The Pain of My Belligerence
The Pain of My Belligerence

The Pain of My Belligerence NYC Reviews and Tickets

(87 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Disappointing

About the Show

Charting their spiky relationship over eight years, following a rapidly changing America, Halley Feiffer’s comedy sheds light on how we perpetuate our roles within a patriarchal culture, and the promise of a new paradigm.

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Member Reviews (87)

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716 Reviews | 157 Followers
Heartbreaking, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if Fan of Haley Feiffer & Trip Cullman, enjoy plays about the plight of single lonely women in the City & ill-fated love affairs, plot twists

Don't see it if Not interested in single women getting hurt by urban life or insincere guys, single-act plays, plot twists that stretch credibility,

506 Reviews | 1000 Followers
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Male-Female Relationships in today's world.Who is at fault here? Two remarkable performances. Big disparity in rating with partner/myself

Don't see it if Some nudity. The smaller P.H. site but still some dialogue lost ( the quiet intimate conversations) beyond the 5th-6th rows

567 Reviews | 147 Followers
Unsettling, Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Dysfunctionally bad romance (he's married) sucks the lifeforce outta protagonist like a Lyme-filled tick. Writer/actor on stage.Trip directs

Don't see it if Okay, accountability.And victimhood.The writer performs this role nightly so why is toxicity so reliable for her?For the role?For womanhood?

535 Reviews | 488 Followers
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Engaging, Uneven, Great writing

See it if you'd be interested in a show that has a lot to say and a very strong style, even if the show is not more than the sum of its parts.

Don't see it if you don't want to roll with the punches. My advice is to not get too locked into one idea of "what this show is about" too early on.

543 Reviews | 133 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Uncomfortable, Absorbing

See it if great acting, uncomfortable, stomach churning portrayal of a very noxious relationship. Insightful direction by Coleman; fascinating.

Don't see it if you find it too upsetting to watch a person self destruct; you are embarrassed by nudity/graphic sex; don't like surprise endings.

479 Reviews | 262 Followers
Good staging, Good performances, Second-tier feiffer, Interesting

See it if you are a fan of Halley Feiffer and want to be a completist. This is a second-rate play that, hopefully, can be fixed with more work.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with nudity, simulated sex. Read more

512 Reviews | 79 Followers
Weird, Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you like self-congratulatory plays.Hard to care about the characters or the situation. Over the top and dull at the same time.

Don't see it if you want a character study or a show that has characters to whom you can relate.

431 Reviews | 130 Followers
No nuance here, Characters are undeveloped, Cringe-inducing, Excruciating

See it if Want 80mins of toxic masculinity, co-dependency, dysfunctional relationships, graphic sex/nudity. Writer plays char inspired by own life.

Don't see it if Perhaps a catharsis-seeking moment 4 Halley, but truth is not always artful. Squirmy & almost unbearable to watch, we're IN her therapy here

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
April 22nd, 2019

"Ms. Feiffer is a virtuoso in creating self-lacerating heroines. Her performance here is smart, brave and unsparing to the point that you wince at its lack of vanity. And in that excruciatingly well-acted opening scene, she has created a perfectly self-contained, socially resonant portrait...'Pain' is perfectly cast, beautifully acted, fluidly directed and astutely designed. But it ultimately collapses under the weight of heavy symbols and too literal-minded political correspondences."
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Time Out New York
April 22nd, 2019

"Their dysfunction duet is peripatetic, nauseating, exciting. But the next two segments are not nearly as strong...The clumsiness of the play’s final hour is disappointing mainly because the restaurant scene is such a killer. In those first 30 minutes, director Trip Cullman has Feiffer and Linklater push their performances to the edge of nightmarish exaggeration while keeping their date horribly believable."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 22nd, 2019

"Feiffer is certainly stripping herself down both off and onstage...But her vulnerability, though it might have stemmed from personal awakening, doesn’t translate into a broader theatrical revelation. The play, for all its attempts at courageous self-exposure, feels sour and on-the-nose...Cat and Guy get a bit more dimension as the play progresses, but the aftertaste of 'Pain’s' first scene is lingering and bitter."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 22nd, 2019

"Despite excellent performances by Feiffer and her co-star Hamish Linklater, the play proves more punishing than enlightening...The characters and situations are defined so sketchily that the narrative twists feel annoyingly manipulative, despite the sleekness of director Trip Cullman's staging...Unfortunately, 'The Pain of My Belligerence' demonstrates that fearlessness isn't enough when it comes to art: You also need some finesse."
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April 22nd, 2019

"As portrayed by the hyperactive Linklater, Guy is obnoxious, arrogant, selfish, and more than a little hot...Feiffer delivers a performance that matches the brutal honesty of her writing...Cullman directs the play at a dizzying yet impressively coherent clip...But what made me most uncomfortable was the dark truth undergirding Feiffer's script — that we can be completely aware that something (or someone) is deleterious to our lives, yet keep coming back for more, almost like an addiction."
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May 5th, 2019

"Whether or not Feiffer's play successfully addresses her stated intention may be a judgment call, but if the text could use a bit more focus in that direction, the playwright's sharp, intelligent dialogue always engages and intrigues. And the thick chemistry between Feiffer and Linklater in director Tripp Cullman's light and swift production allows the bulk of the piece to play like romantic comedy, providing an interesting contrast between tone and content."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 23rd, 2019

“If her best plays walk a tightrope between laughter and deep discomfort, ‘The Pain of My Belligerence’ tumbles over too often into the latter state, and not always convincingly...Cullman's handling of the actors is deft...Feiffer is one of our more consistently interesting playwrights, with a sense of humor that seems to have come through her patrilineal line...But ‘The Pain of My Belligerence’ is one of her lesser works. It's too much belligerence, and not enough pain.”
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Talkin' Broadway
April 22nd, 2019

"It's a brave effort, and I wish I liked it more. A look at bad relationships and the social structures that prop them up, it's marked by a) an unlikely and needless symmetry and b) containing virtually nonstop awful behavior by three of its characters...Feiffer, to her credit, isn't entirely blaming society for the sexual conventions that motivate women to place so much weight on male regard...Feiffer is valiant to explore it onstage, and in doing so brings along some pertinent observations."
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