The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Classic Stage Company)
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Classic Stage Company)

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Classic Stage Company) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(123 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

About the Show

Bertolt Brecht’s skewering of Adolf Hitler and totalitarianism is given a new production directed by John Doyle ("The Color Purple") for Classic Stage Company.

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Member Reviews (123)

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133 Reviews | 16 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You want to think and be haunted

Don't see it if If you want warm fuzzies

112 Reviews | 28 Followers
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy Brecht’s works, are a fan of Raul Esparza, enjoy social satires, and like the previous productions of CSC

Don't see it if you aren’t a fan of Brechtian theatre, would rather see a musical, or don’t want to see a dictator-centric play Read more

350 Reviews | 162 Followers
Great acting, Clever, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You want to see masterful performances by Raul Esparza and the supporting cast in a highly charged political story that still has relevance.

Don't see it if You are looking for something light and fluffy and non-political. This is definitely more of a think piece. Read more

302 Reviews | 98 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy

See it if You like to see rarely produced plays by renowned playwrights , with excellent casts and cogent direction

Don't see it if You want a musical or to keep your entertainment apolitical

89 Reviews | 14 Followers
Great acting, Masterful, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you know or wish to explore Brecht (highly political, very intentional theatre). Brilliantly staged and acted. Sadly timely. Has humor.

Don't see it if you just want to pop in and enjoy something. You aren't up for an in-your-face experience. You don't want to think about Hitler.

154 Reviews | 31 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Relevant

See it if You like Brecht's writing and want to be blown away by an amazing performance ..Raul Esparza !

Don't see it if You get bored easily. This takes concentration. Read more

135 Reviews | 37 Followers
Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Not subtle, but powerful.

See it if You appreciate great acting with a lot of energy and a play, though not subtle, packs a punch.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of Brecht and his ideas about theatre as a distancing medium. You want a subtle piece. Read more

139 Reviews | 26 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Riveting

See it if You enjoy classic plays with a political edge and social messaging. Mirrors Charlie Chaplin’s classic film The Dictator. The message is

Don't see it if You dislike Shakespearean plays or plays like The Three Penny Opera. Hard to follow and could easily bring on a sudden snooze. Read more

Critic Reviews (26)

The New York Times
November 14th, 2018

“Doyle’s full of enlivening moments of actorly glee. The eight ensemble members here are delightfully resourceful as they become an entire population of corrupt thugs and government officials...Yet all the cast’s resourcefulness isn’t enough to keep confusion and tedium at bay...Esparza doesn’t fail to amuse in the role...What I was most conscious of was the hard-working ingenuity of a director and his creative team trying to elicit sparks from a cumbersome, ice-cold allegory."
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Time Out New York
November 14th, 2018

“Doyle’s production is certainly streamlined, and it boasts a wonderful Ui—Esparza plays the part just at the edge of clowning—but his directorial choices also make this character-crammed epic harder to understand...This is the kind of ride that’s hard to get back on once you’ve fallen off...Happily, most of the players are extremely strong...The play weakens in the second half...But I’d still recommend it. So much of this difficult, angry play is actually a great entertainment.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 14th, 2018

"A sly, fearsome sideshow, a deceptively humble, hugely exciting piece of work...It’s ‘Richard III’ meets Jimmy Cagney by way of the vaudeville circuit, and in the hands of Doyle and his actors, it’s both rollicking and frightening...Esparza is on fire from word one...And he never skips a beat. Doyle smartly pushes the tempo of the genre-rich dialogue...Our heart rates rise as we sit forward in our seats, struggling to hold onto the reins as their plotting and scheming and finagling run amok.”
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New Yorker
November 19th, 2018

"John Doyle’s sober revival of Bertolt Brecht’s 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' couldn’t be more timely, though whether that timeliness enhances or diminishes its message I can’t quite decide...The production’s stripped-down realism has mixed results. It can pay to highlight Brecht’s stylish extremity. If Doyle vacillates between embracing and undercutting the play’s inherent cartoonishness, it is perhaps because our own daily reality has long since surpassed it."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 14th, 2018

“Its relative rarity, and the superb performance by Esparza...are the main reasons to see CSC's revival...The play itself is problematic in both structure and style...The play is difficult to pull off under the best of circumstances. Doyle's stripped-down approach does it no favors...The production lacks vivid atmosphere and feels sluggishly paced. While all the actors are effective one time or another, few of them are successful at carrying off all of their disparate roles.”
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November 15th, 2018

"It's great to see Raul Esparza back on a New York stage...especially playing a role that takes advantage of his skill for creating steely tension while hinting at traces of madness...His Arturo Ui has the kind of working class charisma that charms uneducated masses...While Doyle's concept isn't always clear, the ensemble work is sharp, especially when Brecht's moments of silliness blend into uncomfortable reality."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 19th, 2018

"Esparza confidently mines the script for every available bit of bitter irony and shivery parallels to current politics...Does anyone at CSC really think that a single member of its audience requires updating on the dangers of a corrupt, norm-breaking, fear-mongering, would-be tyrant?...A better, more intensely focused production might highlight strengths that are missing here, but the director, John Doyle, doesn't seem to have a secure grasp of the material."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 14th, 2018

"Unfortunately, there's little to cheer in the uneven revival Doyle has mounted...Despite a hard-working cast, and a terrific performance by Esparza as the title character, Doyle's production, which he directed and designed, feels flat and tedious...Sadly, audiences don't need Brecht's play to point out that our current truth is not only stranger than fiction, it's also a hell of a lot scarier, too."
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