The Metromaniacs
Closed 1h 45m
The Metromaniacs
84

The Metromaniacs NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(267 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Great writing

About the Show

Scheming servants, verbal acrobatics, and mistaken identities launch a breathless series of twists and turns in this breezy "transladaptation” of a French farce by David Ives ('The Liar,' 'Venus in Fur').

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Member Reviews (267)

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79
Great writing, Great adaptation, Great acting, Fun, Fast-paced

See it if Very smart and fast-paced. Fantastic adaptation with fun accessible and very clever rhyming. Great acting. Funny!

Don't see it if you can't concentrate. There's a lot of plot twisting and one has to keep up. The language is easy, not overly elaborate. Read more

74
Entertaining, Funny, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy fun farcical shows with great comedic performances.

Don't see it if You dislike period settings or dialog written in rhyme/couplets Read more

Critic Reviews (34)

The New York Times
April 22nd, 2018

"A play that squeezes contemporary English into pentameter couplets — and a story that doesn’t matter...Since all the characters speak in essentially the same form, there is no variation or, indeed, verbal distinctiveness. That leaves the cast, which is uniformly good, to build characters on top of the verse, instead of within it where characterization belongs. The result is rickety...Only in the second act...do the couplets begin to give birth to satisfying story."
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Time Out New York
April 23rd, 2018

"Ives has wound up with a middling piece that can’t trigger his gift for well-machined mayhem...Ives’s cleverness is indisputable, and he excels at a rare sort of verbal glitter. Michael Kahn’s production is physically exquisite...For farce to work, we need to sense the abyss underneath the hero’s pin-wheeling feet...Without desperation, there’s no exhilaration. And so here, on the fourth pour, Ives’s particular brand of champagne finally goes flat."
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Theatermania
April 22nd, 2018

"Undoubtedly, many audience members will thrill at Ives's virtuosic wordplay...I chuckled too, but unmoored from real stakes, I found my mind floating out to sea. This is despite a zippy production by director Michael Kahn and delightfully physical performances from the cast. Everyone delivers the verse with crisp precision, so all the jokes land...It's all perfectly digestible, but tiresome on the taste buds...Ives wanted to create a fluffy gossamer entertainment, and he did."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 23rd, 2018

"Thanks to Kahn's tight direction and a cast that knows how to keep the ball in the air, a steady procession of laughs is guaranteed...I have one reservation about 'The Metromaniacs,' and it's a fairly significant one: The sheer number of gags, absent the tiniest hint of emotional involvement, ultimately becomes a bit wearing...Then again, the current scene doesn't offer so many great comedies that we can afford to overlook 'The Metromaniacs,' and the cast is a thoroughgoing pleasure."
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Talkin' Broadway
April 24th, 2018

"'The Metromaniacs' is screwball at its best, with the entire ensemble working their butts off to deliver Ives' complex, delicious rhymes, and playing off of each other's energy...But the show, in its own way, is also quite insightful about the nature of addiction, as it humorously shows the lengths these characters will go to, in order to satiate their need for verse. It never gets dark, no, but it's been haunting me for days after seeing it."
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New York Stage Review
April 22nd, 2018

"A head-spinning plot...This is French farce featuring a satirical target not necessarily in synch with today’s prosaic concerns...Those buckshot couplets that had me tired out by the end of the short first act...Given the baroque material, there may be no other way to go about acting in the dashed thing. And they’re all braced for the challenge. One wily Piron turn of events occurs at the very end...Ticket buyers can and do leave laughing."
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New York Stage Review
April 22nd, 2018

"What gives this extremely silly business its babbling charm is Ives’ inventive wordplay...Kahn's staging here could be more lightly handled. The actors deliver broad performances that look forced. Between the propulsive couplets, the mostly unvaried rhythm of the brisk pacing, and the superficial acting, the show eventually becomes relentless...A comedy as quick, lively, and verbal as 'The Metromaniacs' needs extra room to breathe."
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TheaterScene.net
April 26th, 2018

“To add that ‘The Metromaniacs’ also contains a play within the play, in which all of the characters are apparently playing themselves, might begin to suggest how confusing it all becomes, especially since they all enter and exit with a rapidity as if there were indeed a fire in the house–meaning Francalou's no less than The Duke Theater on 42nd Street.”
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Theatre is Easy
April 22nd, 2018

"In addition to the hilarious shenanigans, there are several stand-out moments of staging...The cast is uniformly excellent with great comedic timing, from Pedlow practicing Lucille’s absurd pouty lips to Kybart’s rehearsing Baliveau’s off-stage bellowing. But my favorites are Dina Thomas and Adam Green...It’s rare that writing leaves me in awe, but I am justifiably impressed by Ives's ability to rhyme so artfully and masterfully."
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Theater Pizzazz
April 22nd, 2018

"The pace is dizzying as each bon mot is hilariously followed by the next. One would yield to full-throated laughter but for fear of missing the next clever line. The audience gets giddy from the constant flow. The deliberate anachronisms bring especially loud guffaws...The cast is sublime...The brilliant direction is by Michael Khan...This production provides a feast for the eyes...Don’t walk, run..to partake of this glorious fun."
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CurtainUp
April 23rd, 2018

"Ives doesn't fully overcome Piron's dramaturgical shortcomings until the fourth wall breaking opening of the second act...The actors wrest every possible laugh from their roles...The real star here is David Ives. It's his wordsmithing that makes Piron's play worth retrieving...Even though 'The Metromaniacs' doesn't hit the bulls eye for all its hour and forty five minutes (including an intermission), Mr. Ives makes the best case for seeing the play with his program note conclusion."
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Front Row Center
April 23rd, 2018

"If you know a lot about period drama— French or otherwise — you will be tickled with this adaptation...If you know nothing about period drama, but love the odd piece on the wrong stretch of 42nd Street, you will still giggle yourself into an unseemly frenzy at The Duke...It is playful and certainly silly; it is designed to drag you in from the jump, and the play’s own mad momentum keeps you in tow...Just sit back and enjoy the ride."
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Front Mezz Junkies
April 23rd, 2018

"The play is an effervescent tickle and alcohol high, a guaranteed laugh, especially when mixing in the historical reality of the playwright’s muse that spiked this adaptation...It’s a perfectly delectable fun couple of hours. The first act does drag a bit, feeling less like champagne, and more like fizzy water...It might just be that 'The Metromaniacs‘' base ingredient is not as high quality or top shelf as 'The Liar‘s,' but director Kahn keeps the giddiness at a high and festive level."
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Broadway Blog
April 22nd, 2018

"Ives, master of spinning rhymed couplets into verbal pirouettes, has radiantly rendered it into contemporary English…Kahn races his ebullient actors through the growing confusion, speaking the…rhyming verse with expert timing and razor-sharp diction...Act I suffers a little from a general tendency to push the comedy…In Act II, a more organic sense of character and situation emerges…But the chief attraction here is verbal, with Ives' incessantly clever rhymes and puns."
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Times Square Chronicles
April 23rd, 2018

"What stands out here is the fabulous direction by Kahn. He keeps the laughs coming as he keeps the show running like a rollercoaster on speed. Kahn also manages to get the crispness of verse to a tee from all his performers. Ives’s sarcastic wit is enhanced by his wordplay that knows no bounds. He is truly a master wordsmith...For an evening of confectionery fluff that is frothy and doesn’t demand much thought, 'The Metromaniacs' is just what the doctor ordered."
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Gotham Playgoer
May 4th, 2018

"A featherweight plot is sustained by the cleverness of Ives’s rhymed and often amusingly anachronistic couplets, artfully delivered by a talented cast in a stylish production...The multiple impersonations and mistaken identifies are so complicated that even the actors get confused. The humor is a bit broader and the quality of the rhymes is a bit lower...If you have not seen one of the earlier plays, you will probably be delighted; if you have, you might be a bit disappointed."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
April 23rd, 2018

"A hilarious evening with a delightful cast...Ives has much fun with the dialogue delivered in couplets, including outrageously funny rhymes, with some contemporary references tossed into the hopper. One is rewarded by listening carefully and a desire to read the text may be aroused...Kahn understands the secret of good farce. He keeps the players dedicated to naturalness without hinting that they are trying to be funny...Ives’s take on this excavated play is thoroughly clever."
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W
April 27th, 2018

"Playwright David Ives...I can imagine no other artist with the alchemic skills to create such deft, intoxicating, unregenerate fun...Fluent combination of period phrasing, literary references, tabloid seduction and clever rhymes lead us merrily to denouement and finale one can’t possibly anticipate. The cast is outstanding with special mention to Adam Green and Amelia Pedlow for sublime moments."
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Stage Left
April 23rd, 2018

"This delicious romp is heady, frothy, and just downright fun, directed with genre-specific aplomb by Michael Kahn, and played by a terrific band of actors who are dead serious in dispensing their lighthearted frivolity...A sharp and silly comedy that sleekly marries an antique form with an infusion of modern sensibility...This is light fare, for sure, but with intelligence and erudition...Mr. Ives proves, once again, that he is a master of this theatrical niche."
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T
April 23rd, 2018

"'The Metromaniacs' is only occasionally funny. It wraps itself in a blanket of cleverness that keeps the play from taking off. Everyone in the show does nice work and the entire production design is quite good. My favorite performer was Adam Green as Mondor the valet. There is nothing particularly wrong with this production. But in the end/I cannot bend. The show was sort of lackluster/a positive review I cannot muster."
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Epoch Times
April 28th, 2018

"It’s a testament to the text that one cannot always see where the story is going as it’s so full of comedic twists and turns...Ives has made his story so topical that one can’t help but wonder how it will fare in years to come, when faced with changing tastes and sensibilities...Despite these quibbles, Kahn’s direction is sure handed, making each situation flow seamlessly into the next. The farcical situations, misconceptions, and overall hysteria build to a huge and hilarious crescendo."
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Show Showdown
April 22nd, 2018

"I could rave about the writing (joyfully wonderful and silly rhymes by David Ives) or the acting (from a strong, talented, attractive ensemble) or the design (charming) or the direction (calibrated perfectly by Michael Kahn). But what I want to say is this: If you're looking for a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying evening in the theater, go see 'The Metromaniacs.'"
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Let's Go to the Theater
April 29th, 2018

"Funny, creative, and a most enjoyable show to see...The show has appeal for a wide range of audiences especially those who enjoy listening to the English language used in beautiful verse and superb presentation of ideas...The versatility of the acting and the call to respond to comic antics create funny moments...Prepare to laugh and enjoy yourself...Also, bask in the beauty of the language as it unfolds the story for you."
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TheaterScene.com
May 3rd, 2018

"The sometimes pleasantly dizzying series of events rests on the shoulders of an extremely capable and stellar assortment of actors and their characters...The entire ensemble is spectacular and they’re having as much of a good time with this elegant screwball comedy as the audience is and that plusses the fun...'The Metromaniacs' is a must see show for those that love words, wordplay, farce, fantasy, intelligent and broad slapstick comedy, and lush deliciously presented theatricality."
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Z
April 23rd, 2018

"Just relax and enjoy the rhmying couplets and be prepared to laugh a great deal...The entire cast is game...'The Metromaniacs' is ultimately a delightful diversion, a piece of fluff that entertains but doesn’t resonate. Nonetheless, kudos to director Michael Khan who keeps four plates spinning at one time. The highest praise goes to Mr. Ives, who may have had great source material, but his words are what make this funny little play sing."
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Off Off Online
April 24th, 2018

"It is a classic comedy of mistaken identity, love at first sight, and, well, absolute fluff...It’s a lot to remember, but thankfully the witty maid Lisette helps keep everyone in line...Still, with all these plots, the comedic timing and special moments in the play occasionally feel a little lost...Ives’s translation and adaptation is smart, amusing, perfectly silly, and completely conveys the whimsical world of the play...Despite a few missed moments, 'The Metromaniacs' is enchanting."
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The Washington Post
February 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"STC's ingenious resurrection of an obscure 18th-century French comedy. This almost criminally enjoyable world premiere reunites director Kahn and Ives, the master adapter...What Ives treats us to is a juicy pileup of rivalries among a set of Paris 'metromaniacs,' or poetry addicts...Kahn’s production goes like a shot. The cast speaks brilliantly, hopping onto the high wire of Ives’s rhymes and nailing punch lines that glisten with classical flair and contemporary savvy."
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Theatermania
February 17th, 2015
For a previous production

"A superb new world premiere...The show's brilliance is due to the collaboration between the play's translator and adapter...This is a sensational production because of Michael Kahn's intelligent direction. Kahn directs to the play's comedic core, allowing his actors to make virtually every other line a laugh line. Although he keeps the play moving at breakneck speed...Kahn never lets the play go so fast that the audience gets lost trying to tease out the various plots."
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BroadwayWorld
February 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"A delicious romp...It is wall to wall fun and frothy, gorgeous to look at and a fine way to spend an hour or two in the theatre. Ives has taken the ball of witty, rhyming verse and ran with it all the way to Paris and back...'The Metromaniacs' glitters with literary references, up-to-the-minute pop culture allusions and topical humor. These ingredients mingle with the silliest of comic plot lines for a delicious confection."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"A total delight...In keeping with the theme of people besotted by words, Ives has written the play in rhymed couplets bubbling with wit both timeless and anachronistic. Keeping the plot and character interactions straight might require a flow chart, but none of that matters in Kahn's polished production...Ives's seven characters love language above all and also become besotted with one another...The cast members work together as smoothly as parts of a machine."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
February 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"A wild, wonderful, built-for-speed, audaciously performed game-of-deception, fantasyland comedy based upon a multi-century old French farce...It’s a chaotic verbal rhyming feast; full of multiple plots and hilarious poetic rhymes about wooing, love’s eagerness for connection, no matter what...There is good-natured theatrical madness as things get tangled, untangled, and resolved through the seemingly effortless work of a crackling ensemble who are completely in the moment."
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TheatreBloom
February 11th, 2015
For a previous production

"Love and lust and entertainment for anyone with a sense of humor...Ives’ writing is comedic brilliance incarnate. With sliding rhymes and sarcastic wit laced into a great deal of the rhyming couplets throughout it is impossible to attend the performance and not laugh...Ives has captured the essence of a perfect comedy; all-inclusive, with farcical elements, mistaken identities, puns, wordplays, and more...Masterfully handling the explosive wit-crackers is Director Kahn."
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DC Theatre Scene
February 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"The Shakespeare Theatre has brought back David Ives to instill some archaic French literature in our lives...Michael Kahn once again directs a gem of a play chock full of wit, laughter, and euphemistic wordplay. There’s a show in the show and a set in the set and the audience is an audience. The self-consciousness makes for some interesting turns...The true star of the play is , of course, the creator who brings wit and relevance to it three hundred years later."
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MD Theatre Guide
February 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"There are very few shows I have ever seen which leave me breathless both with laughter and delight for the entire duration of a performance...Each of the actors played their role wonderfully, drawing me into their ridiculous world...Although unlisted, another character in the production really is the language...As a lover of words, this production was pure play and glistening in seductive enchantment...It is a complete laugh trip to somewhere else while never once leaving your seat."
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