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The Government Inspector

From 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.

Member Reviews (281)


Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Clever
Avg Score

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.

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.

Clever, Funny, Great staging, Refreshing, Farcical

See it if you want to see Michael Urie & a very talented cast pull off an expertly timed farce that feels fresh, despite the play's nearly 200yo age.

Don't see it if you aren't in the mood for some unfettered fun.

Delightful, Funny, Great staging, Great cast, Fluffy

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.

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you enjoy old fashioned plays with a political message; silly characters, sight gags, intentional over-acting. The message is serious.

Don't see it if you don't like over-the-top characters and events, silliness on stage; you prefer serious drama as the vehicle for political criticism.

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you like classic plays updated.This is hilarious, very relevant, funny as homemade sin.Acting is superlative.Urie,McGarth &Burton are GREAT

Don't see it if you are looking for a dark drama or a musical. But if you like good plays, terrific translations, great acting and a fun show, then go!

Overrated, Funny, Fluffy, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you think flatterers and drunks are hilarious.

Don't see it if formulaic comedies annoy you. Outlandish coincidences, stock characters, malapropisms, or slapstick leave you unimpressed.

Also Good first: Urie plays a wonderfully useless cad with none of the mean... Read more Read less

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.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Chaotic, Silly

See it if you want to see a perfectly silly, very funny lampoon of government hypocrisy acted by an inspired cast led by Urie, McGrath & Burton.

Don't see it if you aren't into silliness no matter how well done.

Hilarious, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if you want a high energy satire of political corruption, non-stop laughter, physical comedy; you love Michael Urie, Arnie Burton, Mary Testa

Don't see it if you don't like physical comedy or silliness; you want something intellectual or intense

Funny, Great acting, Dizzying, 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.

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Hilarious

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

Fun-frolick, Great acting, Entertaining, Dizzying, Intelligent humor

See it if you prefer your (semi-dated, semi-still-relevant) social commentary served up slapstick and screwball style, with a Russian influence.

Don't see it if you dislike humorous, sometimes-silly, physical comedies; require more modernized, edgy works; dislike works like The Play that Goes Wrong.

Also My knowledge of Nikolai Gogol is, confessedly, limited, but this did n... Read more Read less

Clever, Fluffy, Quirky, Great acting, Funny

See it if you enjoy veryyyy over-the-top farcical shows. Think Monty Python. Also good for Michael Urie fans.

Don't see it if can't take slapstick humor for too long.

Hilarious, Inventive set, Masterful, Must see, 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.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to enjoy a very entertaining play.It is a fun time,with a great cast of actors who really appear to be enjoying themselves.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate silly comedy or prefer more serious drama.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Hilarious, Relevant

See it if you want to see a brilliant cast especially the fantastic Michael Urie perform an updated Russian classic to perfection with perfect timing,

Don't see it if you don't enjoy updated Russian classic plays that are still so relevant to today's government situations.

Entertaining, Funny, Madcap, Great writing, Great acting

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.

Hilarious, Great staging, Entertaining, Fluffy, Fun

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, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You love farce, Michael Urie, or just need to laugh at an incompetent government.

Don't see it if Farce makes you want to scream in horror.

Also Classic Gogol farce with big, physical humor from the excellent cast h... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Funny

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.

Amusing to most, Tedious to others (well, at least me)

See it if You like your satire over the top. It has some good acting, and we all enjoy disliking authority, so what's not to like.

Don't see it if You valorize surprise and the unpredictable, of which this is deficient. It is possible to find this tiresome, though clearly, most do not.

Dizzying, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You are a fan of Michael Urie & slap-stick humor & are up for a very silly show.

Don't see it if Slap-stick is not your thing!

Funny, Quirky, Masterful, 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

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if you want to guffaw at the comedic antics of great actors at the top of their game. Urie's drunk scene is just hilarious perfection.

Don't see it if Silly fun is not your thing

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 stag...
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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 t...
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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...
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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 hang...
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