly terrible. So bad, in fact, that I find it hard to believe that any random person who attends this contrived, mawkish, painfully unfunny and utterly pointless star vehicle can’t write something better...It’s disconcerting that MCC Theater agreed to produce the play, which proves that even a much-respected not-for-profit will put on a play by a once-popular TV actor, regardless of its quality." Full Review

75
The Clyde Fitch Report

"When playwright Perry lets Jack loose to be who he really becomes, actor Perry holds nothing back — not the anger, not the long-hidden fear, not the incipient paunch creeping over his belt. It’s a brave performance because it’s implicit that Perry, who famously battled opioid and alcohol addiction, is impersonating himself...'The End of Longing' is another way for Perry to send his sobering message forward. He’s done it rather well. Let’s raise a flute of sparkling water to him." Full Review

45
New York Daily News

"Perry’s reach exceeds his grasp—and then some—in 'The End of Longing,' a contrived comedy-drama...Even when the play seeks to go to deeper places about prostitution and alcoholism and, quite literally, matters of life and death, the script is mired in superficiality and implausibility...Even though the characters are sketchy stick figures, the cast, directed by Lindsay Posner, offers some relief...Perry needs to up his one-note performance—and be quick about it." Full Review

35
Front Mezz Junkies

"Directed shabbily by Lindsay Posner...The redeeming part of this mess of a play, is in the secondary characters. Both total stereotypes but played with such heart and commitment that we can’t help but love them...With no real believability between the two leads, and no dramatic arc that we can get behind, this feels like a huge waste of time, energy, and money. It needs a strong assist from a caring writer, a better lead actor, and a firmer grasp on reality." Full Review

40
TheaterScene.net

"Mawkish, rudimentary and with the plausibility only found in Hollywood scenarios…Perry’s characters are equally as trite, but are ably brought to life by the uniformly committed cast…Posner’s snappy staging, the sensitive performances, and the technically accomplished presentation do make this poor play watchable. ‘The End ’ ends up really just having the curiosity value of experiencing a celebrity performer acquitting himself well in a deficient vehicle of his own design.” Full Review

60
Bob's Theater Blog

"I could not get past the implausibility of a gorgeous, smart woman settling for a downbeat older lush. The pairing of a tightly wound texting addict with an easygoing construction worker was only slightly more plausible...While a failure on many levels, the play does have some good one-liners...Lindsay Posner's direction is brisk, perhaps to prevent us from having too much time to think about the play’s flaws." Full Review

55
The Wrap

"Begins as a sexy, trite sitcom but halfway through turns into the kind of treacly TV drama that populated the major networks before cable came to the rescue...Abrasion does not begin to describe the Stevie character or Kim’s performance...Dunn-Baker, sporting one of those comfy lumberjack beards, gives a relatively quiet, unforced performance. He’s a welcome respite in this play, frenetically directed by Lindsay Posner." Full Review

45
CitiTour

"Chock-full of witty sitcom banter and deadly truths about alcoholism. That these polar opposites sit somewhat uneasily within the same 100-minute piece should be unsurprising...Directed with a certain flatness by Lindsay Posner...Perry proves to have some considerable dramatic chops...Unfortunately, and this is where the play truly falls short of its goal, Perry (as both writer and star) can’t really make us believe that Stephanie would want to forge a serious relationship with Jack." Full Review

40
WNBC

“A sitcom-like rom-com that, regrettably, is neither amorous nor very funny…Many times the plot strains credulity…Perry at times seems uncomfortable with his own material, setting up jokes without waiting for the lines to sink in…There are glimpses of genuine humor and humanity along the way, particularly in the closing monologue Perry has written for himself, but they’re not enough to sustain matters…Derek McClane’s set is one of the best things here.” Full Review

30
Broadway & Me

"The premise of 'The End of Longing' strains credulity...There are only two things that make this show even passably noteworthy. The first is that it's written by and stars Matthew Perry...The second is that Perry has waged his own battles against booze and drugs and has become a major advocate for drug rehabilitation programs...Those experiences inform Jack's climactic speech about the challenges of staying sober. It's the most genuine thing in the play. But, alas, it's not enough to save it." Full Review

35
Theater Pizzazz

"After listening to layer upon layer of sarcasm, constant swearing, and the obvious writing style of a TV sitcom, replete with some comical one-liners, we must wonder why this production, that already had a run on London’s West End last year, has ventured abroad to land at the Lucille Lortel Theatre! The cliché of the story surely doesn’t have a unique punch line...The play wears thin as it progresses...It felt so stilted and orchestrated that I longed for the ending!" Full Review

40
Towleroad

“About as vacuous and void of nuance as the clear, empty liquor bottles stacked into Derek McLane’s shiny reversible set...This is fiction, but it’s also pure male fantasy…Kim and Dunn-Baker have a natural chemistry and ease on stage. But the same cannot be said of Perry, whose rather robotic performance is a far cry from the on-screen roles for which he’s known. It doesn’t help that Jack and Stephanie are written as little more than stock characters." Full Review

40
CurtainUp

"The 100 minutes...do exhibit author Perry's flair for writing bits of barbed and brittle repartee. What passes for a plot in which four egregiously underdeveloped characters are put in a progression of queasily predictable situations is otherwise lamentable...Perry, for all his earnestness in the script or in his performance, doesn't give us any clues as to what his four characters see in each other—either romantically or as conduits to a better life." Full Review

70
Off Off Online

“Perry can still deliver a comic line with snap, and he brings a world-weariness and desperation to the part as well as a fearlessness in showing the character’s self-absorption…Yet Perry’s determination as a playwright to show the worst does carry a danger. Some viewers may be pushed to a point of losing any emotional investment in the character, even in director Posner’s stylish production. If ‘The End of Longing’ is not a great or memorable play, it is still a solid piece of work.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
61
Avg Score

78
Thought-provoking, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a HUMAN play that may have flaws but can be moving.

Don't see it if you sense it may be sitcomy at times.

20
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if you would see Matthew Perry in ANYTHING

Don't see it if you value your time AT ALL. Oh my god, this was torture. Just awful.

5
Lazy, The worst, Poison, Astoundingly tone-deaf, Just plain sad

See it if you get off by eavesdropping unproductive AA meetings. Perry does an uncanny Bill O'Reilly impression, too, if that's your thing.

Don't see it if you're alive. This play is narcissism made tangible. It will only hurt you.

Also The only thing sadder than watching this play die onstage is knowing t... Read more Read less

70
Funny, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if a honest portrayal of addiction and how it affects the human spirit.

Don't see it if your bothered by alcoholism and sexual addiction.

56
Funny, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Want to give kudos to Matthew Perry for writing a play.

Don't see it if You want any kind of substance and non-sophomoric theatre.

80
Quirky, Interesting, Entertaining, Humorous, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of Matthew Perry, if you enjoy a tale of dysfunctional romance or if you just enjoy an entertaining night of dramedy.

Don't see it if you dislike dysfunctional romantic dramedies, or are looking for a transformative play. This play is for entertainment purposes only.

Also Matthew Perry, a decade after Friends concluded, still has a very acti... Read more Read less

62
Funny, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you want to see a somewhat funny play starring Matthew Perry, you like stories about alcoholism and couples trying to work things out.

Don't see it if a personal project by Matthew Perry based on his own alcoholic past is too indulgent for you. Decent effort & intention, but poorly written.

62
Funny, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Predictable

See it if you're a big fan of Matthew Perry. There are some interesting moments & a few laughs, but the play itself doesn't sustain any bigger ideas

Don't see it if you're looking for real drama. Pretty sure MCC wouldn't have produced it without a big name TV star. My friend left after 30 min.

70
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if Great for TV aficionados, All four cast members do the job. Interesting look at alcohol and commitment problems.

Don't see it if You cannot relate to people who are narrowly focused

71
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Indulgent, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you're probably going as a fan of Matthew or Jennifer, which is fine

Don't see it if you're very critical (I'm just noting that some of them really hated it)

50
Relevant, Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you want to see two TV actors perform on stage not bad. Mathew Perry writes somewhat auto bio maybe relevant play. Could have been better

Don't see it if slow over play dialogue and some what boring play is not your thing

35
Disappointing, Cliched, Slow, Fluffy

See it if you are NOT into theater and want to say you saw Matt Perry on stage

Don't see it if you want to see something that is well written or unpredictable.

Also Perry wrote this play and in the talk back following the show he said ... Read more Read less

66
Indulgent, Disappointing, Insipid, Well staged, Unbelievable

See it if you think tv sitcom dialogue is the height of sophistication

Don't see it if you aren't devoted to Matthew Perry

60
Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Slow

See it if You're a fan of Matthew Perry or Jennifer Morrison. She was excellent; he was typical of recent acting projects.

Don't see it if You're looking for a great story or something unique. Others i know loved it, but this wasn't for me. I found it cliched, sad, implausible.

76
Funny, Intelligent, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if A happier "Sexual Perversity in Chicago." Fun. Nice performances.

Don't see it if Isn't as deep as it wants to be.

83
Great acting, Must see, Quirky, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if Phenomenal web of human emotions and relationships and how we suffer. Great writing, and if you love Chandler Bing, you'll love this

Don't see it if You hated Chandler Bing

75
Raunchy, Indulgent, Uncomfortable, All over the place, Stiff acting

See it if If you like Matthew Perry's portrayal of Oscar Madison, racheted up to a pathetic bully. You like stories about disfunctional and desperate

Don't see it if people. If you are looking for Chandler Bing. Matthew Perry need more rehearsal and more stage experience.

Also I liked the show's portrayal of imperfect people. I felt that Matthew ... Read more Read less

68
Indulgent, Cliched, Decent

See it if A decent show, formulated like a sitcom (with pauses so you know when to laugh, and rather surface-y) with a strong supportive cast.

Don't see it if You expect Chandler Bing; you expect a play that delves into addiction to say something profound and personal.

53
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Not especially well written or acted. See it if you like Matthew Perry even if he is a lost alcoholic in the play.

Don't see it if If you expect to see a well constructed drama.

70
Cliched, Slow, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if had VERY low expectations, so enjoyed it more. Perry's personal therapy session. The other actors were solid!

Don't see it if You want a really well done play. Feels sitcom-y. Jokes are set up. Wants to be deep, but isn't.

69
Indulgent, Disappointing, Yawn

See it if you love Matthew Perry.His performance was weak, and his writing even weaker.The play was predictable, cliched, & badly acted by 3/4 of cast

Don't see it if you are looking for a tight, well written play.This is just a ho-hum play very badly acted.Only 1 character was believable.

75
Funny, Absorbing, Relevant, Truthful, soul-bearing

See it if you want to see a semi-autobiographical play about an alcoholic & how it affects his life and his friends, based on Mathew Perry's situation

Don't see it if you don't like plays with heavy cursing and about the destructive nature of alcoholics and the affect it has on their lives and friend's.

60
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if A fan of Friends TV show and a chance to see Matthew Perry on stage in a play he wrote.

Don't see it if The use of foul language and drunkenness is not you type of entertainment.

72
Great acting, Quirky, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to see Mathew Perry. A play about addiction, friendships and relationships, one plausible, one highly unlikely.

Don't see it if You expect to see Chandler Bing. Perry is the weakest of the actors.

55
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Slow

See it if Perry & Morrison one dimensional as leads but Kim & Dunn-Baker (stage pros) enliven the sub plot about real commitment but to no avail

Don't see it if Dark, serious subject matter - alcoholism & high-end prostitution -treated in facile, glib sit-com manner and the jokes are stale too boot!