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The Fourth Wall

From 84 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Clever, Dated, Ambitious

About the show

Theater Breaking Through Barriers presents A.R. Gurney's theatrical meta-comedy about the intersection between real life and life on stage. More…

Peggy has redecorated the living room and her husband, Roger, can't stand it. Peggy's usual exquisite taste has been overcome by a mysterious lapse which caused her to redo the room as if it were a stage set. Everything faces one wall, 'The Fourth Wall,' and everyone who enters the room begins to behave as if they were acting in a play. Troubled by this odd behavior, Roger calls in the local theatre professor in the hopes that he can "doctor" Peggy's “play,” break 'The Fourth Wall,' and bring the madness to a close. 

Member Reviews (84)


Slow, Disappointing, Clever, Dated, Ambitious
Avg Score

Ambitious, Dated, Funny, Intelligent

See it if It is a different Gurney type play, very funny at times with good acting and directing.

Don't see it if This show needed an intermission. If you don't like Gurney.

Clever, Resonant, Quirky, Political

See it if you are a A.R. Gurney fan who enjoys both the experimental and didactic aspects of his writing. Yes, the world is indeed a stage.

Don't see it if you are put off by the "message play" that sometimes tries too hard to make a point at the expense of just drama on the stage or this room.

Disappointing, Dated, Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if You like out of the box shows with quirky characters.

Don't see it if You want to laugh. You want a complex plot.

Quirky, Slow, Amusing

See it if If you love Cole Porter and enjoy a simple plot line that makes fun of the obvious. Solid acting.

Don't see it if You don’t love Cole Porter. This show is Lso not for you if you would find a play that wants to be a musical annoying.

Entertaining, Funny, Indulgent, Great staging, Confusing

See it if you are a fan of A.R. Gurney and enjoy the chance to see one of his less known plays.

Don't see it if You prefer very straightforward plays that don't mix genres. Only expect perfection.

Also The production also demonstrates how differently-enabled performers ca... Read more Read less

Great staging, Ambitious, Slow, Disappointing

See it if If you enjoy good writing.

Don't see it if if you enjoy fast moving action and expect excellent acting.

Edgy, Relevant, Funny, Entertaining, Indulgent

See it if you love A.R. Gurney, intelligent albeit somewhat self-indulgent writing, and period pieces that are relevant now, you get TBTB productions

Don't see it if you don't like a combination of expressionistic and realistic theatre which doesn't always mesh the two adeptly

Also TBTB beautifully integrates and features actors with disabilities into... Read more Read less

Must see, Profound, Enchanting

See it if Acted in the round by handicapped people is brilliant. Blind, wheel chair bound etc fade into the background with riveting acting of Classic

Don't see it if You are put off by AR Gurney classic style, don’t care for drama, don’t like sitting in the middle of the action, all within 3 rows of stage

Intelligent, Sub par acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see something which tries to deal with larger ideas and philosophies. Some good jokes.

Don't see it if You are easily annoyed by some actors. Get bored with repetitive humor. Don't like being pandered to.

Dated, Slow, Confusing, Singing, Psychological

See it if you like to have something to discuss for the rest of the night. Also, if you like open (no-borders) casting.

Don't see it if you like a play that is easily categorized and easy to follow.

Thought-provoking, Confusing, Quirky, Cliched, Dated

See it if You like AR Gurney’s writing and if you enjoy theatre in the round.

Don't see it if You only like musicals.

Dated, Slow, Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you like a time-capsule of late Bush administration sentiment. The set was beautiful.

Don't see it if you're a fan of good acting.

Ambitious, Quirky, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You like thought-provoking, socially conscious theater.

Don't see it if You need a well made play.

During previews
Excruciating, Slow, Poorly directed, Dated, A clever idea

See it if You don’t mind sitting through 100 minutes for a handful of laughs. An interesting idea, that doesn’t work. Nice set.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see 4 actors work really hard for nothing. It’s staged really odd and the actors often speak and face away from you.

During previews
Clever, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you want to support an earnest theater co. tackling a Pirandello-esque comedy about theatrical conventions, activism & patrician domesticity

Don't see it if u don't enjoy Gurney's slice-of-WASP-life plays; u expect a routine drawing room comedy; u can't abide clunky pacing that lessens the comedy

During previews
Dated, Dull, Well-meaning, Poorly executed, Clever premise

See it if you are a Gurney completist & need to see the revised version of a not-so-frequently revived play.

Don't see it if you are not looking to spend your evening watching 4 game actors trying to beat some comic life into a dated patchwork of a script.

Also The ending of “The Fourth Wall” is bracing. 2 of the play’s 4 characte... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Funny, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if Ave. of an 80% and a 75%. Some great lines esp. for theater people. Great set. An "early" Gurney needed a production. Staff so nice at ART.

Don't see it if Repetitious at times. Location of the site still a problem to be solved.

During previews
Disappointing, Funny, Banal, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you're a fan of Gurney & never seen this play before, support TBTB's mission and programs, enjoy pop culture references

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Gurney, don't like comedy that is not really funny, expect livier, peppier shows

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if the theater as a subject attracts you. The play is an extended metaphor with excellent performances.

Don't see it if you prefer action to clever dialogue. Also the 3/4 round seating does not serve the performance, try to sit in the center section of seats.

During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Meta, Fluffy

See it if You're familiar w/Gurney & want to see his hallmark themes w/a lighter touch & musical numbers. You enjoy meta references.

Don't see it if You prefer classic, more well-known Gurney. You don't like plays w/music. You dislike meta.

During previews
Bad acting, Meta, Excruciating, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you enjoy A.R. Gurney or meta comedies. The representation of actors with disabilities is inspiring.

Don't see it if bad acting and indulgent writing turn you off. Some performances are better than others, but they’re all either wooden or unconvincing.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a very unusual drama about the theater and politics. Very good use of the stage and very witty and humorous dialogue.

Don't see it if you are a Republican without humor. George W is main target but even deceased Barbara Bush gets a hit..

Also A must see if you are a Gurney fan. Try not to buy a seat in the secon... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Slow, Great staging, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you are a Gurney fan, enjoy witty conversation, many theater and political references, oddball singing thrown in with player piano.

Don't see it if you need total realism in plot and don't like to have to think about what you are hearing or actors overcoming disabilities successfully.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate AR Gurney. This is a good production of a fun play

Don't see it if You aren’t a fan of Gurney and you need a tradional plotline.

During previews
Great set / staging, Lacks musicality, Solid community theatre effort, Lesser gurney, Food for thought

See it if support Theater Breaking Thru Barriers, see seldom done AR Gurney, love player pianos & Cole Porter, want the 4th wall broken

Don't see it if dislike drawing room comedy with a twist, some unmusical singing, player pianos, A.R. Gurney's WASPY world, won't trek to 10th Ave

June 7th, 2018
"TBTB admirably gives opportunities for disabled actors to perform in professional productions, so it is baffling that they would waste resources on such a rusty clunker...The play has aged terribly in the last 16 years, as the novelty of 'Urinetown'-style metatheatrical humor has increasingly ta...
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June 16th, 2018
"For the show's first Off-Broadway revival, A.R. Gurney is represented by a talented production team and cast who bring one of his lesser-done shows to celebrated life...The collaborative efforts of a diverse cast are proven successful in this rather momentous production of a show not many people...
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June 8th, 2018
“Burris and Scott have altered the landscape of Gurney's satire, and in doing so they have nearly done away with it altogether...A cast that demonstrates no affinity for this sort of artifice; instead, they perform in a variety of clashing styles, none of which suit Gurney's comedy...'The Fourth ...
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June 15th, 2018
"Though A.R. Gurney chose a familiar definition of the theater as the title for his 1992 play, 'The Fourth Wall' ultimately proves to be less about the theater than about its four characters. And although these four characters are straightforward enough as written by Gurney, director Christopher ...
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