Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Fluffy, Disappointing

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents this new feisty romantic comedy from Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize, and Oscar winner John Patrick Shanley ('Doubt'), starring Jason Alexander ('Seinfeld.')

... Read more

In Providence, Rhode Island, habitually widowed Atalanta pays a visit to her second-rate lawyer Barry Dragonetti (Jason Alexander). Intending to settle her latest husband’s affairs, this larger-than-life Greek tightwad quickly becomes a nightmare for her cheesy, self-aggrandizing attorney. Add Barry’s impossible Croatian mother, a dash of current politics, and a couple of opportunistic young lovers, and you have in hand a recipe for comic combustion.


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Offer valid for select seating on all performances through 11/26/17 except for 10/24/17. Additional blackout dates may apply. Prices do not include a $2.50 facility fee. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Limit of 6 tickets per order. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Cast subject to change.


See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

95
The Wall Street Journal

"The funniest new comedy I’ve reviewed since…well, maybe ever...I don’t know when I last saw another stage comedy that was funny right from the top, or one whose last scene was so unmanipulatively touching. The entire cast is dead-solid perfect, and Mr. Shanley, one of the few playwrights of note who can be trusted to direct his own work, does so to ideal effect...To laugh this hard for that long is downright therapeutic." Full Review

95
Front Row Center

"'The Portuguese Kid' has it all: idiosyncratic characters you cannot help but champion, rambunctious dialogue that leaves you occasionally breathless, and a director’s deft massage of the actors’ already polished gifts for comic timing...What’s most engaging here, is that John Patrick Shanley has written a series of pas de deux, binary battles between and among his characters that enchant even as they resonant." Full Review

85
Stage Left

"A delightful new comedy...If this sounds like a lot. It is. And it all works. This is a play that feels like a play—the kind that writers don’t really write anymore...It’s John Patrick Shanley’s version of a Neil Simon relationship comedy; a silly romp with likable, quick-witted characters who have no real problems but for the ones they create for themselves, and each other, as drinks are poured and doors slammed." Full Review

80
Theater Life

"A little like a guilty pleasure. You get the feeling maybe you shouldn’t be enjoying it so much. But somehow you can’t help yourself...Some of the jokes are stale or don’t quite land...But happily Scott and Alexander turn every rough diamond into a polished gem...Perhaps the virtue of this cast is that they seem to viscerally understand the ridiculous nature of the material...It does provide a few much needed laughs during these difficult and frustrating times." Full Review

80
Stage Buddy

“With all the elements of classic farcical comedy, you can bet it delivers...What really makes the piece resonate is the way it sucker-punches with its poignant, dramatic moments interspersed among the buffoonery...While it may not dramatically change the face of theatre, with its quick wit, sharp dialogue, slapstick elements, and overall comedic chaos, Shanley’s feel-good romp is undoubtedly an enjoyable night out." Full Review

75
NY1

"Thanks to a first-class production, this one's quite a hoot...One of the most hysterical opening scenes ever to grace a New York stage. Unfortunately, Shanley is not able to sustain the hilarity of that first scene...Shanley directs the play as if a grand farce, though the material adds up to a silly soap opera...Bottom line on 'The Portuguese Kid'? Not the best of Shanley's plays, but it is perhaps the funniest. You will laugh — of that I have no doubt!" Full Review

75
Theatre is Easy

“Writer John Patrick Shanley gives us many things with this play: the expected laughter, some political Trump vs. Clinton references, and his own skilled direction...Each performer brings his or her unique brand to the table...The plot is extremely predictable but it doesn't take away from the humor...Though this idea is hardly original, Shanley's premise, combined with quality performances, sells the idea. Venturing beyond the funny is when I think the play falters.” Full Review

75
Entertainment Weekly

“Most of Shanley’s jokes are deliciously funny in his actors’ hands...Not every joke lands...Even the titular joke pales in comparison to far wittier one-liners... When it tries to tackle more existential questions about life, love, and purpose, it falls short. Still, 'The Portuguese Kid' makes for a wildly entertaining couple of hours of whip-smart banter — as long as you don’t expect much substance beyond that." Full Review

75
The Playfixer

“Jason Alexander, as Barry, serves up a variation one his ‘Seinfeld’ character, and Mary Testa is a little too over the top as the mother, but Sherie Rene Scott steals the show as Atalanta, and Pico Alexander (Freddy) and Aimee Carerro (Patty) are almost as amusing. If you are tired of play after depressing play and want just to have a good time and laugh your head off, ‘The Portuguese Kid’ is for you.” Full Review

70
Front Mezz Junkies

"This play is enjoyable and brings a sweet smile to your face for the duration, but ultimately you leave with a bit of a headache and still hungry for more...Directed with a fiery wit and unflailing energy by the playwright...Shanley should have done better, foregoing the Portuguese, focusing his eye on the Greek princess, and serving up a spicier and meatier main dish to go with those feisty cocktails." Full Review

70
Theater Life

"'The Portuguese Kid' doesn’t soar, but the playwright’s trademark wit and a crackerjack cast at least get it off the ground...There are uproarious laughs and sharp characterizations, briskly directed by Shanley, but the predictable plot runs out of steam before the 90 minute running time...Despite the familiarity of the premise, 'Kid' is an enjoyable, if forgettable comedy." Full Review

70
Theatermania

“Shanley throws everything and the kitchen sink into this comedy...With the cast and creative team Shanley has assembled, ’Kid’ should be better than it is...Alexander and Scott are often hilarious...’Kid’ isn't a great play...But it's definitely a crowd pleaser. Once you check your brain at the door, if you're eager to laugh, you'll happily lap up the over-the-top comedic circumstances, no matter how far-fetched they are." Full Review

70
This Week in New York Blog

“An old-fashioned Neil Simon-style romantic farce...Shanley wrote and directed, making changes to the second and fourth scenes up to the very last minute during previews, and it unfortunately shows; those scenes are more chaotic and unformed than the fabulous first and third scenes, in which the characters are well developed, the actors get to strut their stuff, and the plot thickens in wonderfully acerbic ways." Full Review

65
Village Voice

"A comedy regarding inexplicable sexual desire, the play is an underdone mélange of farce, Greek mythological references, insult humor, and extrasensory connections. The dramaturgy here is surprisingly desultory...Shanley manages to massage this on-paper mishmash with capable actors and the smartest production values MTC can buy, and the result is one hundred minutes of agreeable, albeit fitful, amusement.” Full Review

65
Theater Pizzazz

“It’s a battle of the sexes in Shanley’s latest comedy...What makes it most intriguing is the line up of star power. It’s silly, wacky but you gotta laugh even if you don’t want to! This is really far reaching for the likes of Shanley...There’s nothing really going on in this plot, making ‘The Portuguese Kid’ just right for television. But it’s worth a try because the audience, on the whole, responds to a lot of the silliness and laughs out loud. Just what we need!” Full Review

65
Gotham Playgoer

“This alleged romantic comedy is about as buoyant as a lead balloon and as original as a Trump joke...There are some funny one-liners, but far fewer hits than misses... Scott was the only one who appeared to be having a good time. The others acted as if they wished they were somewhere else. I know I did...The revolving sets and the costumes were up to their usual high standards. I wish I could say the same about the efforts of the playwright." Full Review

60
City Cabaret

"Gather a cast of first-class actors, add some laughs, some romance and chances are, you have a pretty good play. Not a great play, not flawless, not wall-to-wall hilarious, but enough to send out the audience with a smile...The cast is enthusiastic, the production values are stellar and there are more than a few laughs but as for the book, we have come to expect something more solid from John Patrick Shanley." Full Review

60
Times Square Chronicles

“Some great acting, some rather funny dialogue, but it is short on substance...You wish for this uber talented cast and design team, a better play or at least a better sitcom. Shanley’s directing keeps his characters in a one-dimensional cardboard cartoon dimension. Luckily he cast wonderful actors who tried valiantly to climb out of that box. However, in an era where PC correct has gone overboard, this show's disregard of that, was actually refreshing.” Full Review

55
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Shanley’s comedy...offers a certain amount of laugh opportunity, not from great writing, but as a vehicle for a good cast who can mine the most out of lines and situations even when the plot becomes rather limp...Shanley’s writing is only intermittently funny along the way, but his cast members consistently come to the rescue as they make the most of everything they are given and are an entertaining lot...Overall this is only a somewhat diverting time in the theater." Full Review

55
Deadline

“What can I say about a terrible play that made me laugh? That it’s a waste of talent and hardly worthy of Jason Alexander’s return to the stage?...That it deserves a pass because it’s by John Patrick Shanley?...Did I mention it made me laugh, and that I wouldn’t necessarily admit it except there were witnesses?...The MTC A-team has delivered a great-looking show...Don’t look for deep meaning below the surface. The play is piffle, but you will laugh in spite of yourself.” Full Review

55
The Huffington Post

“A new overripened affair...There are plenty of laughs on hand...While dramatically suspect, Testa positively fuels the play; one can only imagine how flat things might fall without her entrances—like clockwork—whenever Shanley needs a spark...Alexander and Scott both give their all, despite the hand (and lines) they’ve been dealt...The kids are as effective as necessary, getting the laughs Shanley provides." Full Review

55
CurtainUp

“An American version of a Noel Coward sex comedy but with the stamp of Shanley's own zinger spiced tough talk and less glamorous characters? Well it is, sort of. But with Jason Alexander, forever identified with 'Seinfeld's' George Costanza, there's simply no escaping that it all feels less Cowardesque or top-tier Shanley than an episode from that iconic sitcom...Nothing in ‘The Portuguese Kid’ is as good as you expect from this author." Full Review

55
Lighting & Sound America

“The conventional wisdom is that Alexander, Scott, and Testa are starring in ‘The Portuguese Kid’; in truth, they're propping it up. Whatever amusement is to be found in Shanley's makeshift and often mystifying charade is entirely due to the efforts of these three...So old-fashioned in style and humor that one wonders if it hasn't been sitting around for some time. They don't write them like this anymore, and, as this script demonstrates, there's a reason for that.” Full Review

40
Variety

“A strong cast and some high-end design work but all of it is wasted on material that can’t begin to measure up to the playwright’s best work...Whatever you do, don’t think plot, of which there is none...The play is all talk, none of it amusing or interesting...The best Shanley can come up with is the occasional one-liner...Instead of adding some substance to the lightweight characters, all these references to the heroes and heroines of Greek myth only remind us of what we’re missing.” Full Review

40
Time Out New York

“The script is literally written in comic sans...Shanley’s strained, hoary sex comedy...It’s like Bergman’s 'Smiles of a Summer Night,' if the smiles were forced wacky grins...Amid the stale trashiness are salvageable morsels: a few decent jokes in the first scene, a neat revolving set by Beatty, a choice performance by Testa...The play's ideas about passion and gender are shot through with retrograde banality...It’s 2017. Whom does a play like this think it's kidding?” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

70
Funny, Disappointing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a light, funny story with Jason Alexander

Don't see it if You're expecting complex comedy

64
Funny, Predictable, Entertaining, Silly, Good acting

See it if you are a Jason Alexander fan. At times, there is some good comic sparring, but it didn't last for the duration of the play.

Don't see it if you need to like the characters on stage or need a show of substance.

93
Strong bid from kid

See it if Fan of author or the leads. Alexander does his usual excellent work. Scott does a high energy jumping act, but is funny and beautiful.

Don't see it if You want a serious play. Reheated Shanley. If familiar with his work, seems like a cut and paste writing job. More about cast than script.

Also It felt like going down memory lane with Shanley. Such a pastiche of h... Read more Read less

85
Funny, Delightful, Refreshing, Dated

See it if You’re looking for an old fashioned comedy. It’s adorable. Great cast!

Don't see it if You only want serious drama.

69
Raunchy, Banal, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if You like mediocre slapstick done by actors who are good and doing their best with very average material.

Don't see it if You don't like profane and rather crude comedy.

77
Funny, Clever, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like a show that is light, funny and enjoyable. Jason Alexander and Mary Testa give memorable performances.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy romantic comedy or you are looking for a complex plot.

76
Funny, Shallow, Silly, Great casting, Wonderful acting

See it if you like farces that are funny with clever dialog, great acting, excellent sets and superb casting.

Don't see it if you dislike silly, fluffy and shallow plays that are have few serious "messages" and perceptions and are "raunchy."

71
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want a night of decent theatre that will not disappoint. All actors are well cast and gives you a chance to witness tomorrow's talent .

Don't see it if Dislike sitcomesque slapstick or hate too much Brooklyn "Guido" accent in your storytelling.

75
Funny, Banal, Predictable

See it if you love Jason Alexander (and/or Sherie Rene Scott) and don't want to miss anything he (they) does.

Don't see it if you want to see something original.

75
Funny, Raunchy, Cliched, Great staging, Good acting

See it if you’d enjoy rom-com w/ expected outcome or want to see Jason Alexander perform on intimate stage. Mary Testa’s character & stage was great.

Don't see it if you prefer your plays with great susbstance.

55
Banal, Disappointing, Nice set, Slightly funny. a few good lines

See it if You really want to see Jason Alexander. He is George Costanza in the part. No different. But lines are not as good.

Don't see it if You want to see a great show and have a really entertaining evening. This is not that show.

72
Way better than i thought

See it if you want to see a good solid all around comedy

Don't see it if you are expecting anything serious. This is a silly even for a comedy.

Also I am officially done looking a reviews. I have no idea how some people... Read more Read less

79
Raunchy, Indulgent, Cliched, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh along with silly characters.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy farcical, over-the-top plays or seeing TV stars on stage.

Also Yes, most of the jokes are obvious and it ain't gonna win a Pulitzer b... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You want to see an excellent cast having a ball with a fun script, and can ignore the few forced moments of profundity.

Don't see it if You get antsy during shows - this is a 1:40 show that BADLY needs an intermission between its two acts.

48
Disappointing, Bad writing, Bad direction, Great cast, wasted

See it if Don't. There's almost no story and the one liners mostly fall flat. Sherie Rene Scott's character is so tightly wound. She deserves better.

Don't see it if you want a cohesive story with believable characters. Cast tries but the story and direction lets them down.

73
Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Expected more, Great one-liners

See it if you want to some good comic sparring between J. Alexander and S.R. Scott and between Mary Testa and everyone. Many great laughs.

Don't see it if you are expecting a story you can relate to . This was punchline after punchline, and while the laughs were plentiful, it lacked substance.

80
Funny, Entertaining, Light

See it if You just want to be entertained for a change.

Don't see it if You are feeling grumpy.

45
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if You like sitcom style writing, (bad sitcoms), banal dialogue, cliched situations and obvious plotting. If you want cleverness and wit nix it

Don't see it if You like John Patrick Shanley, because this will make you rethink it. Some jokes, but god is it painful. Maybe he has an evil twin.

75
Funny, Raunchy, Confusing, Cliched, Uneven

See it if Sheree Renee Scott was hysterical. Jason Alexander -- no so much. There were a lot of very funny lines/moments, but somehow it did not

Don't see it if funny. There were also many moments of pathos, which did not seem in character with the comedy. it just did not seem to know what it was.

Also was -- a comedy or a drama with comedic moments. The sets were great a... Read more Read less

30
Incoherent script, Unfunny script, Misogynistic script, Cliched script, Boring script

See it if you are willing to sacrifice your standards of decency/taste for a couple of funny lines. The sets are fantastic if that is enough for you.

Don't see it if you want to be entertained. TPK made me angry w/its horrible portrayal of women. What was MTC thinking to foist this mess on its audience?

Also I laughed once during the entire show. Lines that are meant to be funn... Read more Read less

74
Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You like sweet amusing plays. Enjoyable evening

Don't see it if Looking for profound, hilarious or memorable

76
Funny, Dizzying, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you want a madcap nonstop comedy, very current with references to Trump . Don't mind sexual and ethnic references/humor. Light and funny

Don't see it if Want something deep and meaningful. Don't like sexual references. Are easily offended by ethnic humor.

40
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if you love Mary Testa.She is BRILLIANT. Jason Alexander is also terrific, playing to type Play itself is awful. Can't believe Shanley wrote it

Don't see it if you can avoid it.Boring, crass, dull,stereotyped characters. Set and lighting were very good. The script is just empty, nothing there.

90
Funny, Great acting, Riveting, Great staging, Very entertaining

See it if fully entertaining and riveting performance. Broadway quality exquisite presentation in more intimate setting. One of MTC best productions.

Don't see it if seeking scholarly thought-provoking drama. Don't appreciate untoward jabbing at Donald Trump.

75
Funny, Entertaining

See it if It is light fun with some good actors. If you like little romcoms that are smart and well acted, you should see.

Don't see it if If you're looking for something weightier or important.