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The Pain of My Belligerence

From 87 member  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. More…

Twenty-something and brilliant, Cat is a journalist at the top of her game: tack-sharp and ambitious, and rapidly establishing her place in the field. Until she meets Guy — magnetic, devilishly charming, and married — and the attrition begins.

Member Reviews (87)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Disappointing
Avg Score

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

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,

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?

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.

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.

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.

Also The first scene of this play is terrific. The major problem is that th... Read more Read less

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

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.

Great acting, Infuriating, Intense, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if Two loathsome people engage in an affair. If that’s your idea of fun, this one’s for you. Good performances.

Don't see it if I found this show so offensive, I nearly walked out. Nearly every character is intolerable.

Confusing, Different, Surprising, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in plots about dysfunctional romantic relationships, if you like unusual characters and plot twists.

Don't see it if if you prefer very realistic characters and easy to believe or understand plots or if you are sensitive to infidelity.

Disappointing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you enjoy perfectly cast actors and witty dialogue.

Don't see it if the lives of dysfunctional people are of no interest to you.

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 .

Intelligent, Slow, Indulgent, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if a new take on "boy meets gir" kind of play sparks your interest in any way.

Don't see it if weird, quirky, and different are not the way you would describe the kind of theater you enjoy experiencing.

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.

Also The opening scene was equal parts searing, cringey, and sublime.

Edgy, Great acting, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you are up for a really toxic relationship - vulnerable young woman, married man. No happy ending.

Don't see it if you prefer to see a play featuring a two sided relationships with a future

Fraught, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if up for bold, brave, nuanced play & provocative performances; trust that layers of meaning will reveal themselves later & foster compassion.

Don't see it if hate coming away confused or disappointed over emotionally fraught scenes & dialogue zinging past or muted by audience's nervous laughter.

Also Playbill and copy of artist interview, distributed post-performance, p... Read more Read less

Relevant, Raunchy, Intense, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if You want to see absolutely wonderful writing and acting in the first scene. Brilliant stuff. But goes downhill after.

Don't see it if You are offended by nudity and sex scenes. It is rather graphic. Can't say that I recommend the play overall, but that first scene soars!


See it if a radically self-deprecating sense of humor speaks to you.

Don't see it if you are easily made uncomfortable (possibly the most graphic nude scene I've ever seen).

Also Feiffer’s performance is riveting and nuanced, but I can’t help but wo... Read more Read less

Well acted, Sexually graphic, Discomforting, Intense

See it if You like stories of intense male-female relationships that may push you out of your comfort zone.

Don't see it if You are made uncomfortable by portrayals of explicit sex. Women falling for inappropriate men make you want to get up and leave the room.

Also No question Halley Feiffer is a talented actress as well as a talented... Read more Read less

Quirky, Great acting, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you want to see great acting and like characters who are flawed

Don't see it if you want an easy narrative or likeable characters.

Engaging, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you're want a well-acted show written by a contemporary playwright. The characters are masterfully built in such a short time.

Don't see it if you prefer plot-based shows. This centers around the characters & their complex relationships. Also avoid if you don't appreciate nudity.

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.

Interesting, Revealing, Quirky

See it if you like to hear fresh new theater voices tell their story in an intimate and brave way, enjoy extreme characters and awkward situations

Don't see it if you are easily offended by onstage intimacy, expect coherent characters whose motivation is always clear, or hate unnecessary happy endings

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

See it if drama is your thing. Acting is amazing - so well done. Story drags a bit at times.

Don't see it if you you do not like straight plays on disturbing issues.

Refreshing, Quirky, Intelligent, Edgy, Funny

See it if im glad to be introduced to the writing (and acting) of halley feiffer. she's clearly a supertalented superstar

Don't see it if ...

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...'Pai...
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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 Linkla...
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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...
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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.....
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