Ends Aug 20

The Government Inspector

Members say: Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever
38 reviews
220 reviews

Red Bull Theater presents an adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s deeply silly satire of small-town corruption. A riotous portrait of rampaging self-delusion starring Michael Urie ('Buyer & Cellar,' 'Ugly Betty').

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All politics are local. When the crooked leadership of a provincial village discovers that an undercover inspector is coming to root out their commonplace corruption, the town weaves a web of bribery, lies, and utter madness. Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation offers a reminder of the terrifying timelessness of bureaucracy and buffoonery.

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$53 - $67 through 8/20
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$66.55 Front Orchestra
$52.50 Rear Orchestra


Tickets regularly $75-95. Offer valid for performances through 08/20/17. Blackout dates may apply. All prices include $2 facility fee. All sales are final - no refunds or exchanges. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. Not valid in combination with any other offers. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Performance schedule subject to change. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Limit of 10 tickets per order.

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$53 - $67 through 7/23
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Front Orchestra - $66.55 (reg. $95)
Rear Orchestra - $52.50 (reg. $75)


Tickets regularly $75-95. Offer valid for performances through 07/23/17. Blackout dates may apply. All prices include $2 facility fee. All sales are final - no refunds or exchanges. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. Not valid in combination with any other offers. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Performance schedule subject to change. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice.

$53 - $67 through 8/20
see details & terms


Front Orchestra - $66.55 (reg. $95)
Rear Orchestra - $52.50 (reg. $75)


Restrictions apply. Subject to availability. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. Not valid on previous orders. Regular processing fees apply. Offer expires 7/10/17.

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Cast & Creatives (23)

Reviews (258)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"The pleasures afforded by this breakneck show are as old as the days when cave dwellers discovered that human stupidity was really kind of funny, as well as potentially tragic...This dumb-and-dumber scale of values could easily lend itself to the broadest kind of mugging. But Mr. Berger has staged his 'Government Inspector' with a subversive straightforwardness...All the performances are dead serious in their ridiculousness, capturing the big egos beneath the small-town madness." Full Review


"An irreverent and highly watchable adaptation...The cast is full of great comedians...Director Jesse Berger creates this atmosphere of lunacy through a surprisingly compelling mixture of slapstick comedy and operatic design...Even if the staging is occasionally bungled, you won't want to miss a moment of this zippy two-hour production, which is full of laughs from beginning to end thanks to the unwavering commitment of the cast." Full Review


"A gloriously silly mounting...Jesse Berger loads up the evening with terrific sight gags and wacky antics performed by a top-shelf cast...McGrath lays out a full arsenal of double takes, verbal timing and physical bits to give a master class on playing bellowing authority figures...Urie's physical shtick as the character gets more and more inebriated is matched in hilarity by the way the desperate town officials continue to treat him with reverence." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Humor is doled out generously in Red Bull Theater’s diverting production of Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 satire, zippily adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher...Distler’s bilevel set evokes a cartoon in the Sunday funny papers, and Jesse Berger’s talented cast of 14 commits hard to fill out its panels...Although the play’s lampoon of corruption is wide-ranging, it is tempered by the jovial spirit of farce, which feels like a mercy. There’s a lot to be said for shouting, but sometimes you just need to laugh." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Gogol’s satire remains razor-sharp and Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation contemporizes the humor while keeping the action in Gogol’s dusty old provincial town...Urie is marvelous indeed...Director Jesse Berger does a thoroughly assured job, wrangling his clowns and keeping the laughter percolating...All in all, the Red Bull 'Inspector General' is bright, funny and as refreshing as a bowl of cold summer borscht crowned by two dollops of sour cream." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The good news is that Berger has rounded up a gaggle of first-class clowns and set them loose to play...Urie does double duty here as the production's motor, driving the increasingly frantic action while also earning plenty of laughs. He is an inspired choice...With each scene functioning as its own complete sketch and each line primed for comic blood, the action becomes a bit wearying. A more organically conceived production would, I think, have a stronger sense of progression." Full Review

Front Row Center

"There are two delicious reasons to see 'The Government Inspector.' The first is Michael Urie and the second is Arnie Burton...Jesse Berger’s direction feels flat and heavy. Everyone except Urie and Burton seems to be playing in what we think of as the broad style of 19th-century melodramas...There is no nuance, no inner life, no spark. The cast is not aided by the text...The text as written is either a poor translation or the original was as dull as a box of rocks." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“Hatcher adeptly slims Gogol's wordy original down to a lightning-fast two hours (with one intermission), uses doubling to allow a cast of 14 to play twice as many characters, and gives the dialogue a contemporary spin filled with punchy one-liners…Sometimes the production seems like a free-for-all game of ‘I can be funnier than you,’ the actors going as far overboard as they can to play up their clownish characters…The Red Bull's 'Government Inspector' passes inspection with flying colors.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"Berger’s amiable, too-soft revival of "The Government Inspector' remains this side of great, despite some strong lead actors and a classic text...An essential tension, the desperation that drives the best comedy is lacking here. Quite simply, the cast is having too much fun...Michael Urie is an appealing center to this storm...Mary Testa is simply too good to ever not be funny...Most everyone else, however, fades into the background." Full Review

The Clyde Fitch Report

"Gogol waxed broadly funny, as the revival of the play proves with great delight and close to nonstop entertainment. Jeffrey Hatcher’s knockabout translation is even more than that. Often, it’s unashamedly corny, which has the effect of proving that when farce is delivered this expertly, under such bold direction, with such over-the-top performing, artistic corn is sweet. The cast means no end to the rib-tickling and thigh-slapping." Full Review

AM New York

"A big, brash and buoyant Off-Broadway revival...This is a high-energy, fast-paced production with gleefully over-the-top performances and door-slamming slapstick comedy. In one inspired gag, Urie (in a drunken stupor) stumbles off the elaborate two-story set (designed by Alexis Distler) and hangs on for dear life. Hatcher builds upon the play’s plotting with his own one-liners and sly winks to the audience." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“Under the hilarious direction of Jesse Berger, the insanely funny production is a night well spent at the theatre. Berger has collected a company of A-list actors at the top of their game…Michael Urie is adorable, Michael McGrath, superb, Mary Testa, over-the-top delicious. Arnie Burton, outrageously funny. For that matter the whole cast is utterly impressive and layered…Jeffrey Hatcher has created an adaption that brings to mind our present political dilemma.” Full Review


"Loaded with laughs; but, like all good comedies, even those going way over the top, it's underpinned by all too real relevancy...I can't think of a better company than Red Bull Theater to give Hatcher's smartly modernized and streamlined adaptation a production to land every joke and double entendre...If I had to single out the funniest of these buffoons, it would be Arnie Burton as the nosy Postmaster...Good as all these actors are, it's clear that Michael Urie is very much the play's star." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"Current and hysterically funny...This play, although hilariously simple in its setup, is quite devilish in its taking down of politicians...Michael Urie couldn’t be more appealing in this silly but very funny play...The impressive cast is large and hilarious in a 'Mr Bean' kind of way. They almost fall over themselves in this silly and ridiculous play, but in all the right kind of ways. The most fun I’ve had at the theatre since the equally madcap 'The Play That Goes Wrong.'" Full Review


"Hilarity reigns in this madcap revival...A Mel Brooks-style presentation with coarseness, slapstick, pratfalls and gags galore...Hatcher’s frothy adaptation is jocularly crammed with one-liners, zingers, anachronisms and double entendres...Berger’s fast-paced staging is an exuberant amalgam of physical and verbal virtuosity combined with visual flair...Michael McGrath dominates the show...A wonderful opportunity to experience the play’s timeless splendor." Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

"Red Bull Theater is presenting Hatcher’s clever adaptation of Gogol’s 1836 comic masterpiece...This production’s biggest plus is the casting of Michael Urie...He demonstrates a previously unseen talent for physical comedy that is prodigious...Most of the other actors create vivid characters and work well as an ensemble...Red Bull’s artistic director Jesse Berger keeps things moving fluidly. If you enjoy farce and slapstick, well-performed, you will have an enjoyable time." Full Review


"An exuberantly raucous revival...If you don’t find yourself guffawing out loud at least once or twice during this show, check to make sure your vocal cords are still intact...Director Jesse Berger has assembled some of the most physically and verbally dexterous performers around to act out this fable/cautionary tale...This tremendously talented troupe is led by the wiry, wily Michael Urie...Berger’s staging is often daring and consistently hilarious." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Where other productions of the play generally have invited us to appreciate its satire through the writer's cleverness and wit, everything here is thoroughly and unabashedly soaked in slapstick, farce, and low comedy...A marvelous romp of a production, which boasts richly comical performances by its wild and woolly cast. If you are in the mood for good, silly fun, 'The Government Inspector' will more than fill the bill." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Jeffrey Hatcher’s spirited adaptation of Russian author Nikolai Gogol’s play 'Revizor' is broadly staged by Jesse Berger with hilarious results in this Red Bull Theater presentation. The cast is wonderfully up to the uproariously funny satire on government dishonesty...The entire company deserves much praise for providing the ensemble merriment...Much credit should go to director Berger, whose vigorously over-the-top staging gives an audience a rollicking good time." Full Review

Broadway & Me

"Hatcher has crafted an adaptation that's a bit too contemporary for my taste but I totally appreciate how director Jesse Berger has shamelessly plagiarized the playbooks of comic geniuses to squeeze every single laugh out of it...He's aided by a brilliant cast of clowns...We in the audience are most indebted to the always-appealing Urie, who is as adept at physical comedy as he is with a one-liner...The other 10 cast members, all masters of comedic timing, are funny as hell too." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"A pleasantly chaotic production...Still resonates today, despite its outrageously farcical staging...A large contingent of cartoony characters are well drawn by a cast of gung-ho actors who have no fear of being over-the-top silly...Berger might have pulled in some of the high-spirited performances, particularly Mr. Urie’s in an extended drunk scene in which he made some anachronistic references...However, the overall mood was consistent and the pacing remarkable." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A refreshingly mindless comedy with an amazing cast that will have you rolling in the aisles...A hilarious Vaudevillian entertainment that manages to amuse for an entire two hours...The chemistry and timing between Urie and McGrath is perfect...The script is at once well-traveled and fresh...Under the impeccable direction of Jesse Berger, there are too many notable performances to mention them all...What we have here is just a wholesome, family-friendly, good ‘ole time. Enjoy it." Full Review

Act Three - The Reviews

“The top-notch cast lead by the indomitable and beyond adorable Michael Urie and Michael McGrath is nothing short of comic genius. Directed by Jesse Berger, this very old gem of a comedy still rings true even in this day and age…The comedy is fresh, the delivery is crisp, and the laughter flows throughout this romp. Grab a ticket and get ready for multiple belly laughs with this one.” Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"Hatcher’s adaptation is fluid and well plotted, but only now and then hits the mark when aiming at genuine wit...Now and then a zinger will fly, and when it does, the audience is there for him. The evening works because it is being played by three of the best comic actors we have. Urie has found a role which allows his major gift for comedy to flourish...It is the incredible comic ability of the three male principals and most of the ensemble that lifts it into a show that is well worth seeing." Full Review


"Like many alternately hilarious and terrifying works of art, Gogol’s satire, adapted here by Hatcher, has assumed a new kind of relevance... Just the balm this summer theatre season calls for...Urie's fluid way with physical gags and innate goofiness are perfectly suited to the part and a delight to watch...It’s a good thing Urie keeps us laughing; sometimes it’s the only thing left to do." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score


See it if you like a good farce

Don't see it if you hate farce

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh at the absurdity of it all

Don't see it if you are looking for serious drama

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if A good old fashioned "mistaken identity" comedy that gets everything right! Fun ensemble, clearly enjoying themselves - lots of laughs!

Don't see it if you can't bear any politics in your entertainment these days, even from 19th century Russia.

Hilarious, Entertaining, Fun, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if You want to be entertained by great actors performing a fun, physical farce. Non stop laughter and Michael Urie was amazing.

Don't see it if You are looking for serious theater. This is just fun and silly, but it is really well done.

Also The unique staging of this production truly enhanced it. Creative use ... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like to laugh nonstop. This is a zany version of a Russian play making fun of incompetent government officials.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy political satire.

Funny, Delightful, Great staging, Fluffy, Great cast

See it if Great cast of comedic actors with Urie being quite adorable. The plot is good, non stop shenanigans and many laugh out loud moments.

Don't see it if Though I very much enjoyed the first act, the second was a little draggy and slow. Sometimes too much of a good thing can get tiresome.

Funny, Entertaining, Silly

See it if Like farce. Michael Urie is so enchanting though. Even if you don't like the show, you'll adore him. The cast does a good job.

Don't see it if You're not interested in a silly farce.

Clever, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You are in need of a laugh; non-stop physical comedy that provides a clever and entertaining experience; fantastic cast that are 100% on

Don't see it if You dislike physical comedies - it was borderline a little much for me but was well acted; want a serious or resonant theatre experience

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to laugh & escape reality a bit. You like Michael Urie (he & the rest of the cast are terrific). You like cool two-level staging.

Don't see it if You don't like physical comedy or shows revolving around miscommunication & misunderstandings (not normally my thing but this was well done)

Also I saw this show at New World Stages, not the original theater.

Hilarious, trenchant, zestful comedy!

See it if you love seeing classics picked up, dusted off and have a ball with. Gets to the very essence of the comedy with unrestrained glee.

Don't see it if you're not into classics reinvented.

Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like broad, campy, over-the-top Russian comedy with a dash of politics.

Don't see it if you are looking for edgy or brainy theater.

Ambitious, Clever, Relevant, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy a well done farce with contemporary overtones

Don't see it if You don't slapstick

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Madcap

See it if you want riotously funny theater with a wonderfully satirical bite. A top-notch adaptation, rib-ticklingly funny, w/stellar performances.

Don't see it if you don't appreciate good satire - spoofing obsequious officials trying hilariously to please who they think is the government inspector.

Clever, Quirky, Great writing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy farce or period comedies (though you could probably change names and costumes and set this anywhere).

Don't see it if you dislike comedies set in the past or stories about corruption.

Clever, Hilarious, High energy

See it if you enjoy period farces with broad character driven humor and slapstick comedy, done very well. Urie is hilarious!

Don't see it if you prefer serious dramas.

Masterful, Great writing, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if You want intelligent, non-stop comedy performed by masters. The Marx Brothers would be at home here! Timeless laughs.

Don't see it if "We were a cultured family. We had a book, and my father whistled." Didn't laugh? Then don't go.

Funny, Dizzying, Great acting, Entertaining, Silly

See it if you appreciate the versatility of Michael Urie, the impeccable comic timing of Testa and McGrath, & the jokester-of-all trades Arnie Burton.

Don't see it if require gravitas in theater or hate frivolous fun in general. This leaves no lasting impression other than that you had a really good time.

Absorbing, Delightful, Dizzying, Tiring, Fluffy

See it if you love energetic, over-the-top, silly comedies with basic jokes.

Don't see it if you are expecting a clever script, consistent acting, sharp direction or a sensible set design.

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy political satire, broad, bawdy humor, and slapstick comedy skillfully performed by a talented all-around cast

Don't see it if you are expecting a serious, introspective play.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You're interested in a slap stick intelligent period comedy with a stellar cast.

Don't see it if You want something modern or serious. This show does not take itself too seriously and that's what makes it great!

Funny, Hilarious, Fun, Fluffy

See it if you want a hilarious, madcap show with lots of silly and a star turn by Michael Urie.

Don't see it if you don't like farce type shows.

Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated

See it if you like Mel Brooks humor. The kind where you're constantly hit on the head with shtick and one in every twenty or more is actually funny.

Don't see it if Are looking for humor with wit.

Also Burton, Urie, and Testa in particular bring a truth and believe abilit... Read more Read less

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Relevant, Hilarious

See it if You'd like to see an old play updated to now or you enjoy seeing universal themes.

Don't see it if You want to see a drama or don't enjoy ensemble pieces.

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you like great acting and broad comedy that is as relevant today as when it was written 175 years ago

Don't see it if you don't like broad physical comedy

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if You are interested in a classical Russian play that's a bit relevant today. The production is beautiful though buffoonery seems overdone.

Don't see it if You look for a deep emotional connection. The play is funny but could be funnier.

Also The star of the show Michael Urie is excellent and the play is worth s... Read more Read less