The Low Road
Closed 2h 45m
The Low Road
80

The Low Road NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(147 Reviews)
Positive
87%
Mixed
11%
Negative
2%
Members say
Clever, Great acting, Ambitious, Relevant, Intelligent

About the Show

From Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris ('Clybourne Park') and the Public Theater comes this epic play examining the basic beliefs upon which we’ve built our economy and our country.

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Member Reviews (147)

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643 Reviews | 279 Followers
81
Rollicking takedown of naked capitalism and how it is inextricably bound up with slavery at america’s beginning

See it if related thru tumultuous Dickensian tale of abandoned child who becomes rapacious capitalist & slave owner; narrated w wit by Adam Smith

Don't see it if wild 2nd act which shows unchecked capitalism in past, present and future inventive but out of control; we get the pt: it's toxic! Read more

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
83
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Dizzying, Resonant

See it if Lively, funny, intelligent overview of American capitalist movement Staged w/brio by Greif & broadly acted, Norris' innate pessimism shines

Don't see it if Heavy-handed flash-forward opening to 2nd Act sets sour tone & play never fully recovers Norris' tone gets darker, black comedy turns lethal

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
70
Clever, Too long, Uneven, Good acting

See it if You’d like an introduction to the workings of capitalism and greed. Daniel Davis and Harriet Harris keep the story moving. Great ensemble.

Don't see it if Perfetti’s performance is dull and uninteresting; play is a bit repetitive and long.

503 Reviews | 77 Followers
94
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like inventive & absorbing theatre. This is The Public at its best.Script is clever, fast paced, fun, relevant, and delightful.

Don't see it if you want a realistic, straightforward play.This takes you on a ride, teaches you a lot without ever preaching. It's a gem.

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
81
Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if story set in 18th century (with brief diversion to a modern econ. summit) with humorous look at A. Smith's hands-off view of capitalism

Don't see it if don't want to see issues of racism & greed with any humor; 2nd half that is darker and slower; don't want to be reminded of Econ 101 Read more

424 Reviews | 99 Followers
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You want a palatable primer on economics and social history revealed brilliantly and incrementally. THIS IS FUNNY.

Don't see it if You aren't up to the 2:40 running time. You have no interest in 2008 melt down vis a vis Trump and 2018 in 1700's clothing.

414 Reviews | 72 Followers
80
Unique, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You’d like to see Adam Smith’s “Wealth Of Nations” embodied in a young entrepreneur of the 1700s. Unregulated capitalism, invisible hand.

Don't see it if You don’t like a show that needs a narrator or a midshow flash forward contemporary panel of the 1% or a peek into a sci-fi future.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
69
Banal, Ambitious, Cliched, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy convoluted explanations about how our economic system was created.

Don't see it if plays that wander through history with odd interpretations of characters is not your thing

Critic Reviews (29)

The New York Times
March 7th, 2018

"Norris and Greif pull off the not inconsiderable feat of keeping us fully, even breathlessly engaged, without presenting a single character who entirely captures our sympathies...Yet after a cliff-hanging first-act finale, the play seems to lose faith in its audience's capacity for inference...What keeps us from tuning out is the infectious energy of an ensemble that delights in its characters' displays of cupidity and stupidity, and the storybook ingenuity of the production."
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Time Out New York
March 8th, 2018

"Sensationally prickly and entertaining new play...In the course of this wide-paneled epic—marvelously assembled by director Michael Greif—Norris aims liberating arrows of skepticism at a diverse range of targets...'The Low Road' enjoys being a play, and its dramatic weaponry is wielded with skill by a first-rate cast of 18...Norris has a heart that doubts whatever it looks on, and its looks go everywhere, even to the audience. In every sense, his play is an embarrassment of riches."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 9th, 2018

"Norris's rancid, rollicking picaresque...under the sharp-as-a-hatpin direction of Greif...Its parody of the classic young-man-sets-out-to-make-his-fortune story is smart, well-crafted, very well-acted, darkly funny, and beautifully designed...Also so filled with bitterness and loathing...Leaves you cold when the laughter dies down...An ensemble piece, with all 18 cast members doing fine, focused, often funny work...Both entertaining and disturbingly numbing in its hopelessness."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 7th, 2018

"Norris doesn't fully succeed in weaving his expansive theatrical canvas. Although several episodes register dramatically or comedically, the proceedings are more often than not jumbled and confused. The play's themes regarding the rapaciousness of unchecked capitalism feel forced and repetitive...Greif does an excellent job of staging such a complex production...The fine efforts of everyone involved aren't enough to lift 'The Low Road' to the theatrical heights to which it aspires."
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New York Daily News
March 7th, 2018

"It's ambitious, smart, impolite, funny, and unwilling to stay in one era when two will do better. On the downside, the 2 1/2-hour work can be overly blunt and unwieldy. A cast's worth of good performances plus atmospheric design work offer compensation for weak spots...Greif excels at guiding complex stories and large casts. Even with his fine work, the story eventually sags. One wishes something would move it along - an invisible hand or judicious pruning, perhaps."
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AM New York
March 8th, 2018

"Unwieldy and upbeat satire/historical drama/lecture...Michael Greif’s two-and-a-half hour production is a boisterous affair with a large ensemble cast, including lively comedic turns from Harriet Harris and Kevin Chamberlin...One can’t help but compare 'The Low Road' with the Broadway musical 'Candide,' in which Voltaire (also an 18th-century philosopher) narrates the picaresque adventures of a far more likable young man who also clings to a single simple philosophy."
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Theatermania
March 7th, 2018

"Wildly ambitious and endlessly entertaining...Greif and Norris present the first act with Brechtian flair, employing...broad stroke performances, and the kind of narration that rudely interrupts the action to teach us something. Yet just when we think we've figured this shtick out, Norris changes the game, especially during a jaw-dropping entr'acte that is the kind of inventive social critique that isn't so easy to dismiss...None of it would be possible without an immensely talented ensemble."
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BroadwayWorld
March 13th, 2018

"Cleverly devised and wonderfully played...A terrific ensemble of players guided by the talented hand of director Michael Grief...A tale of a young abandoned lad who uses his brains and white male privilege to advance in the emerging nation...'The Low Road' is a sharp enough commentary on the long-lived American dream, without necessitating reminders of any newly-developed nightmares."
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