Fuzzy govtinspector
New York | 2h 0m | Already closed

The Government Inspector

From 47 critic and 281 member reviews
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'). More…

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.

Carole Di Tosti

“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.” Full Review


"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." Full Review

Catholic Transcript

"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." Full Review

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

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

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

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

Woman Around Town

"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." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"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.” Full Review

The Washington Post

“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.” 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

Epoch Times

“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." Full Review

Village Voice

“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.” Full Review

NY Theater Scene

"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." 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


"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


"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


"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

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

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

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

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You love physical comedy with witty dialogue.

Don't see it if You are a fan of the current administration.

Funny, Clever, Must see, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want a good laugh

Don't see it if you do not like farce

Great acting, Masterful, Refreshing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You want to laugh and laugh and laugh. While enjoying a political satire. While seeing the BEST comedic acting, staging, writing in NY. Wow.

Don't see it if You want to stay home and be unhappy.

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want a non-stop laugh riot of two hours. Michael Urie is phenomenal, he can do no wrong. Totally great.

Don't see it if ... I can think of no reason not to see this...go!

Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if If you love silly, costume comedies If you love the delightful Michael Urie If you love broad comedy and great characters

Don't see it if You want a serious drama You aren't into camp You have no sense of humor

Dizzying, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if A master class in comedy

Don't see it if You don't like laughing.

Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like silly slapstick theater and appreciate comic genius acting.

Don't see it if you prefer straight shows

Also the cast is sublime and are experts in pulling off this silly, crazy s... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Dizzying, Enchanting, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy tour-de force comic acting, nonstop silliness, physical comedy and a great ensemble that is better than the material.

Don't see it if You want a faithful version of the classic or had slap stick and Monty Python type humor.

Great acting, Must see, Raunchy, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you want to laugh the entire time at government incompetence and raunchy jokes

Don't see it if You're not into slapstick/direct humor

Funny, Clever, Masterful, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You have any interest in govt or politics. You will enjoy it that much more!

Don't see it if You dont like surprises.

Masterful, Must see, Hilarious, Inventive set, Superb direction

See it if You love Urie, need the same intelligent hilarity he delivered in Buyer and Cellar, or are in need of a gut-busting, smart comedy.

Don't see it if You don't have patience for the occasional slapstick farcical show.

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy versatile, unpredictable farce.

Don't see it if You are looking for serious drama.

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if This great casts of misfits is headed by Michael Urie, or heir to Nathan Lane's throne. This timely play about politics is a must see.

Don't see it if If you don't like a very funny play about small town corruption, this ain't your show.

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, Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if A smart,interesting evening of old fashioned theater. Michael Urie reminds me of Hugh Jackman.

Don't see it if I don't love slap stick but tryit

Delightful, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if you want to laugh your head off

Don't see it if silly, yet brilliant, comedy doesn't appeal to you

Also Who knew that 19th-century Russian comedy could be gut-bustlingly funn... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you love good, classical theatre that is super well done with a delightful, outstanding cast.

Don't see it if you aren't into farce.

Funny, Masterful, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You want to laugh; you love Michael Urie

Don't see it if You don't like silliness; you don't like a premise of mistaken identity

Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you want to see a Russian classic comedy done like a three stooges type show, but still gets its point across. Michael Urie - comic genius

Don't see it if you don't like silly shows with plenty of slapstick

Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Refreshing, Hilarious

See it if Comedy, Farce, Comedic actors at the top of their game, You need to laugh

Don't see it if You are looking for something dramatic, serious, don't like having a good time at the theatre

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a classic play on political buffoonery made totally relevant by a master class of brilliant comic actors, starting w Urie.

Don't see it if You don't like intelligent comedy, coupled with masterful physical comedic timing.

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see another hysterically funny performance by Michael Urie in a play with surprising contemporary resonance in the age of Trump.

Don't see it if you don't like your comedy a little over the top and in the form of political satire.

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Silly but entertaining. Good for all.

Don't see it if You are straight laced

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You want to chuckle nearly nonstop and see some great comic acting.

Don't see it if You dislike literature turned into plays.

Funny, Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh and are willing to quell criticism and just absorb and embrace the absurd. you also must enjoy a good farce.

Don't see it if you hate farce you are coming at it with a PC lens

Cast & Creatives (24)