Already closed | 1h 25m | West Village

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

From 139 member  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. More…

Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence), Charles Dickens (the man who brought us 'A Christmas Carol' and 'Oliver Twist'), and Count Leo Tolstoy (the epic Russian novelist of 'War and Peace' fame) are trapped in a limbo where each believes his path to salvation depends on convincing the other two that they are wrong. Tony-nominated director Kimberly Senior ('Disgraced') helms this battle of truly biblical proportions. Written by Scott Carter, the executive producer of 'Real Time with Bill Maher.'

Member Reviews (139)


Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Clever, Ambitious, Slow
Avg Score

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Also Despite the interesting premise of having founding father Thomas Jeffe... Read more Read less

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

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.

Intelligent, Funny, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if you like discourses and monologues on the bible and historical characters in odd situations.

Don't see it if you want to keep your opinions of the characters. if you don't like discussions of the bible.


See it if You are given free tickets. It's not really worth paying. The incessant arguing onstage loses the audience quickly.

Don't see it if You don't mind ad nauseum existential arguments. Yawn.

Ambitious, Confusing, Intense, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to brush up on your philosophical thought and be utterly at the mercy of the playwright who is 3 steps ahead of you at all times.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy a challenge to your train of thought or would feel better with a musical.

Interesting theoretical debate, Great acting

See it if you want to see some great acting especially by Dickens character

Don't see it if you don't like discourse that shows one's mentality & thinking

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow, Intense

See it if If you enjoy thought provoking plays that would compel you learn something

Don't see it if If you need to see some action in a play

Interesting, Funny, Ambitious, Overrated

See it if You enjoy watching philosophical ideas colliding with each other

Don't see it if You're annoyed when things aren't as profound as it thinks it is.

Clever, Confusing, Intelligent, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see great men from history debate religion and the gospel.

Don't see it if you need big staging and action. This is literally three men, a table, and two chairs.

Also As someone not familiar with the New Testament, I think I missed sever... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if you want to see a new and interesting side to people you've studied growing up; you are interested in academic theater

Don't see it if you want a play full of action rather than reflection; you know nothing about the three historical figures listed.

Disappointing, Intelligent, Talky

See it if you are interested in a debate about Jesus by historical personalities.

Don't see it if you are not interested in a debate about Jesus by historical personalities.

Also I had high hopes, but once the gimmick was played out, I was bored by ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Funny, Disappointing, Slow, Fatiguing

See it if You like thought puzzling philosophical dramas involving death and religion.

Don't see it if You have a good book to read.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if enjoy hearing different views on how to live your life and how religion plays into your actions

Don't see it if you want an action play and can not sit through conversations alone.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Insightful, Great acting

See it if you'd like to learn more about three important historical figures and why their thoughts are still relevant today.

Don't see it if you can't handle some substance with your theater. It's not a fluffy evening.

Take a teenager to see it

See it if Ambitious,entertaining but also tendentious, maybe boring for sophisticated adults, but just the thing to turn on inquisitive high schoolers

Don't see it if If are impatient with academic debates, looking for action or substantive theological debate. Or for new light on the historical characters

Also I’m sorry to have seen this so late in its run because it is a play I’... Read more Read less

Slow, Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy learning about the lives of any of these men.

Don't see it if I was interested to see the personalities of these men, but their dialogue soon became tedious.

Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy stimulating theater

Don't see it if You don't enjoy theater that makes you think

Cliched, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing

See it if You like any of these authors,are a fan of Biblical debates,don't know all that much about their personal lives

Don't see it if You don't like Biblical history, want an interesting storyline,

Also I was really excited to see this play and then sorely disappointed. It... Read more Read less

Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if a night of repartee and introspection are your speed. There are lofty topics that are discussed, but they're grounded with humor.

Don't see it if taking a deep dive into history and religion isn't your cup of tea (the title should let you know what you're in for).

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 ...
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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 inf...
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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 Probl...
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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 ...
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