The Government Inspector
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The Government Inspector
83

The Government Inspector NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(281 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
8%
Negative
1%
Members say
Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Clever

About the Show

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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Member Reviews (281)

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86
Funny, Hilarious, Fluffy, Fun

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.

80
Clever, Funny, Silly, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if Light funny satire of the town leaders when the gov't inspector comes. Good acting and some hilarious moments.

Don't see it if You are looking for something deeper, more dramatic, intellectual or moving.

Critic Reviews (47)

The New York Times
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Time Out New York
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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The Washington Post
August 2nd, 2017

“Urie is a sterling stage clown and graceful physical comedian, an actor with the ineffable ability to keep us tantalized about what comes next…Urie is the hub of director Jesse Berger’s crackerjack revival, but what makes the production so memorable is that his performance is exquisitely matched to those of a slew of other well-cast jokesters…Any of the leaden possibilities of Gogol are safely airlifted out courtesy of Hatcher’s buoyant script and a cadre of funny people.”
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AM New York
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Theatermania
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
June 5th, 2017

"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."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 5th, 2017

"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."
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Talkin' Broadway
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
June 2nd, 2017

"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."
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Theatre is Easy
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 7th, 2017

"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."
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CurtainUp
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Front Row Center
June 2nd, 2017

"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."
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Front Mezz Junkies
June 1st, 2017

"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.'"
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New York Theater
August 13th, 2017

"What saves this play from a depressing relevance is the phenomenal physical clowning by Urie...Every one of the 14-member cast is positively vaudevillian in their portrayals, a testament not only to their own talents but to that of director Berger. But I was struck by Urie’s singular gift for physical comedy...The banter is courtesy of the adaptation by playwright Hatcher, which is so consistently funny that he’s excused for adding a twist at the end that doesn’t make very much sense."
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Broadway Blog
June 1st, 2017

“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.”
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C
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Times Square Chronicles
June 2nd, 2017

“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.”
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The Clyde Fitch Report
June 2nd, 2017

"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."
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B
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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The Huffington Post
June 1st, 2017

"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."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
June 4th, 2017

"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."
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W
July 23rd, 2017

"What was once deemed exaggeration now seems as relevant as it does rollicking and absurd...Hatcher’s adaptation is quick and clever...Berger does a splendid job with physical comedy, timing, and use of Distler’s inspired, two-story, doll’s house environs...Though a well-oiled, Rube Goldberg machine, the day is carried by Michael Urie whose creativity, energy, focus and ebullience offer one of the great pleasures of a jam-packed theater season."
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Broadway & Me
June 17th, 2017

"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."
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Towleroad
June 2nd, 2017

"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."
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The Huffington Post
June 2nd, 2017

"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."
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C
July 25th, 2017

“Madcap, zany and high comedic exhilaration...Hatcher’s writing makes this production so completely sumptuous, you will want to feed on it again and catch a second time the artful ironies and slick phrases…Without this ensemble, the jokes would scintillate but not with the power to strike as hard and send us as furiously as they do into the comic heavenlies…Urie has stretched his talents to new heights. He is reminiscent of some of the comic greats...Something truly wonderful and riotous.”
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The Huffington Post
July 24th, 2017

"A snappy production…The farce hits its mark, while making a larger statement about the systemic nature of institutional greed and incompetence…Director Jessie Berger has assembled an excellent ensemble that delivers Gogol’s satiric slam at governmental fraud with glee…Urie is sensational…Indeed, the cast, like Alexis Distler’s sets and Tilly Grimes’ costumes, hits exactly the right note: fast and furious.”
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T
June 2nd, 2017

"Hatcher’s adaptation never misses an opportunity to capitalize on a bad pun or raunchy joke...Hatcher and Berger keep the jokes and gags flying at warp speed over two hours; some are repetitive or fall flat, but the vast majority hit their targets...McGrath and Urie lead the charge in Tilly Grimes’ fab costumes...In today’s exhausting world, 'The Government Inspector' is just the thing to rid us of those fits of melancholy we all experience from time to time, perhaps more often of late."
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TheaterScene.com
June 3rd, 2017

"A rollicking good time. You just have to forget our current imbroglios in Washington, and turn yourself over to Red Bull Theater’s exuberant mounting...Berger demonstrates a grand flair for comedy in his appropriate anything-for-a-laugh staging. The approach is made valid by his 14-person cast loaded with superlative farceurs...To be sure, not every comic bit is a side-splitter...But the bits come so thick and fast, you don’t have time to ponder the misfires."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
June 10th, 2017

"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."
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scribicide
June 5th, 2017

"From its thunderclap opening moment to its smash-cut-to-black final line, this is a tightly choreographed, high-energy circus of bloated egos and swaggering hot air brought into sharp focus by a game cast and a glowing adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher."
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Stage Buzz
June 13th, 2017

“A no-holds-barred satire of greed and corruption as told with the decorum of a Marx Brothers movie and a slight dash of ‘Blazing Saddles’…Subtle political satire this is not…Quite refreshingly, there is not a single redeeming character to be had in the entire play...Kudos to director Jesse Berger for helping to bring out a brilliant sense of comic timing from the company…A rollicking farce showing how the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
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Act Three - The Reviews
June 1st, 2017

“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.”
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Z
June 2nd, 2017

"More than funny—this madcap comedy of mistaken identity is the perfect antidote to whatever ails you...A breakneck pace that never flags, this night at the theater is laugh line atop laugh line, all of it based in characters that are well-crafted and stomach-achingly funny individuals...Urie’s every move, every facial expression, every line, is so perfect that you spend the zippy two hours wondering what he’s going to do next...His brilliance is matched by pretty much every member of the cast."
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Epoch Times
June 6th, 2017

“Those of us lucky enough to have viewed the great physical comedy performance this season by Kevin Kline in ‘Present Laughter’ now have the privilege of viewing a second such remarkable performance by Urie…The curtain falls. We have been greatly entertained. But mightn’t we also be a bit uncomfortable?...Is it possibly a mirror of ourselves? And of our governing officials?...'The Government Inspector' is a hilarious comedy, beautifully cast and acted."
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Indy East End
July 26th, 2017

"Michael Urie works himself to the bone...And his work pays off, in a hilarious physical farce...As directed by Jesse Berger, the characters verge on the grotesque...Paced as a slapstick farce, the production is high on silliness. Among the outstanding actors in this production, Arnie Burton portrays the postmaster who reads everyone's mail...With Alexis Distler's double-decker set divided into three distinct spaces, one views the characters' antics through various lenses."
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Stage and Cinema
July 15th, 2017

“Laughter, joy, these are positive things...Even when the characters don’t have much substance, the game cast portrays them with energy and charm, which is reason enough to sit back and enjoy. Right?...The show seduces one into complacent good humor. Yet thinking about it in retrospect I can’t help but be bothered by the frivolity of it all. Gogol’s play is an innovative masterpiece. Mr. Hatcher’s a forgettable trifle…Why bother writing it? Oh, that’s right. It’s all about the laughs.”
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LI Herald
July 25th, 2017

“No one is likable so the audience revels in the mockery. The comedy is broad with lots of visual humor…Urie is a master of facial expressions and the early scene in which he half-heartedly attempts to kill himself rather than be arrested is quite funny…Although the play is over a hundred-years old, there seems to be a current message…The satire is funny, arched and pointed…‘The Government Inspector’ is a hysterical reminder that some things never change.”
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Off Off Online
June 2nd, 2017

"Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation, which keeps the integrity of time and place, coupled with costumes that nod to the period contributes outright to the comedy...Jesse Berger’s staging is light and quick. A comedy of this nature relies on impeccable timing, and the superb cast, lead by Urie, McGrath and Testa, keeps the madcap energy going at a high-wattage pace, making 'The Government Inspector' an absolute delight."
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A Seat on the Aisle
June 2nd, 2017

"A satiric masterpiece...Gogol’s play remains one for the ages...A rollicking adaptation...'The Government Inspector' is the latest of that company’s string of classic revivals of which Red Bull may be justifiably proud...Both Michael Urie and Michael McGrath are outstanding in their starring roles...Both Distler’s set design and Grimes' costume design also deserve positive mention; they provide the perfect backdrop for this exuberant production."
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Scene on Stage
June 1st, 2017

"'The Government Inspector' is a Trumpian spoof in spite of itself...A cast of inspired zanies, including Michael McGrath as the Mayor, play the town poobahs in a broad style that went out of fashion waaaayy back when, but which is more than welcome back for this play’s two hours...You’re unlikely to find another production of 'The Government Inspector' any time soon. This one, for historical and sheer entertainment reasons, is worth inspecting."
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Let's Go to the Theater
June 14th, 2017

“This hilarious show features an outstanding company of actors who play out a story written over 180 years ago…Yes, issues that haunted government back then are pretty universal and so they are also seen today…Funny dialog brings the story to life. The wacky characters take center stage which brings out the conflict. All combined, this play shines with a humorous tone…Along the way, the cast, led by Michael Urie as Ivan, provides many laughs.”
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Village Voice
June 14th, 2017

“Jeffrey Hatcher’s witty, withering, endlessly entertaining (and super loose) adaptation, currently playing in a new production at the Red Bull Theater…It’s a play and a rendition that deserve to be seen. Director Jesse Berger taps straight into the grotesque veins in Gogol’s writing, coaxing stylized performances from his expert cast of clowns...Pretty much every member of the cast is delightful to watch…At the center of it all, Urie gives a performance that is close to flawless.”
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T
June 12th, 2017

"There is farce, and then there is the humorous play that tries too hard to be a farce...Although the piece is filled with many one-liners that land abundantly well, as a whole, 'Inspector' is lacking in depth and consistency...The actors spit the fast language with eloquent humor and bombastic verve...Berger’s direction is clearly the misstep in this problematic piece. Asides from the characters are clumsy and often feel unnecessary."
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N
June 30th, 2017

"Just watch Michael Urie in Red Bull Theater’s hilarious, buoyant, frenetic production of 'The Government Inspector.' The gifted actor...is gifting us with a gladsome performance, surrounded by equally expert farceurs...Directed by Jesse Berger as if everyone is high on pot...A satire disguised as farce, the play skewers sitting ducks quacking with indignation...The evening is ditsy and the situations ridiculous, but there’s truth here, too."
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C
July 27th, 2017

"The funniest play to hit New York this year...Brilliantly adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, faultlessly staged by Jesse Berger and flawlessly acted by a talented ensemble...It ignites laughter that ripples in solid blasts and at peak moments creates gales of fun...The actors Mr. Berger has chosen are staggeringly competent, and no one is miscast...Mr. Urie gives the comic performance of his career...The production is impeccable on all fronts: acting, adaptation, direction, artful scenery."
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