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The Originalist

From 42 member  reviews
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.  More…

When a bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with the conservative Justice, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation's highest court? 

Member Reviews (42)


Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

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.

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.

Also This drama portrays many points of views so persons of different polit... Read more Read less

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.

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.

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

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

Also I wonder if Scalia indeed used the displayed technique of arm crossing... Read more Read less

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.

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.

Also Speaking on Verdi Edward Gero, as Antonin Scalia, exclaims that, "The ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Must see, Riveting, Absorbing, Brilliant

See it if you want to see an extraordinary piece of theater with extraordinary writing and acting

Don't see it if you only like musicals or comedies; if you have no interest in a marvelous portrayal of Justice Scalia and his ideas

Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You like good acting & hope for civil discourse despite increasingly divided political views. Excellent portrayal of Scalia.

Don't see it if You don't care a whit about the U.S. Constitution or how it should be interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Great acting, Great writing

See it if You're looking for a smart, beautifully written and exquisitely acted powerhouse.

Don't see it if You don't like long shows without intermission or shows that are primarily dialogue-based.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like intelligent, relevant and trenchant exchanges on the left/right divide in the US and want to try to understand the US Constitution.

Don't see it if You do not like 'wordy' plays which require close attention to the dialogue.

Edgy, Entertaining, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like making the acquaintance of an interesting and colorful character with clever dialogue and great acting.

Don't see it if You don’t care for plays about the law and an ultra right conservative judge.

Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if Excellent writing, beautifully acted, resonating , important theme, well directed and important to see! Excellent portrait of Scalia!.

Don't see it if . you are disinterested in contemporary politics and not open to different points of view

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Must see

See it if you are interested in biography and well written theatre. Intellectually stimulating theatre. Provocative theatre.

Don't see it if you don't have interest in the law and politics

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You are interested in American history particularly the Supremacy me Court

Don't see it if You don’t care

Absorbing, Great acting, Clever

See it if You are interested in a glimpse into the mind and heart of an ultra conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Don't see it if You cannot overcome your hostility to an ultra conservative Supreme Court Justice to enjoy a well written and well acted play

Also I just wonder if the portrayal of Scalia was close to reality.

Excellent gero, Contrived, Slow, Entertaining, Brave

See it if you would enjoy hearing rather undeveloped legal combat between an originalist and a liberal on recent hot button issues; lawyer catnip

Don't see it if you want a play with a realistic plot and real drama; this was more of a formulaic, intellectual slugfest between stereotypical characters

Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if A fictionalized play about Justice Scalia, which successfully articulates his philosophy and humor. Excellent performances and worth seeing.

Don't see it if Use of an artificial dramatic devise of imagined relationships to delve into political issues of the time.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Original!, Enlightening

See it if you would be interested in the meeting of the minds between two highly intellectual but polemically opposed individuals.

Don't see it if You can't be politically open-minded enough to see both sides well presented and portrayed.

Also Edward Gero is exceptional is this production. I'm so glad we had the ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Must see, Profound

See it if You're interested in politics and are lean either far to the left or right. This play does a great job at bridging the divide. So great

Don't see it if You're looking for something light in content. It's dialogue-heavy, yet so well-written. A beautiful evening at the theatre

Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if An evenhanded political drama that makes Justice Scalia seem thoughtful human being without embracing his philosophy. Scalia seems present

Don't see it if Hard to accept premise that a law clerk could debate a Justice on such equal terms. Arguments sometimes seem forced and simplified.

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Engrossing

See it if You are interested in the law, the constitution, and a look inside the supreme court from the point of view of a justice and a clerk.

Don't see it if If you are bored by the law and politics.

Also The performance of Tracy Ifeachor is excellent. She shines in the role... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Very interesting

See it if I was so so surprised how interesting this play was! Interesting political writing. Justice Scalia.. Very well acted.

Don't see it if If you like fast moving, musicals, big staging & if you don't want back & forth sparring dialogue, politics

Also Sometimes a little slow for some.

Ambitious, Relevant, Refreshing, Great acting, Cliched

See it if The actor's portrayal of Scalia is terrific; the two foils are fine but stereotypical. The personal story is an effective tear-jerker.

Don't see it if The treatment of serious constitutional issues (guns, gay rights) is superficial and relies on histrionics not analysis; and it's slow-going

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....
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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 contro...
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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...Stran...
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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 wil...
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