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

(122 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 (122)

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692 Reviews | 152 Followers
Confusing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of Brecht or Esparza who is great, enjoy social satires connecting America of today to fascism, pared down casts,

Don't see it if you're not a Brechtian, don't like heavy-handed symbols, find it hard to discern an actor switching characters, bright lights or loud noises

506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious, Dizzying

See it if Raul Esparza is great. It is Bertolt Brecht. Lightning is super. Action abounds. Thrust Stage (one of my favorites)

Don't see it if Actors have tough time with Thrust stage. Lighting affects some in audience It is loud. It is Bertolt Brecht (no middle ground)

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant, Intense

See it if satire of Hitler's rise to power as told thru a story of a Chicago gangster, wonderful portrayal of Ui by Raul Esperza, funny & disturbing

Don't see it if you don't like satire or like your satire subtle; would be confused by actors playing more than one role Read more

423 Reviews | 99 Followers
This is raoul esparza as i have never seen him before

See it if This is an excellent, cohesive cast easily handling Brechtian dialogue. Nuance and relationships are not always clear, but the allegory is.

Don't see it if You have any difficulty hearing. The fast pace of the dialog took time to catch. You are not interested in political allegories.

417 Reviews | 69 Followers
Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Satire

See it if You are a fan of Raul Esparza. He was great. And if you like Brecht, although this isn't one of his best plays.

Don't see it if You don't like satire. Although in this case the satire is frighteningly close to our current reality.

371 Reviews | 150 Followers
A political allegory that hits hard in some points, Thought-provoking despite the bareness, Esparza shines, Fast-paced, Uneven pacing in places

See it if you like fast-paced, thoughtful, older works--reinvigorated--requiring rapt attention; allegorical works, starkly-produced, are your speed.

Don't see it if expecting a really refined production (CSC is going bare-bones again—there aren’t even physical programs); you dislike political allegories. Read more

315 Reviews | 154 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

328 Reviews | 41 Followers
Indulgent, Entertaining, Relevant

See it if Brecht ... love him or hate him. Raul is powerful. Interesting staging.

Don't see it if Can be exhausting and dogmatic.

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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