The Hairy Ape
Closed 1h 30m
The Hairy Ape
86

The Hairy Ape NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(288 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
4%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense

About the Show

Park Avenue Armory and the Old Vic present O’Neill's expressionist drama, a searing social commentary on the divide between the rich and poor in the industrial age. Starring Emmy winner and Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (288)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
876 Reviews | 903 Followers
78
Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Relevant

See it if you enjoy declarative expressionist texts. More philosophizing than actual dialogue. The staging and Cannavale are absolutely outstanding.

Don't see it if The acoustics are not the best, but expected in a venue so vast. It does get slow at time. Read more

851 Reviews | 1006 Followers
78
Great staging, Creative, Artistic, Clever, Relevant

See it if You enjoy really creative, artistic, avant garde staging. Came off more like a live art piece than a typical play. Themes still relevant.

Don't see it if Found some parts a bit slow and the text is not typical dialog but it works for this type of production. Read more

965 Reviews | 339 Followers
75
Ambitious, Visually stunning, Thought-provoking, Intense, Memorable

See it if you like avant garde works. THA was more to be admired than enjoyed. The spectacle dazzles more than the words engage. Bobby C. works hard.

Don't see it if you like easy entertainment. Some parts drag. The staging is operatic, clever, imaginative. Sometimes, tho, it distracts from the content. Read more

945 Reviews | 386 Followers
95
Great staging, Profound, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You want to see this play done on a truly grand scale. The actors are all top notch, the direction is brilliant. It's as relevant as ever.

Don't see it if You like your drama served straight up. This is a "re-imagining" that worked VERY WELL for me.

705 Reviews | 214 Followers
100
Epic, Masterful, Profound, Stunning, Riveting

See it if Every scene in this powerful expressionist story takes place in a visually stunning expressionist set. Great acting and symbolism.

Don't see it if You prefer something happier or more realistic. You don't want to think about the meaning of the colors, masks, balcony, etc.

741 Reviews | 123 Followers
85
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you want an experience with fantastic staging. Interesting but dated concepts are expressed in beautiful monologues.

Don't see it if you want complex themes. This is an old study in personal verses political. The plot is thin and the characters are one dimensional.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
90
Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you want to see a highly-stylized version of O'Neill's expressionist polemic. Cleverly staged and powerfully acted, esp by Cannavale.

Don't see it if you prefer O'Neill's more naturalistic family dramas or if you have xanthophobia (fear of the color yellow).

677 Reviews | 152 Followers
91
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Epic, Riveting

See it if you enjoy great direction & sets, strong acting, epic structure, & great use of space, are a Bobby Canavale fan, want to see a rare O'Neill

Don't see it if loud, epic stagings are not your thing, have never been an O'Neill fan, prefer more realistic sets & situations, not a fan of archaic usage

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
March 31st, 2017

“A mesmerizing revival…O’Neill’s nightmarish parable of alienation and class conflict still feels close to home…Mr. Jones’s interpretation is ravishing enough to please the sort of aesthetes who worship Robert Wilson’s exquisite dreamscapes. But this production also rings with primal pain...Mr. Cannavale’s emphatically flesh-and-blood presence makes him the perfect odd man out in a dehumanizing world of machines, literal and otherwise…The supporting cast is excellent.”
Read more

New York Magazine / Vulture
March 31st, 2017

"A staggering, last-word revival...Cannavale's body is giving us expressionism while his smooth interpretation of the speech is giving us realism...It anchors a production, gorgeously directed by Jones, that is otherwise full-tilt expressionism on the grandest scale...The performances of the other supporting actors are just as subtly calibrated...What I’m not sure it matches is O’Neill. You don’t have the sense, reading the script...that something this chic could ever have been what he sought."
Read more

New Yorker
April 10th, 2017

“Yank is an embodiment of the playwright’s ideas about theatrical naturalism and how to elevate it beyond the proscenium and make it deeper, spookier…Reading ‘The Hairy Ape,’ you’d never imagine what Jones comes up with, and those surprises are the reason the production is such a thrill…Jones’s talent is genius. By engineering this spectacle of O’Neill’s tragedy, he makes the playwright’s twenties modernism modern now, just for us, and it’s astonishing.”
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
March 31st, 2017

"Environmental theater doesn’t come any more powerful than the staging of 'The Hairy Ape'...Cannavale superbly brings his raw, macho physicality to the leading role...The play is not exactly subtle in its language and themes. Director Jones exploits that artificiality by visually emphasizing the elemental aspects...Throughout the piece there are striking visual tableaus...This landmark production provides a sense of the bone-chilling excitement it must originally have generated."
Read more

Entertainment Weekly
April 3rd, 2017

"The cognitive dissonance between a work of art and a setting that inherently encapsulates the disparities at its heart is a jarring but ultimately effective tool...Director Jones also helmed a 2015 production, and the newly added American actors benefit from his intimate knowledge of the material...Cannavale brings an animalistic physicality to the central role...O’Neill’s cutting critique of American social and economic structures couldn’t be more relevant."
Read more

The Wall Street Journal
April 4th, 2017

“A stunningly beautiful staging…If you temporarily submit to the manipulations of O’Neill and Mr. Jones, you also come to see that the play is both more and less than agitprop. It is more because there are magnificent soliloquies in which we hear the rhythms and phrasings of actual people…At such moments, if you forget the author’s hectoring, you admire his artifice. The play is also less than agitprop, because it doesn’t fully accept the message it begins to peddle.”
Read more

Deadline
April 13th, 2017

"Could any play be timelier than this wrenching, tragic cry of an outsider looking for acceptance?...There’s nothing realistic about it, except for the emotional truths of alienation and dehumanization that suffuse the events leading to the play’s inevitable, tragic climax. Against this, and with the assist of a brilliant company, Cannavale gives a performance that’s utterly lacking in affectation, so completely open and raw, that by the end we’re left spent as well as rattled to our own core."
Read more

The Washington Post
March 31st, 2017

“The lives of the working stiffs in Eugene O’Neill’s ‘The Hairy Ape’ may be brutal, but the portraits of their labors in Richard Jones’s visually stunning new revival are sublime…Surrealism and naturalism mix marvelously…The tableaux are mesmerizing…The visual panache extends all through the production’s 90 minutes…With excellent assists from the ensemble...the 'nightmare distortions' of 'The Hairy Ape' come exhilaratingly into focus."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

92
Must See!
212 Reviews
Ends Oct 2022
NYC: Midtown W

Stephen Sondheim's classic musical that intertwines the plots of classic fairy tales.

88
Excellent
104 Reviews
Ends Aug 13
NYC: Upper E Side

Robert Icke condensed and modernized the Greek trilogy into a single performance.

87
Excellent
318 Reviews
Ends Oct 02
NYC: Midtown W

A new musical based on the young adult novel by bestselling author Jodi Picoult and her daughter.