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The School for Scandal

Members say: Funny, Clever, Great acting, Delightful, Entertaining
84
Critics
83
25 reviews
Members
84
74 reviews
 

Red Bull Theater presents Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th century comic masterpiece about a world without privacy, morality, or taste.

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After 17 years abroad, Oliver Surface returns home incognito to test the true characters of his nephews: Charles (a prodigal, apparently), and Joseph (a paragon, supposedly). Meanwhile, he discovers his old friend Peter Teazle has wed a young country wife and is in marital purgatory, being victimized in print and society by a spiteful team of imbeciles and rumor mongers. Featuring TV star Mark Linn-Baker and Tony nominee Dana Ivey.

 

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Reviews (99)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
83
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

"A jaunty new production...First staged in 1777, the play mostly holds up; scandal, clearly, has always been with us. But Sir Peter, who does a great deal of complaining about his wife’s spending and the misery of marriage, was probably a lot funnier back in the day...Not so Ms. Cespedes, who lends Lady Teazle a radiant mirth and a surprising depth...This is a very smart 'Scandal:' handsome, lively, wonderfully cast and, like the most irresistible gossip, a lot of fun." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"Some of the comedy's rhythms have, to be sure, staled over the centuries, but the core recipe proves durable: Sheridan condemns society gossips, which, coincidentally, lets him put the naughtiest of them front and center. Happily, snark has no expiration date...Vietor does allow several performances to turn overly broad...How do you render every line hilarious? Don't ask me—Baker and Ivey are mere feet away, giving the master class." Full Review

85
New York Theater

“Direction by Marc Vietor puts a premium on clarity and pace, the entire design team adds whimsy to the proceedings, and an impressive cast...The text that Red Bull Theater uses is one that is both accessible to modern ears and attuned to modern New York sensibilities. It is scrubbed of the subtle anti-Semitism the play is often accused of...But the language and plotting are still from the 18th century, and require more attentiveness than, say, 'Gossip Girl.'” Full Review

70
Lighting & Sound America

“It's a mystery: Vietor has put together a polished, handsome production; why doesn't it fizz like cyanide-infused champagne?...The company is technically skilled but wildly uneven in humorous comedic ability...We don't get ‘The School for Scandal’ regularly enough that any fan of Sheridan can afford to overlook this at-least competent production, but...it deserves more glittering treatment than it gets here. This school delivers scandal with surprisingly little sting.” Full Review

70
Theatre's Leiter Side

"Director Marc Vietor’s production is generally faithful; it moves swiftly, and has an attractive setting by Anna Louizos that captures the 18th-century ambience. It’s good to see any local production of this great play, even if its production is marred by this or that misstep, but it’s painful to see it manhandled for no good reason by completely changing the nature of two principal characters. Just think what Mrs. Candour or Lady Sneerwell would make of that in their school for scandal!" Full Review

85
AM New York

“Marc Vietor’s smart and stylish, fully energized, delightfully over-the-top production brings together a dynamic 14-person cast...In their hands, a convoluted plot feels fresh and effortless...It’s a shame that the production officially opened at the height of the annual onslaught of Broadway openings...Here’s hoping that Red Bull finds a way to put ‘School’ back in session for all the students who have yet to attend class.” Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"Sheridan’s always deliciously nasty 1777 'The School for Scandal' as directed pretty much flawlessly by Marc Vietor...By today’s standards of the well-made play 'The School for Scandal' is the slightest bit disjointed, but it boasts the wonderful hidden-behind-a-screen scene...Certainly, the romp has its pull when Sir Peter Teazle and Lady Teazle are arguing, patching things up and arguing again, and Linn-Baker and Cespedes are making the most of the marital rancor." Full Review

90
Talkin' Broadway

"Lives up (or should that be down to?) the sparkling standard set by this effusively acerbic farce. Vietor's take-no-prisoners staging and a nearly ideal cast dive headfirst into all of Sheridan's tart-vinegar writing and come out with first-class champagne...Ultimately, everything meshes together with the raucous clarity it should. That should make it good enough for all but the most die-hard Sheridan purists...All that bad talk leads to a darn good time." Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

“Helen Cespedes...steals the show...The entire company deserves kudos minus Ms. Malouf who seems as if she is in a different production....Directed with wit by Mark Vietor this frothy delight weaves its tale with deliciously delightful costumes, with wigs that define a character, ever versatile sets, and lighting that sets the perfect mood. This dizzying effervescent comedic delight will make 2 l/2 hours go by just like that!” Full Review

90
TheaterScene.net

“With impeccable casting and a pitch-perfect production team, this ‘School’ is as witty, delightful and accessible as one could wish. The 18th century look of the play is both historic and satiric. Anna Louizos’ clever settings transform one into the other with the turn of a wall or a door and a rearrangement of the furniture, highlighted by Russell H. Champa’s lighting. Her witty use of props (a chamber pot, a trunk, empty picture frames) adds to the fun.” Full Review

90
Upstage-Downstage

"It is a pleasure to be able to attend one of the company’s productions designed (and succeeding) solely at making us laugh...There are more twists to the convoluted plot than a pretzel on LSD, but suffice it to say, all works out happily in the end...The entire cast, under Marc Vietor’s masterly direction, is top-rate, and every little detail is nigh unto perfection...Enjoy the play for what it is – a jolly romp." Full Review

90
Broadway & Me

“One of the most delightful shows I've seen this season...I found this satirical look at the vanities of the British upper class to be as fresh and witty as a YouTube-worthy sketch from ‘Saturday Night Live’...Director Marc Vietor keeps the balance just right with a sure-handedness that belies the fact that this is his directorial debut...The actors he's assembled are all-around superb, from those in the flashiest roles to those in the tiniest bit parts.” Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"Linn-Baker, so winning as an unfortunate newlywed trading barbs with his sharp-tongued wife, is gifted with numerous hilarious moments as he sputters in indignation…The rest of the cast is uniformly excellent, fleet-tongued as they keep all the parrying and machinations going…If you like your classics with more than a bit of bite, get schooled before the show closes." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"This funny and clever tattletale, gossipy play, is brimming with theatricality and a larger-than-life cast of characters...Deliciously directed by Marc Vietor...It’s all cloak-and-dagger, tongue-in-cheek humor in Molière-esque drawing-room style, where morality has significantly lapsed as we watch the ultimate rumor-mongers ply their trade in the most spiteful ways...'The School for Scandal' will keep you laughing with delightfully scandalous merriment." Full Review

90
DC Metro Theater Arts

“A first-class production...A supporting company of devoted and dedicated actors who are comfortable and adroit at playing high comedy without camp or condescension...Director Mark Vietor has kept this merry frolic spinning all evening long...Lest you think this ancient play will appeal mostly to ancient audiences, the young lady of about 13 sitting in front of me was infectiously laughing for the entire 2 l/2 hours.” Full Review

85
Manhattan Digest

“A marvelous production with first-rate performances across the board. Staging this material well is no simple task and, as audiences favor the now typical 90-minute theater treatment, it requires slightly more focus. This clocks in at 2 hrs. and 20 minutes. Nonetheless, it’s a practical study in acting for students and provides a pleasing highbrow comedy for the rest of us.” Full Review

90
ZEALnyc

“Resonate is what this production certainly does. The plot is too complicated to unravel here, yet remarkably there’s not one moment of confusion….All the action and brilliant language charms and enlightens. Nearly 250 years have gone by and not a whole lot about human nature, it turns out, has changed. There’s still a lot of duplicity and self-delusion in our world, and in the case of this wonderful evening of theater, I say, ‘Thank goodness.’” Full Review

75
Reflections in the Light

"“This is a classy, entertaining revival. Linn-Baker is the perfect straight man, enhancing the humorous chaos taking place around him. Costumes by Andrea Lauer enhance the characters -- from elegant and stylish to vulgar…I found the pace in the almost two-and-a half-hour run a bit draggy." Full Review

75
NY Theatre Guide

“Rest assured, if there’s humor to be gotten out of this material, director Vietor will find it. He plays up the literal and figurative posturing of this gossipy crew, he varies the pacing in a way that always keeps us guessing, and he has his gifted actors well aware of how to land a laugh….Red Bull has done an impeccable job. But if you find the plotting needlessly convoluted and the acres of verbiage excessive, you’re not alone.” Full Review

60
Stage Buddy

"This is hardly a perfect rendition. I wish that director Marc Vietor had more fully trusted Sheridan’s writing...Several of the actors behave as though their characters were living in one of the zanier districts of Toontown...Between the extremes of hysteria and enervation, fortunately, are actors who know how to play Sheridan’s brand of comedy and make it both amusing and identifiably human...It is a hodgepodge with some stellar moments." Full Review

80
Edge New York

“Once the action gets into gear, the comical proceedings soon become quite easy and enjoyable to follow...The production has a wonderful cast...While some of Sheridan's piercing one-liners don't bring down the house today in quite the same way that they surely did years ago, the pleasure of watching otherwise intelligent people make fools of themselves never gets old, making ‘The School for Scandal’ a timeless play well worth seeing in this fabulous production." Full Review

80
Off Off Online

"The production delightfully balances this classic play’s sweet, charming love story and its bawdy, boisterous comic gags…Overall, Vietor’s direction emphasizes the skills of these well-trained actors, as well as the polished design elements…The well-made plot may feel too much like a fairy tale for a viewer to relate to it on a more personal level. Nonetheless, the production elicits laughs both light and hearty and is an excellent example of the genre." Full Review

90
New York Theatre Review

“There is not a weak link in this production...The plot is so tightly wound and the dialogue so rapid that its ideal audience must take joy in the marathon. Thankfully, with Marc Vietor at the helm measuring out the plot and clarifying the twists through clean staging, the weight of the plot never falls on the audience’s shoulders…’Scandal’ is a showcase of refined skill put through the prism of refined skill...The production is relentlessly satisfying.” Full Review

95
CurtainUp

“Excellent direction from Marc Vietor...and universally exceptional acting from the cast...It's unfair to single out anyone when everyone is so good—this is great ensemble work. But what is more striking than the professionalism on display is the sense of fun. Everyone seems to be having a good time here, with pitch-perfect line readings, great timing, and excellent physical work...If you have even the faintest interest in classic theater, you should go see ‘Scandal’ as soon as you can.” Full Review

90
The Reviews Hub

"A riotous revival of the classic comedy...This highly entertaining production boasts a stellar cast who work together seamlessly to bring the larger-than-life characters and ridiculous scenarios to life…The fun in this show comes from watching an elaborate setup and lie unravel, reveling in the dramatic irony the characters create as they confide in each other, and in the audience through soliloquy and aside." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

78
Funny, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You are looking for a fun period play

Don't see it if you're looking for a thoughtful period drama

100
Delightful, Hilarious, Masterful production, Sheridan at it's best, A must see

See it if Flawless production of timeless play. Messages about gossip and scandal as relevant today as in 1777. Great cast. Pure delight!

Don't see it if Can;t think of a reason not to see it...unless it's because you can't get tickets or have a totally overbooked life.

79
Funny, Delightful, Intelligent, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if I'm taking it down to the wire since the run ends today, but I recommend this enjoyable production of a truly brilliant play. Cast=delight.

Don't see it if Guess one could find a reason not to see it: okay, if you don't have the time or can't get in. What other?

75
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You enjoy comedic period pieces with colorful characters. It's a polished production and a fun time at the theater!

Don't see it if You don't enjoy period pieces or have difficulty understanding shows written in old english (although this is pretty easy to follow)

81
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A lively. well paced production with excellent acting by all including Dana Ivey, Mark Linn-Baker. Handsomely mounted and so entertaining!

Don't see it if the great classics don't appeal.

87
Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Fun, Great staging

See it if you like timeless Restoration comedy done superbly. Great acting and clever staging. Smart plot, large cast, fast paced & fun.

Don't see it if you have trouble following old(er) English (not nearly Shakespearian) dialogue. It might be a bit of work.

80
Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Romantic

See it if Red Bull always comes through with superior acting. Alas, I am not a lover of restoration comedy. A great job though

Don't see it if if farce is not your cup of tea.

90
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you like farce and can appreciate terrific acting in this comedy of manners.

Don't see it if you don't "classic plays" from previous centuries

75
Funny, Original, Ambitious, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if like period plays and period costumes

Don't see it if you don;t like old Shakespearean language

92
Funny, Delightful, Resonant, Great writing

See it if classic tale of gossip ruining many lives, done with great wit and charm, including an impeccable cast and great direction.

Don't see it if well, there's really no reason not to see Sheridan's masterpiece - so go!

74
Funny, Refreshing, Entertaining, Uneven

See it if you enjoy well-acted, smartly-staged Restoration comedy (which we don't get to see enough).

Don't see it if you don't enjoy 18th Century comedy or you are a Sheridan purist. (There were a lot of cuts/rewrites... mostly for the good imho.)

75
Funny, Delightful, Banal, Great staging

See it if like farce "a comic dramatic piece that uses highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, extravagant exaggeration etc"

Don't see it if if you like comedies, such as Shakespearean comedies, with a lot more substance and more subtle meanings.

71
Funny, Relevant, Cliched, Dated

See it if conflicting feelings as you are impressed that it was written 100s of years ago but not sure whether it is worth enjoying or not

Don't see it if you can't let go and be silly for a bit. it starts with a poop joke

60
Slow, Dated, Fluffy, Uneven

See it if you enjoy 18th Century classics.

Don't see it if you prefer your comedies to be more modern.

78
Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if you like old English period theater. Excellent acting and costumes. Amazingly relevant considering it was first seen in 1777.

Don't see it if don't want to work at a play. You must pay attention and concentrate on the dialects.

88
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you are familiar with Sheridan's plays or just enjoy 18th century witty comedies. Also, the cast is great!

Don't see it if you dislike classical stories, satires, or stories about disinformation and scandal.

80
Delightful, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like "classical" comedy, performed with intelligence, energy and contemporary attitude. Design elements clever and part of the fun.

Don't see it if If costume drama ain't your thang. But if it is, see this.

80
Fun, good performances, still relevant

See it if You miss the dowager countess from downton abby, as Dana Ivey is great. The second act is better and very fun.

Don't see it if You don't have the patience to pay close attention to the dialogue or can't tolerate broad humor

50
Banal, Confusing, Slow, Under-played

See it if you want to see Dana Ivey give her best Maggie Smith performance.

Don't see it if You've seen hilarious productions of this piece. This one doesn't live up.

92
Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you'd enjoy an exquisite comedy of manners that's brisk and sure-footed. Excellent costumes & wigs. Clever and snarky, in the best way!

Don't see it if you have zero tolerance for gossip, backbiting, sniping, plotting & lying... although the perpetrators are justly schooled in the end.

81
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if Well staged and very entertaining classic. A must for theater students.

Don't see it if You're not familiar with English. Not for tourists.

82
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if Older plays interest you; this is a great revival of a play from the late 1700s, and an excellent staging of a complicated comedy.

Don't see it if Modern shows are your thing; the text is unchanged from the 18th century. However, the great actors help bring the story to the forefront.

78
Funny, Great acting, Indulgent, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You love classical comedies with complicated plots and an abundance of characters.

Don't see it if You can't stand classical British plays.

95
Funny, Clever, Exquisite, Resonant, Fluffy

See it if you like a good old fashioned (1777) sex comedy and/or you're into tweeting gossip about people. Red Bull's production is witty and fun!

Don't see it if you can't understand plays in language written before 1980.

71
Intelligent, Great writing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You enjoy Sheridan period style humor.

Don't see it if Are looking for wonderful performances. Some line readings were completely flat.