The Originalist
Closed 1h 45m
The Originalist

The Originalist NYC Reviews and Tickets

(42 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (42)

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252 Reviews | 26 Followers
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

286 Reviews | 23 Followers
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.

75 Reviews | 8 Followers
Clever, Enchanting, Delightful, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if AmaIng acting by both actors!! Don’t walk.. run to see this clever play !

Don't see it if If you are looking to see musical, easy play

530 Reviews | 278 Followers
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.

812 Reviews | 133 Followers
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

198 Reviews | 28 Followers
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.

119 Reviews | 29 Followers
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

133 Reviews | 35 Followers
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

Critic Reviews (23)

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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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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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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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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