The Pain of My Belligerence
The Pain of My Belligerence

The Pain of My Belligerence NYC Reviews and Tickets

(87 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (87)

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86 Reviews | 24 Followers
Dizzying, edgy, intense, thought-provoking, well-acted

See it if You like word-heavy plays about deeply damaged, high IQ, witty people in toxic relationships. Labute, Mamet etc

Don't see it if You are averse to plays that push envelopes, feature serious illness, infidelity, and difficult aggressive men. Read more

50 Reviews | 18 Followers
Riveting, Humane, Surprising, Sexy, Funny

See it if you like to pay attention because you don't want to miss a thing in this 80 minute show and the reversals are coming fast and furious.

Don't see it if you can't put up with silliness in the first act, and angst in the second act, to set you up for the deft, hilarious and eye-opening third. Read more

207 Reviews | 34 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you like Happy Pfeiffer's work and if you like plays that make you think and if you like great actors

Don't see it if you want to be spoon fed. This takes a lot of work on the part of the audience. Intelligent and beautiful writing.

277 Reviews | 38 Followers
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Confusing, Stressful

See it if An intensely personal look at how smart, self-aware people can participate in toxic, self-destructive behaviors.

Don't see it if You can't take being uncomfortable in the theater or you have no interest in the jagged angles of modern gender interactions. Read more

96 Reviews | 30 Followers
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great staging, Edgy, Funny

See it if you want to challenge about how you judge people who stay in an abusive relationship

Don't see it if you don't want to see violence against women, fat-shaming, racism, chauvinism, mansplaining Read more

444 Reviews | 89 Followers
Profound, Edgy, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if A complex play involves a lonely and vulnerable woman & her narcissistic married lover. Internal strength and insight end this must see play

Don't see it if Very emotionally intense with nudity .

649 Reviews | 154 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.

567 Reviews | 151 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?

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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