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The Labor of Life

From 2 critic and 9 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Funny, Great acting, Profound, Quirky

About the show

Written in 1989, this dark comedy about a husband leaving his wife is one of Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin's enduring classics. Presented by New Yiddish Rep in both Yiddish and English-language performances.  More…

'The Labor of Love' begins with the hero getting his sleeping wife out of bed in the middle of the night to announce that he's leaving her after 30 years of marriage. The heartlessness of his desertion is evident even in the words with which he tries to comfort her: "Maybe you'll meet a widower, a real estate dealer from Los Angeles, and have a good laugh on me in America."

Theater Pizzazz

"'Hanoch Levin Squared' is a magical back-to-back New Yiddish Rep presentation of two of Levin tragi-comic tours de force...'The Labor of Life' would have made a wonderful script for Groucho Marx...Brilliantly directed in both languages by Ronit Muszkatblit...In the future, anytime you hear about a Yiddish Rep production, listen to me, take a chance and buy yourself a ticket." Full Review


"'The Labor of Life,' in Hebrew, consisting of marital cruelty and death, this time in bed and equally long, is performed by Sokolsky, Asher-Sandler and Rosen under the direction of Muszkatblit...The bigger question is, why? Why this focus on the theater works of Hanoch Levin? The New Yiddish Rep amply demonstrates its talents, devotion and grit, true, even as it amply demonstrates the rigor of Levin’s growing reputation but that does not answer the question." Full Review

Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

See it if you are married for 30 years. Universal tragie-comic masterful production in any language.

Don't see it if You do not like super titles.

Also Hanoch Levin is a thought provoking playwright and his subjects are al... Read more Read less

Funny, Philosophical, Brutally honest, Earthy, Acute

See it if you are at all interested in contemporary world theater, or offshoots of the theater of the absurd.

Don't see it if you do not know Yiddish & cannot handle projected English surtitles—I had no trouble with them.

Also I have a high regard for the small theater companies of NYC that mount... Read more Read less

Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Quirky

See it if You want to see a great work with great acting that's absurd and non traditional but yet also simple and very relatable.

Don't see it if You don't like indie, real, theater.

Also Good work NYR – another masterful production!

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Profound, Resonant

See it if You like existential playwrights like Beckett; as well as a bit of dark humor and echos of the human condition.

Don't see it if Don't like reading supertitles, want a musical that is light hearted and won't cause you to think and feel

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in seeing a play in Yiddish that seems as if Anton Chekhov could have written it

Don't see it if You are not interested in a 3 character play about a man angsting about life and wanting to leave his wife

Also I found this play to be very engaging - the acting was terrific and as... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Slow

See it if you enjoy family dramas about long term relationships.

Don't see it if you don't like alot of yelling onstage or have difficulty with supertitles (unless you speak the language).

Funny, Intense, Thought-provoking, Albeesque

See it if YOu like strong dramas, especially Virginia Wolfe

Don't see it if Don't like using super-titles

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Resonant, Slow

See it if You like Yiddish husband and wife light melodrama

Don't see it if You don't like supertitles

Dizzying, Banal, Excruciating, Overrated, Fluffy

See it if If you like a family type genre , husband wife plays dealing with separation.

Don't see it if You do not like a lot of yelling or subtitles during a performance.

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Cast & Creatives (11)