Fuzzy thp5
New York | In Previews: Opens Nov 19

The Hard Problem

From 26 member reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing

About the show

LCT presents Tom Stoppard's first new play in ten years, a witty and dramatic exploration of the "hard problem" that is human consciousness. Directed by Tony winner Jack O'Brien ("The Coast of Utopia.") More…

"The Hard Problem" introduces a young woman, Hilary, a psychology student who is newly employed as a research assistant at a neuroscience think-tank financed by a hedge-fund billionaire. He believes the brain and the ability to map and understand it are the key to predicting financial patterns, human behavior and more. But as Hilary’s career advances she and her colleagues struggle with what scientists call ‘the hard problem’ which asks: if the brain is made of nothing but facts, what is consciousness? For Hilary the possibility of genuine altruism, without a hidden Darwinian self-interest, depends on the answer. Meanwhile she is nursing a private sorrow. She needs a miracle and prays for one every day. 



“The Hard Problem” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

95
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you like Stoppard (this is sooo Stoppard), you like seeing intellectual debates in shows, you’re interested in cognitive psychology.

Don't see it if You need something plot-based.

93
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging

See it if This play is theater crack. Another smart, intelligent play from master playwright Tom Stoppard.

Don't see it if you already know you don't like Tom Stoppard plays but if you haven't seen one - go see it.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if For intelligent well acted, professional quick paced Stoppard play. Clever impeccable staging-thought provoking play.

Don't see it if don't like thought provoking plays where dialogue has to be closely followed.Don't like to leave theater with food for thought or discussion

Also Left with desire to "revisit' & see play again (not a bad thing) In fi... Read more Read less

89
During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy an intellectually stimulating piece about consciousness, scientific but humanizing. Stoppard shines

Don't see it if You dont enjoy plays that require you to think.

88
During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Intellectual, Brilliant acting

See it if You are a hard core Stoppard fan. Shows that challenge your brain to follow them are your thing. This is a tour de force of uses of language

Don't see it if Plays where the plot is secondary to the ideas and themes are not your thing. You are looking for satire and comedy.

Also This is a play that you will get more out of if you do one or both of ... Read more Read less

86
During previews
Funny, Cerebral, Ambitious, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if you like plays that make you think, a fan of Stoppard, combo of character-unfolding storytelling mixed with psychology/philosophical debate

Don't see it if you're not in the mood for lengthy debates on the human mind, consciousness & God.

85
During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like Tom Stoppard and the theater of ideas that is his stock and trade or if you like plays that ask questions about the world around us

Don't see it if you have trouble following complex ideas onstage or don't like plays that can be called "talky"

Also Coincidence or miracle? That seems to be the central question asked du... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy the work of Stoppard or want to experience his work for the first time. The performances are excellent,especially A.Clemens.

Don't see it if You have a short attention span.Stoppard's work's always require one to pay strict attention in order to appreciate the themes discussed.

85
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like Stoppard on the topic of consciousness and cognitive Thinking. Really a thought-provoking evening

Don't see it if You don’t want to think and ponder and just want to be entertained. After all, this is Stoppard

85
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a fan of Tom Stoppard and enjoy his thoughtful and clever plays.

Don't see it if You expect Travesties or Arcadia.

Also Although this is such a well written play, it is more sentimental than... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying

See it if you're a fan of Stoppard, enjoy heady plays with themes & secrets, good ensemble acting, questions of sex & relationship, funny as well

Don't see it if You don't like Stoppard's use of big words & concepts which can hide the basic plot, talk about the mind vs machine, coincidences

84
During previews
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Indulgent, Academic

See it if you want quintessentially Stoppard play re science vs faith, nature vs nurture. Intelligent, but feels like late-night grad student debate.

Don't see it if you're not prepared to think about philosophy, science, consciousness, and god. Terrific acting in academic, intellectually-grounded play.

84
During previews
Stoppard plays mind games -- great cast

See it if Another intellectual Stoppard brain teaser. Not as much fun as Travesties, nor as clever as Arcadia. Still, it's briskly stimulating.

Don't see it if you don't like Stoppardian non-stop word play, you may find it "all talk, no action." Some gorgeous talented actors do the talking, though.

84
During previews
Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you like intelligent theater that makes you think. You will, with the actors, struggle to understand human consciousness.

Don't see it if you are looking for light fare, easy laughs.

83
During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You love Stoppard with a humanistic touch

Don't see it if You cannot deal with discussions of faith versus science.

81
During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Indulgent

See it if Interesting show about what really makes a person. Kind of nature vs nurture battle but in a research setting with an adoption story thrown.

Don't see it if It’s a little heady and a little intellectual. Some gratuitous nudity-depending on where you are sitting in the theater. A little predictabl

81
During previews
Absorbing, Clever

See it if You like a think piece.

Don't see it if If you just go to shows to have fun.

80
During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy exploring the hard problems of nature vs nurture and consciousness through an interesting and, at times, funny play.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy thinking during a play and prefer to be entertained.

77
During previews
Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You enjoy the blend of drama and intellectual discourse.

Don't see it if You enjoy high impact dramatic action.

Also I found this to be one of Stoppard’s more accessible plays. Very nicel... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Very tom stoppard. thought provoking and dizzying with ideas.

See it if You appreciate Tom Stoppard.

Don't see it if If you want a simple straightforward story.

71
During previews
Quirky, Disappointing, Psycho babble

See it if you like philosophical discussions that have no clear cut answer. A group of young people who very efficiently change the scenery throughout

Don't see it if you like a quick phased show that goes somewhere. This one does not.

70
During previews
Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Confusing, Cliched

See it if You want to have a sneak peek of PhD's geek and academic life.

Don't see it if You are a quant. As a programmer, I don't feel very comfortable seeing the play because it shows despise to quant.

68
During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Oh tom !

See it if You like Stoppard, as I do, and want to see everything he writes.

Don't see it if you want to see Stoppard at his best or semi-best. Rambles, introduces unimportant events. One guesses big reveal early on, too obvious.

Also This play, about the mind and what is consciousness, certainly is thou... Read more Read less

67
During previews
Great acting, Intelligent, Overrated, Slow

See it if If you are a fan of dense scientific writing that hinders the plot. Nice interesting unlikable characters. Tom Stoppard

Don't see it if if you want to spend 90 minutes listening to intense neurobiolgical discussions. or discussions on altruism vs human consciousness. Long

66
During previews
Disappointing

See it if You need to see everything Stoppard has written...

Don't see it if You are expecting a great Stoppard play that intertwines disparate ideas in exciting and thought-provoking ways.

Also We saw this two weeks after seeing a totally extraordinary production ... Read more Read less


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Cast & Creatives (14)