Closed 1h 40m
The Fourth Wall
Midtown W
66

The Fourth Wall NYC Reviews and Tickets

66%
(84 Reviews)
Positive
46%
Mixed
43%
Negative
11%
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.

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Member Reviews (84)

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70
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.

79
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.

Critic Reviews (10)

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 taken on the stale aroma of said town...'The Fourth Wall' is essentially a New Yorker cartoon stretched to 90 minutes...Unfortunately, the cast doesn't elevate the mediocre material."
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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 can acknowledge as having seen…As relevant today as it was in the past...Really something quite special, as it keeps the momentum within a show that can easily fall into something of a lecture."
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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 Wall,' even in a really first-class production, offers not champagne, but the ginger ale for which the characters are forced to settle. In this case, the ginger ale is flat.”
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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 Burris does not help his cast to locate them in any way, shape or form, in the current, Theater Breaking Through Barriers production."
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June 10th, 2018

“A living room drama turned inside out, this meta-theatrical comedy proves to be more relevant than ever…‘The Fourth Wall’ is a little flimsy…The absurdist undertone is very compelling but I wished it were cranked up even more…Despite a few setbacks, 'The Fourth Wall' is a gratifying evening of theatre...Seeing TBTB smashing the perception of disability on stage—by casting actors with disabilities in roles not specifically written as such—is truly inspiring.”
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June 7th, 2018

"Gurney uses the characters and developments to spoof the artistic conventions playwrights and actors have to deal with, and, for a time, the play's stream of satiric tropes and theatrical references get some laughs. Well written...as it often is, the material loses steam…Gurney's critique of the scenic fourth wall…is surely intended for a proscenium arrangement, not Scott's three-quarters round configuration…[This] is a passable light comedy, given particular interest by its unique casting."
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June 18th, 2018

“In the right hands, ‘The Fourth Wall’ may muster more trenchant moments than this production; but here Gurney’s experimentation doesn’t pay off. Part of the problem lies with the writer, whose slender conceit is only mildly amusing and hasn’t been fully integrated with his political message...The well-meaning actors lack the light touch called for by the arch dialogue. Instead of bubbling like Prosecco, the production is sodden as milk toast.”
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M
June 7th, 2018

"Gurney's brilliance evident in sharp dialogues of his earlier works is MIA throughout this mishmash of theatrical structures that degenerates into a cacophonous calamity...'The Fourth Wall' tries too hard to be clever in constructing a new paradigm for playwriting. The incongruent concoction is a discordant drama that fails miserably."
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T
June 11th, 2018

"Under the guiding hand of director Christopher Burris, the nuances of absurdism and genuine human emotion are well-navigated by a talented cast...Set during George W. Bush’s presidency, many of the themes and issues resonate with today’s audiences, seen in light of the current administration’s 'leadership'...Gurney’s script has a few challenging moments...The satire is at times a lot to take, but the direction, performances, and design use the ridiculousness of the piece as intended."
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T
June 14th, 2018

“Accessible and timely...Though it wavers at times, this is a mostly enjoyable production...The cast does a fine job bringing this meta heavy production to life...Unfortunately, there is some over-acting in this play that bogs it down. This play has music in it by Cole Porter. Vaselli and Drabicki have stellar voices...Yet, the vocal talent of the entire cast is not equally matched...The play within a play conundrum causes some confusion for the audience.”
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