The Hairy Ape
Closed 1h 30m
The Hairy Ape

The Hairy Ape NYC Reviews and Tickets

(288 Reviews)
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.

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Member Reviews (288)

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913 Reviews | 929 Followers
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

903 Reviews | 1029 Followers
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

1036 Reviews | 426 Followers
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.

982 Reviews | 343 Followers
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

716 Reviews | 219 Followers
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.

716 Reviews | 157 Followers
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

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
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.

677 Reviews | 191 Followers
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).

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.”
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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."
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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.”
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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."
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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."
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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.”
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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."
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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."
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