The Originalist
Closed 1h 45m
The Originalist
83

The Originalist NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(42 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
12%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Four-time Helen Hayes Award winner Edward Gero portrays Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. 

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Member Reviews (42)

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983 Reviews | 229 Followers
79
Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Clever

See it if Ed Gero doe a masterful job of portraying Supreme Court Judge, Antone Scalia's human side and deep thinking side. Intermissionless hour half

Don't see it if Show goes bye quickly. If you like musicals or are intolerant towards conservatives.

657 Reviews | 101 Followers
91
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy an intelligent drama about the late Judge Scalia. The dialogue is intelligent and intense. This show grips you.

Don't see it if you are an intolerant liberal without an open mind and hate Scalia. Read more

513 Reviews | 129 Followers
83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you're interested in Scalia as a multi dimensional person/in the law & our constitution; you're curious to understand why RBG loved him.

Don't see it if you've no interest in the law or sitting through discussions from people with opposing perspectives; cannot keep an open mind about Scalia.

469 Reviews | 258 Followers
92
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you enjoy intelligent andprovocatoive theatre. A stunning tour-de-force performance by Edward Gero as Scalia.

Don't see it if you are not interested in political dramas that show the two political sides of our nation.

360 Reviews | 89 Followers
55
Banal, Slow, Disappointing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy two-handers. (yes, it's technically a three-hander but it is at heart a two-hander.) You are a political junkie.

Don't see it if You like shows with naturalistic acting. You are looking for an intelligent look at law and those who interpret it. Read more

349 Reviews | 58 Followers
80
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Subtle rulings, unsubtle acting, Intelligent, Very slow

See it if A look into the brilliant mind of Antonin Scalia interests you. He goes up against also brilliant law clerk. No one wins.

Don't see it if Overacted plays upset you. Brilliant (again) subtleties are bandied about loud & hard & contest of opinion is only academic. Lawyers love it

306 Reviews | 45 Followers
82
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Intense, Riveting

See it if you have feelings one way or the other about Antonin Scalia. Gero portrays him masterfully showing his character and humanity.

Don't see it if serious drama is your preferred theater experience.

266 Reviews | 60 Followers
70
Clever, Funny, Disappointing

See it if An interesting backstage look at the Supreme Court and Scalia. Some witty exchanges with a foil of an intern.

Don't see it if You don't want to see the gears turning. I felt it was too clear that we are carefully and effectively being manipulated. I should't feel it Read more

Critic Reviews (23)

Theatermania
July 19th, 2018

“Thought-provoking (and equally contrived) play...A lot like a Norman Lear sitcom featuring Scalia as Archie Bunker with a Harvard Law degree. This results in a certain amount of sitcom acting from Gero and Ifeachor, who commit to the more ludicrous exchanges in Strand's script with forced gusto...Strand's play is foremost about ideas and national trends, so director Molly Smith wisely spotlights the text with an uncluttered and highly focused staging.”
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BroadwayWorld
July 21st, 2018

"This is a vital story for our times. It contrasts political and social perspectives while still proving that people can maintain a sense of civility. This enthralling theatrical piece features the finest staging and stellar acting...Gero as Antonin Scalia masters the demanding role of the controversial judge and Ifeachor as Cat captures the part of his tenacious law clerk...A thought-provoking, insider's view of our American judicial system and makes you realize the importance of respectful discourse."
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Lighting & Sound America
July 24th, 2018

"Does anyone think that New York theatre audience wants to see a play in which Scalia rants and raves for over an hour, only to be revealed as a teddy bear under the black robes? The premise of 'The Originalist' is pure sitcom...Trouble is, Strand struggles to make it minimally believable...Strand undermines his plot with tired television-comedy tropes...Too much of the time, however, 'The Originalist' settles for easy, odd-couple comedy at the expense of character and real conflict. "
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New York Stage Review
July 19th, 2018

“A play that could hardly come along at a more opportune moment...That ‘The Originalist’ is little more than a thinly disguised debate does have its drawbacks as the Scalia-Cat exchanges accumulate and range from bickering to knock-down-drag-out disputes...It’s likely that Manhattan audiences will differ in their inclinations from many other parts of the nation where 'The Originalist' also deserves to play."
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TheaterScene.net
July 23rd, 2018

"While conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have been 'the most polarizing figure in American civic life,' there can be little doubt that actor Edward Gero gives a bravura performance as the jurist in John Strand's 'The Originalist,' now having its New York premiere at 59E59 Theaters. This fictional biography which uses excerpts from Scalia's dissents and opinions is part courtroom drama, part debate and partly a portrait of a man who never compromised on his convictions."
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Theatre is Easy
July 27th, 2018

“Playwright Strand has crafted his characters well...’The Originalist’ feels authentic and its dialogue rings true. Gero and Ifeachor maximize the tension and humor in their well-staged debate scenes, and Gero is especially charismatic as Scalia, evoking empathy and a sense of humanity despite his hardline conservatism. Under the guidance of director Molly Smith, he maximizes the humor of the character, pushing the laugh potential in each wisecrack.”
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Theater Pizzazz
July 22nd, 2018

"Perhaps more relevant than ever before...Gero’s respect for the Justice is transparent as he moves through a transformative, articulate, and lovable performance. It is a masterful and surprisingly sympathetic portrait...Ifeachor’s acting is like a virtuoso jazz musician. Her instincts command this fiery character...Strand’s play is a brave and talented work...It’s a great performance from two very different actors and it’s their exceptional performances which make the ideas accessible."
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CurtainUp
July 20th, 2018

“Strand's sharp dialogue draws a character study of the audacious spirit, feisty charm, and brilliant mind of the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia...Gero paints the larger-than-life Scalia with a love-hate spirit, a stout theatrical intellect performing from the bench...Ifeachor gives Cat a robust conviction and inflexibility...Its timeliness now is particularly glaring.”
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