The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord
Closed 1h 25m
The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord NYC Reviews and Tickets

(139 Reviews)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Clever, Ambitious, Slow

About the Show

Primary Stages presents the NY premiere of this comedy in which three of history’s most famous men debate everything from religion to literature to marriage.

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Member Reviews (139)

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716 Reviews | 157 Followers
Clever, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Slow

See it if you're an academic fan of any of the three title characters, curious as to how playwright gets them together, like rambling conversations

Don't see it if if lengthy conversations often about nothing bore you, want historical figures to be more dynamic, want more than just a glimpse of them

512 Reviews | 79 Followers
Slow, Boring, Disappointing

See it if you like philosophical discussions. I found it excruciatingly dull and pompous. It's all talk, no plot, no character.

Don't see it if you can avoid it. Dull, pedantic, boring, repetitive.

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if Interesting concept, good performances. Asks good questions about moral issues. Attractively and minimally staged

Don't see it if Makes you work a bit. Might not interest those bored by historical figures or the Gospels.

394 Reviews | 70 Followers
Too clever for its own good............................

See it if you enjoy being in a room listening to “intellectuals” one upping each other.

Don't see it if you were expecting a meeting of the minds coming together by means of some time and space continuum for the purpose to debate each others. Read more

379 Reviews | 69 Followers
Clever, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you are a fan of either man, if you like shows that tickle your intellect, or if you like religious discussions. Minor weak slower parts.

Don't see it if you prefer shows with lighter themes, you do not like religious or introspective discourse or are not interested in either of these men.

341 Reviews | 72 Followers
Stoppard-esque, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy an occasional cerebral workout tantamount to cramming for an exam. My mind felt so refreshed, like a breeze swept the cobwebs.

Don't see it if You don't want to think about the piece during the show, or after. While it's brief, if intellectual sparring is not for you, skip it.

311 Reviews | 59 Followers
Disappointing, Pretentious

See it if you want to see a strange discussion of what the Bible should be as three writers of note babble all about it.

Don't see it if you don't like babbly plays that are nearly monologues.

213 Reviews | 45 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if you want an interesting intellectual discourse; the interplay between the titular characters is both funny and intelligent

Don't see it if you want action, realism, or a true plot

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
October 1st, 2017

"The surprises of this ambitiously conceived, modestly realized work are pretty much over once you’ve accepted its fanciful premise...Even when they’re over-emoting these characters seem to be mechanically ticking off boxes on a purgatory registration form, about not only their theories of Jesus but also their own hypocrisies...There’s only so much variation that can be wrung on the common knowledge-confirming, music-hall characterizations of these men."
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Time Out New York
October 1st, 2017

"Carter's maddeningly dull 'Discord' is the play a college kid writes after reading 'No Exit' and wondering if people get—like really get—that faith is tricky...After a few confessions, delivered with maximum self-importance, the dead celebs pick up notepads and, as projected stage directions inform us, ‘write.’ What are they writing?...It's unclear, but at least it points to the end of the show: salvation and release, for them and for us."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 2nd, 2017

"Has a title that lasts longer than its interest on stage...'Discord' unfolds in all the ways you’d expect it to, without ever providing a compelling explanation for what we’re all doing in a theater together...Each man here feels oversimplified to a central fixation...This apologia for the Problematic Great White Dead Dude is a turgid and unnecessary one...It takes more than a couple of Wikipedia articles to make a play."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 1st, 2017

"There's no shortage of cerebral fodder. Unfortunately, however, Carter has forgotten to infuse his windy discourse with sufficient drama. As a result, it mostly feels like a clever thesis written by an ambitious graduate student...The playwright's extensive comedy background is on ample display during the first part of the play...Despite more than a few examples in which the dialogue truly stimulates, ‘Discord’ sags under its own intellectual weight."
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October 1st, 2017

"Carter tempers his heady subject matter with lowbrow humor...Audiences looking for a debate of acid wit will be disappointed, especially as the play devolves into a group therapy session...Their soul-searching monologues are earnest and sincerely delivered by the performers, but they have the effect of making us feel like we're also in purgatory...Senior keeps the pain minimal with snappy pacing and straightforward design."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 11th, 2017

"Given Carter's day job, working for one of television's most polarizing figures, the flatness of the enterprise is remarkable. There isn't a single witty or memorable line in the script. Kimberly Senior's production at least keeps things moving...Carter's script does little for any of its three protagonists, reducing them instead to a set of Wikipedia-ready character traits...Why throw these three figures together unless you can make us see them in a new light?"
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Talkin' Broadway
October 1st, 2017

"A play that attempts to merge religious argument and personal confessionals with outlandishly over-the-top performances opened tonight in a faltering and heavy-handed production...The whole thing comes off rather like a debate among unruly middle school students...This clumsily rendered production only manages to emphasize the play's inherent flaws, in which the big questions it poses are addressed only superficially in favor of way too much posturing and clowning."
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October 15th, 2017

“Scott Carter's ‘The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord’ has an interesting premise. However, at 90 minutes and with almost no action, the play outstays its welcome. It has the potential for drama, but in this form it is mostly an intellectual debate on philosophical topics much of which are difficult to take in on a first hearing.”
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