The Glory of the World
Closed 1h 22m
The Glory of the World

The Glory of the World NYC Reviews and Tickets

(20 Ratings)
Members say
Entertaining, Confusing, Great staging, Indulgent, Ambitious

About the Show

BAM presents a new play from writer-director duo Charles Mee and Les Waters centering on the Catholic monk and mystic Thomas Merton.

Read more Show less

Show-Score Member Reviews (20)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
50 Reviews | 22 Followers
Dizzying, Excruciating, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You don't mind things that don't tell you what to think. This show simply asks, "how do I live?".

Don't see it if you don't enjoy shouting and monotonous spastic (but amusing) physical movement.

154 Reviews | 20 Followers
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you'd enjoy an esoteric version of Animal House. Come for the Merton, stay for the giant fight melee!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays or hate slow beginnings & endings. Also, don't see it if you take your own philosophies too seriously.

97 Reviews | 64 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Intelligent, Indulgent

See it if you are open to spectacle: raucous abandon and freeform musings on manhood loosely tied to an historical figure. A philosophical bro comedy.

Don't see it if you want structure and plot OR a biography of Thomas Merton.

99 Reviews | 17 Followers
Entertaining, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Original

See it if You like unique theatrical experiences.

Don't see it if You prefer plays with linear stories and structured plots.

124 Reviews | 173 Followers
Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Confusing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a joyful, colorful show with a lot of chaos, you love physical theater.

Don't see it if you really want to see a straight-ahead play about Thomas Merton; you have an aversion to the cliches of avant garde theater.

178 Reviews | 281 Followers
Entertaining, Chaotic, Amusing, Uneven, Fun

See it if You like physical theater, are open-minded about irreverent approaches to profound questions, and would enjoy the spectacle of men at play.

Don't see it if You know/care about Merton (the link is faint), require a plot, dislike plotless hyper-physicality. A 20-min fight scene is 17 min too long

761 Reviews | 165 Followers
Confusing, Dizzying, Hilarious, Indulgent, Edgy

See it if You enjoy something unusual, experimental, inventive; you appreciate excess, you care more about presentation than narrative

Don't see it if You need narrative structure, you expect logic and sense, too much physical theater turns you off, you can't let things go

62 Reviews | 9 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if You're a Thomas Merton fan who wants to reexamine his legacy and question everything. Synchronized swimming or chainsaw battling abound

Don't see it if You expect the play to give you any answers or make any conclusions. So open-ended that it's clichéd. Ominously presented by all male cast

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
January 21st, 2016

"The dialogue tends to be overshadowed by the frantic antics...Only in its prologue and coda does the show provide some solid, graspable idea of Merton’s beliefs and practices. During these passages spiritual questions are projected onto the set...Granted, these queries can be gnomic and obscure, but at least they are food for real thought. Too much of 'The Glory of the World' consists of empty calories, like birthday cake with too much frosting."
Read more

Time Out New York
January 21st, 2016

"Much of the evening is spent in dance numbers or neon-lit mayhem, all of which seems to go on several moments too long...You may find yourself frustrated that a work about a thinker refuses to sustain any single thought. This, we realize in the show's final moments, is the point...By the end, the monk's decision to go into silence seems necessary, and bruised by the show that was, our own minds yearn towards it too."
Read more

AM New York
January 21st, 2016

"It seems as if Mee wants to emphasize the virtues of meditation by contrasting frenzied physical activity with its complete absence. But who wants to sit through 90 minutes of repeated nonsense juxtaposed against stillness? Others may find more meaning to it, or they may simply enjoy all the silly humor, but I personally found the Wikipedia entry on Merton more enlightening."
Read more

January 21st, 2016

"'The Glory of the World' feels hastily constructed and half-considered. Plot lines are introduced and then quickly abandoned…Les Waters directs with hyper-exuberance, as one would the workshop of a play that has not yet decided what it wants to be…'The Glory of the World' is a fascinating hodgepodge of whimsy. Still, it is difficult to say what sets this play — an extravagant diversion with the thinnest thematic veneer — apart from the latest Hollywood superhero flick."
Read more

February 2nd, 2016

"Sometimes lively, sometimes languid, sometimes amusing, sometimes frustrating production...Don't expect to learn much about Merton as the boys drink toasts, lip-sync, flex their guns and participate in a fourteen-minute battle royale of a brawl that's impressive in its execution but tiresome in its length....As abstract theatre goes, the piece certainly has its charms, though most of its individual moments, like clueless party guests, just don't know when to leave."
Read more

Front Row Center
January 26th, 2016

"'The Glory of the World' is billed as a birthday party for Thomas Merton, Catholic priest, author, social activist etc. And I’ll say it is. Is it ever. More than that, however, it is a present day mythic tale that could be titled 'What Happens When Men Get Together With No Adult Supervision'…When lesser-thans try Merton on for size, it is not a perfect fit. Nor should it be. It is, nevertheless, a fascinating evening. It may not be your cuppa...But it certainly is mine."
Read more

Arts International
January 25th, 2016

"I have to say that I enjoyed the show though I didn't understand the concept of the play. I wanted to learn more about Thomas Merton and how and why he chose seclusion, meditation and the silence."
Read more

Image Journal
January 22nd, 2016

"It recalls quite strongly the medieval Feast of Fools—a scandalous, almost blasphemous festival designed to turn the world upside down for a while…That sort of muddled, multi-faced origin is exactly right for 'The Glory of the World,' a party and a paean to a man who embodied contradiction, who turned his world upside...The play still manages to be shocking, even to an audience adjusted to misrule."
Read more