The New Morality
Closed 1h 45m
The New Morality
82

The New Morality NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(23 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
17%
Negative
0%
Members say
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

About the Show

The Mint, producer of "neglected plays," presents a light comedy; a memorable excursion aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, the hottest summer on record.

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Member Reviews (23)

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87
Very funny

See it if delightful 2015 revival of Harold Chapin comedy of manners set on fashionable houseboat in Thames in 1911. Streamed in July 2020 pandemic.

Don't see it if you'd dislike a WWI era comedy of manners, but really it's very funny indeed. See it if Mint streams this lost classic again. Read more

95
Funny, Delightful, Clever

See it if you want to see a deliciously funny British show that has themes we can all relate to.

Don't see it if n/a - closed Read more

Critic Reviews (26)

The New York Times
September 24th, 2015

"The writing is charming and finely observed, with only a tinge of must. The direction by Jonathan Bank, is appealing and apposite. The acting is adept...But ultimately the play isn’t especially high-proof, too tidy and conventional. The arguments about men and women and marriage seem intended to surprise; they don’t."
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Time Out New York
September 21st, 2015

"Like a flute of champagne left out in the sun, the vintage play 'The New Morality' (1911) starts off scintillating but ultimately falls flat...Even if the play itself has outlived its moment, the actors—including a superfluous solicitor and the requisite servants—are all excellent and very believably cast, as if plucked from an early 20th-century edition of 'The Tatler'...There are more tiresome places to spend a sultry day on the water."
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New Yorker
October 8th, 2015

"Jonathan Bank directs the fine cast with the right balance of thoughtfulness and silliness. Meaney is wonderful in the central role, showing consummate humor, feeling, and intelligence. But, in a surprising twist, the playwright puts his theme in the mouth of a drunken upper-class twit, and Ned Noyes nails the big scene."
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Theatermania
September 21st, 2015

"'The New Morality' is honored with a lavishly crafted production...But the play itself leaves much to be desired...The wafer-thin 'New Morality' can hardly compare with the alternately funny and thought-provoking work of other playwrights from the time, like George Bernard Shaw. Perhaps that explains why it played for less than a month upon its first New York outing, and has remained on the shelves since."
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BroadwayWorld
September 22nd, 2015

"A splendid and gracefully directed production is fully of subtle wit and progressive rumblings to go with its remarkably simple, yet for its time quite intriguing, plot...While the premise may not seem enough to fill out an evening, Chapin writes with extreme economy. The first act takes up hardly a half-hour and the next two are barely longer."
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Lighting & Sound America
September 22nd, 2015

"The program notes for 'The New Morality' call it a 'tempest-in-a-teapot' comedy. I'm afraid that the tempest is barely a squall and the tea is exceptionally weak...Under Jonathan Bank's suave direction, 'The New Morality' has all the polish we've come to expect from Mint productions...But surely the Mint will soon find some light comedies with something more substantial to say."
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Talkin' Broadway
September 21st, 2015

"Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing any production of the Mint Theater Company will not be surprised to hear that artistic director Jonathan Bank and his colleagues have done very, very right by 'The New Morality'...Jonathan Bank’s direction is well-nigh pitch perfect, though I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about that at first...That said, if the production is flawed in any respect, it’s a miscalculation on the part of lighting."
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TheaterScene.net
September 28th, 2015

"While Jonathan Bank’s production is elegant and polished, this diverting play unfortunately seems lightweight and thin today...The Mint Theater continues to present elegant and sophisticated revivals of forgotten plays from the turn of the last century. Jonathan Bank’s production of 'The New Morality' is no exception. While the comedy is certainly diverting, this does not seem to be a lost treasure like many of the plays that the Mint has uncovered."
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Theater Pizzazz
September 22nd, 2015

"The cast effectively paints a nuanced portrait of the times. Meaney expressively adds a wry spark behind Betty’s languor. As Ivor Jones, Michael Frederic is the portrait of an behind-the-times Edwardian Colonel. As Muriel’s clueless but sensitive husband, Ned Noyes rules the strong Act III. Directed by Jonathan Bank, the play runs a leisurely course in three acts. Steven Kemp designed a well-detailed feminine bedroom."
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CurtainUp
September 16th, 2015

"While the play does have a Shavian flavor, even an inveterate restorer of rarely seen or under-appreciated plays like Bank hasn't been able to give this essentially slight play more than a very light touch of Shaw's social depth. But not to worry. True to its name, the Mint's productions are always first-rate and 'The New Morality' is no exception."
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Stage Buddy
September 21st, 2015

"Director Jonathan Banks and his cast have likely done all the right things to embody the playwright’s vision of the characters. However, those characters come off as a fairly unpleasant lot. Meaney’s Betty takes a smug delight in her own outrageousness, seldom showing concern that the stakes for her in the case are quite high. Frederic’s Ivor often seems a bundle of slow burns. You almost expect to see clouds of steam blast out of his ears."
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New York Theater
September 23rd, 2015

"Unearthed by the indispensable Mint Theater, whose mission is to “excavate buried theatrical treasures, the play is being given the Mint’s usual quality production, with a pleasing set and costumes, and a capable seven-member cast... Still, for all the skill on display under the direction of Jonathan Bank, the Mint persuaded me only that 'The New Morality' is a rediscovered historical and anthropological treasure, not a theatrical one."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
September 21st, 2015

"Chapin’s play is an Edwardian curiosity, something like a shaved-down Shavian comedy of aphorisms and ideas, their fragility becoming increasingly apparent over the course of three acts (with two intermissions)...The Mint’s discoveries are often worth resuscitating; despite its occasional pleasantries and historical interest, however, they should have let this sleeping play lie...Only a first-rate company could make this frothy material work, and the Mint’s, while competent, falls short."
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Times Square Chronicles
September 22nd, 2015

"The revival of Harold Chapin’s 1911 play 'The New Morality' at The Mint Theater is a gem of a comedy. Delightful with every aspect, it is a shame the writer died at 29. Along the lines of a Noel Coward or Bernard Shaw, the dialogue is witty and fresh, the material interesting and the acting superb...I look forward to more of the Mint’s stellar performances."
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The Huffington Post
September 22nd, 2015

"Truth to tell, were it not that the cast performs so stylishly, 'The New Morality' through the first two acts would seem terribly slight. But as Bank guides them and as Carisa Kelly dresses them, they prove that while gossamer is a fragile material, it can also be alluring."
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Upstage-Downstage
September 22nd, 2015

"Under the direction of the company’s smart and sharply focused producing artistic director Jonathan Bank, the cast is uniformly strong, with Mr. Noyes giving a stellar performance as the fumbling yet ultimately insightful Teddy. With 'The New Morality,' the Mint once again shows just what you can do when you scour that old 'dramaturgical dustbin.'"
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
September 22nd, 2015

"The Mint’s production demonstrates Chapin’s flair for character creation, witty dialogue and an awareness of the changing role for women in their effort to assert themselves more forcefully in a world dominated by men...A gentle play that builds to expression of its key viewpoints in the third act. Its trajectory is seductive little by little, with a methodical progression, abetted by a style of avoiding flamboyance and reliance instead on witty discourse."
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W
September 22nd, 2015

"A rollicking, genteel good time. Director Jonathan Bank keeps the pace crisp finding humor in dead pan timing, Alice’s nuanced reactions, and Teddy’s physicality. A few idiosyncratic characteristics would’ve better defined the others. Production values are, as ever at this theater, top notch."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
September 21st, 2015

"It’s not a major play, but it certainly exemplifies a style of writing once fashionable, now long gone. 'The New Morality' is crafty, well constructed, and a fine example of a period in theatre when words mattered and actors were trained to deliver them on a silver platter."
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TheaterScene.com
September 24th, 2015

"We know we’re in good hands with director Jonathan Bank, an old master at capturing the poise and genteel stage rhythms of a century ago...And with three acts ranging from 25 to 35 minutes, 'The New Morality' doesn’t wear out its welcome...The talk’s smart and swift, the characters compelling enough...But try and boil Chapin’s philosophy down, and you’ll be frustrated. He waxes eloquent on the battles of the sexes, but really, his point remains elusive."
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NY Theatre Guide
September 30th, 2015

"The cast expertly crafts a world on the brink of change delivering elegant performances with great attention to detail of accent, physicality and class...Jonathan Bank has directed a perfect 'snapshot' of the time, orchestrating fine tuned performances and placing us at the dinner table on the deck of the Hyacinth to witness a heat wave of satirical high comedy."
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Show Showdown
September 26th, 2015

"'The New Morality' is a fast-moving 1:50 that goes down like cotton candy...Director Jonathan Bank's work is my favorite sort of direction: all decisions are made in honor of the play... Plays like 'The New Morality' aren't written anymore, but they have much to offer and should be seen. So, once again, thanks to the invaluable Mint."
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Village Voice
September 22nd, 2015

"'New' is a relative term in the case of Harold Chapin's 1911 comedy of manners, 'The New Morality,' whose ethical quandaries must have felt old a century ago. This tale of cranky aristocrats in houseboats offers intermittent pleasures, if few provocations to anyone's moral code...Reviving underproduced drama — the Mint's specialty — can be exciting, but it helps if the old material has the substance to challenge us anew."
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W
September 22nd, 2015

"'The New Morality' is directed by Jonathan Bank with a surprising ease. It sparkles like a Noel Coward movie from the 1930’s, a time when wit depending on intellect and charm. That Mr. Bank has pulled it off one hundred years later is genius. That it occurs in the intimate space of the Mint Theater is a charm."
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E
September 29th, 2015

"Despite the play’s constraints of time and space, Harold Chapin’s script never feels stilted or expository. Comic tension rarely lags and the humor is character-driven, lending the story a freshness that transcends its period. Director Jonathan Bank moves his baton at the right speed: brisk, but not rushed."
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Our Theater Blog
September 22nd, 2015

"Watching Noyes’ Teddy spontaneously combust while 'in his cups' is one of the many pleasures 'The New Morality' affords...The acting, with Jonathan Bank’s tender mercies as director, is perfect. The ensemble are all excellent and accomplished."
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