Closed 1h 30m
The Treasurer
Midtown W
76

The Treasurer NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(129 Reviews)
Positive
80%
Mixed
18%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Intelligent

About the Show

Playwrights Horizons presents a darkly comic, sharply intimate character study that chronicles the strained ties between a son (Tony nominee Peter Friedman) and his aging mother (Tony winner Deanna Dunagan).

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Member Reviews (129)

60
Disappointing, Unfocused, Superficial, Well acted, Slow

See it if you can't get enough of dysfunctional family dramedies, esply those using the worn device of memory narration. Solid acting (Dunagan!)

Don't see it if you want a coherent story in which people grow. The vignettes added up to nothing. Pace was slow. Cromer had people eat a meal...no surprise Read more

55
Baffling, Slow, Messy, Bastion for victimhood, Juvenile

See it if The acting is the only saving grace. But there's only so much good actors can do with a bad script.

Don't see it if you are a psychologically healthy individual with no mommy issues you want to exacerbate. You don't care about bizarre plots Read more

Critic Reviews (32)

September 26th, 2017

"An emotionally dense play...Mr. Posner’s writing is often effectively double-edged, an amalgam of 21st-century casualness and cadenced lyricism. He is blessed in his director, Mr. Cromer...and his cast. Mr. Friedman is marvelous in evoking a rational man being steadily consumed by a cancerous guilt, while Ms. Dunagan’s shrewd performance fully justifies his jagged ambivalence...Mr. Posner...has a sharp and original ear for the tension between what is spoken and what is not."
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September 26th, 2017

"'The Treasurer' ultimately feels emotional and personal, balancing the inevitability of Ida’s decline with unexpected swerves in the Son’s complex reactions. David Cromer’s precise, unsentimental staging gives the play the room it needs to breathe and the actors fill the space he gives them. I will not soon forget watching Friedman, a performer of uncanny ease, evoke the private hell of the Son’s devising, where his wounds are licked by gentle flames."
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September 26th, 2017

"A quiet revelation...It makes boundaries porous, creates a space that blends the mundane and the mystic, that slips between the life of the moment and the life of the mind, even obscures the border between life and whatever comes after...A ravishing slow burn, with layers that quietly unpeel as the piece goes on...Deanna Dunagan gives an adjective-defying performance. She made my chest hurt."
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September 26th, 2017

"Featuring superb performances by Friedman and Dunagan, 'Treasurer' tackles its difficult subject matter with sensitivity and flights of lyricism. Unfortunately, the play doesn't live up to its considerable ambitions. Diffuse and unfocused, it provokes as much impatience as feeling...Cromer's staging feels unduly fussy and the pacing is sluggish...Problematic but affecting, 'Treasurer' reveals a playwright with promise who needs some seasoning to bring his ideas to more successful fruition."
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September 26th, 2017

"When all is said and done, Max Posner has written a thoughtful, fairly straight-up family story—one that nods openly to 'The Glass Menagerie.' But between its fragmented structure and repetitive scenes and sometimes quirky direction by David Cromer (hey, let’s obstruct the view of these audience members) the production can confound. It can also, on occasion, delight."
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September 26th, 2017

"Posner dramatizes this all-too-common scenario with style and sensitivity, leading us to think about our own lives with uncommon clarity...Cromer's production is full of such subtle yet confident visual storytelling...We would be inclined to hate The Son were it not for Friedman's remarkably sympathetic performance...Posner has created a clear-eyed portrait of the tension between perception and reality that has harrowing implications for the way we age in America."
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October 16th, 2017

"As directed by David Cromer, the relationship between the reunited mother and son, beautifully played by the two fine actors, is decidedly unsentimental...Like much of the 95-minute piece, the moment is understated, which is what makes 'The Treasurer' so fascinating. The tragedy and pathos that emerges sprouts from the self-judgement one feels when one simply doesn't feel.”
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October 12th, 2017

"A production that benefits from two of the most unsparing performances to be seen this season...This strange, sad dance of expired love is given vivid life by Friedman and Dunagan, under the exacting, pointillist direction of Cromer...A singular piece of writing, sometimes totally naturalistic, sometimes informed by quirky fantasy...At times, the play feels stranded between styles...Still, by the final scenes, it's easy to feel that Posner has known all along where he is headed."
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September 26th, 2017

"Posner has a distinct voice, almost aggressively prosaic and conversational, and there's some deep feeling in his child-parent deliberations. But he hasn't offered a surprising or dramatic story, and he's surrounded the proceedings with a lot of air...It's curious how 'The Treasurer' smooths everything out—keeping the language simple and unpoetic, tamping the emotions down, lingering on the smaller moments of life. Is Posner aiming for universality? I'm afraid he's largely achieved passivity."
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September 27th, 2017

"At times very funny and moving, Posner’s choppy family drama is weighted down by authorial, stylistic excesses. Luckily it has the superb Peter Friedman and Deanna Dunagan as a contentious son and mother who elevate the patchy material...Besides the outstanding performances, director Cromer’s staging achieves a striking visual dimension...Conceptually erratic though poignant, 'The Treasurer' is nearly redeemed by its two powerful, central performances."
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September 26th, 2017

"Posner sets Jacob and Ida up as perfect foils for each other: protagonist and antagonist in a serious conflict punctuated by laugh lines...Dunagan is delightful as Ida...As Jacob, Peter Friedman is likable but more complex and far more tortured than his mother...The struggle between Ida and her son keeps our attention with its humor and familiarity. Our involvement would be more acute and the piece more affecting if mother and son were more evenly matched."
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September 26th, 2017

"While Dunagan's performance as Posner's pivotal character is touching and often funny, the big star turn here belongs to Friedman...Given the dark reality of this story, we need some humor to offset the at times excruciatingly difficult to watch economic and emotional travails of Posner's characters...Cromer taps into what makes 'The Treasurer' touch our hearts...Not lighthearted entertainment...But neither is there anything smug or falsely hokey...The production overall is well worth seeing."
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September 27th, 2017

"A small gem of a play. Dark, funny, and disturbing...The inspired words of a fresh young playwright in the mouth of a seasoned, nuanced actor combined to make arresting, exciting theater grab us and not let go...The scenes are fast and furious at times...Cromer has done a masterful job of staging all this seamlessly...I can’t say enough about Friedman’s performance...Every breath, every pause conveys precisely what he’s thinking and he is a joy to watch."
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September 26th, 2017

"'The Treasurer' is a 95-minute, intermission-less play, but it is rich and layered, and I think you’ll agree that Posner has not skimped when it comes to substance. Pathos and humor blend in ways that make the audience squirm...Friedman is terrific portraying a deeply conflicted man, but one who is also wry and philosophical about his predicament...Cromer’s direction is steady and shrewd. I especially liked the way he challenges the audience with long, uncomfortable silences."
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September 26th, 2017

"An engaging new play, wickedly funny and surprisingly surreal...Directed by the always impressive Cromer, the fluidness of the storytelling feels entrancing...It’s seamless and fluid, keeping us thoroughly engaged at every turn regardless of how uncomfortable, sad, and funny it all is, and it’s usually all three at the same moments...Posner has written a very funny and honest play about the complications of an imperfect mother/son relationship and what is possibly in store for us all."
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September 27th, 2017

"A speculative, often frustrating new play...Posner excels at capturing Jacob’s frustration at being tasked with keeping his mother on a tight leash...But the play falters when Posner attempts to tie Jacob’s vexation at his mother’s recklessness to some dogmatic belief that he deserves Hell...I never once believed this character would spend so much time consumed by the fear of a torturous after life...Director Cromer tries to patch some of these holes, with intermittent success."
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September 26th, 2017

"The first act manages to establish character, conflict, setting, and theme. The second act unfortunately repeats this construct, and makes the endeavor seem overlong and overwrought...Posner’s play has much to offer and 'The Treasurer' would have perhaps worked better if the fluidity and capriciousness of the mind matched more closely the workings of the script, and if Cromer’s unusual staging were less awkward."
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October 20th, 2017

“'The Treasurer,' a semi-autobiographical combination of pathos, humor, and surrealism…that works more because of the excellence of its two leading players than anything in the…play itself…Instead of creating more face-to-face stage time (instead of phone calls) between the Son and Ida, Posner too often distracts us with tangential dialogue, lengthy pauses, and comically offbeat scenes…David Cromer's direction elicits strong, affecting performances but his physical staging raises questions.”
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September 26th, 2017

"An often moving and sometimes funny meditation on parent-child guilt...Friedman’s work through these 95 minutes is both seemingly simple and stunningly truthful, while Dunagan unveils every facet of this complex woman...Cromer’s direction is, as usual, smart and sensitive...Don’t let the plot outline of 'The Treasurer' deter you from this well-written play. What sounds merely depressing is actually quite enlightening."
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September 26th, 2017

"Wonderfully acted, and there are a good number of solid scenes, some funny, some moving. But one walks away as from a family reunion that wasn’t as satisfying as one had hoped...In a family drama, even one about familial alienation, one yearns for some family interaction. 'The Treasurer' seems to be deliberately keeping its family characters at a distance from one another...With nowhere else to go, the playwright mixes in a scene or two that mix middlebrow philosophizing with sci-fi."
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September 26th, 2017

"'The Treasurer' is the study of a beset character whom Friedman plays wrenchingly right through a final in-one talk to patrons that tugs at the heart until the heart cracks. But as a 95-minute intermissionless character study, it stints on aspects that might have been elaborated on...By the final blackout—and the minor flaws notwithstanding—'The Treasurer' is not only a moving experience but also something of a unique one."
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October 12th, 2017

"The playwright, the performers, and director David Cromer manage to take this familiar situation into intriguing directions that leave us uncertain as to where our sympathies lie...It all sounds rather bleak, but thanks to these master actors and a director with an eye for detail, 'The Treasurer' is a fascinating study of how apron strings can become a choking garrote...We are left to consider who has been responsible for all the little murders we have been witness to."
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September 26th, 2017

"There are some very funny bits along the way, some more relevant than others...It is uneven and fragmented and could benefit from further work. Nevertheless, Posner’s writing has a quirky energy that shows promise for the future...Cromer is only partially successful in pulling it all together. While it doesn’t seem quite ready for prime time, it is an imaginative take on an all too relevant problem and affords the opportunity to see two top-notch actors at work."
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September 26th, 2017

"Posner displays a brightly contemporary point of view with a keen comic sense. Bright and keen, yes; fully realized, no. Fortunately, he has Cromer to help move this nonlinear memory play along. Posner also profits from excellent central performances by mother and son...Some viewers are likely to object to length, or choppiness, or what might seem to be aimlessness. But Posner is a playwright to watch and to follow, and Friedman and Dunagan make 'The Treasurer' well worth the visit."
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September 27th, 2017

"'The Treasurer' breaks a taboo by portraying Ida and her son as mutually indifferent. They both have plenty of charm and compassion, just not for one another...The un-Oedipal story unfolds sluggishly under David Cromer’s direction. Such ponderousness is clearly supposed to replicate the tedium of real life. But, while there are several lively comic interludes involving various supporting characters, the tone of Ida and her son’s exchanges remains too consistently dismal."
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September 27th, 2017

"Posner’s deeply felt, sharply observed play about dementia and care-giving...Friedman manages to balance Jacob’s resentfulness with the suggestion of an unseen reservoir of pain...Cromer has directed expertly, blending humor and anger and sadness into a cohesive whole...It’s a marvelous introduction to a young writer with the astonishing talent to convey truths that apply more forcefully to a generation he doesn’t belong to—his ability to empathize so vividly is no small achievement."
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October 4th, 2017

"May not be one of the fastest moving plays around, but it is certainly one of the most honest, timely, and sapient works that subtly paints a complex portrait of relationships between a mother and her children...Director David Cromer guides the production with sensitivity. He is isn’t afraid of the awkward pauses and contemplation that his actors so wisely give to this material."
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September 27th, 2017

"It can take a while to realize that there is very little there there...It distances itself from truly engaging the audience by having few face-to-face encounters, by using a cold and unattractive set, and by failing to establish the characters' personalities...Dunagan and Friedman do much to provide complexity and humanity, but the play limits their ability to draw truly human characters...'The Treasurer' relies on a sense of its own importance, and little more."
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October 2nd, 2017

“With a central character who refuses to change, and an antagonist who refuses to give up on her, ‘The Treasurer’s’ situation hits a dramatic impasse. It seems much longer than its ninety minutes because it can’t do anything but get worse, and it can only end, as it does, with death. Nor is there much to empathize with along its frustrating way, though Friedman, convincing and articulate as always, conveys The Son’s inner pain without any extra pleadings for pity.”
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September 27th, 2017

"This is the fragmented story of a fragmented family coping with the familiar concern of an aging parent...We never learn what makes Ida tick—other than the compulsion to spend more than she has, thus the need for Son to play her treasurer. Hers is a life in decline, and Dunagan gives a layered, marvelously prickly performance...There is such generalized, alienated distance from the emotional core of anyone’s feelings—save Ida’s need for her Son to say that he loves her."
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October 10th, 2017

“A provocative, worthwhile study of a middle-aged man who becomes the designated primary guardian of his mother’s affairs...As directed by the redoubtable David Cromer, and possibly as indicated by the script, the proceedings move at a steady, slow, contemplative pace, with a lot of air for silent tension, and sometimes just for tacitly communicating the visceral sensation of time in suspension...Peter Friedman in one of his best performances ever.”
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September 26th, 2017

"'Treasurer' won me over. And moved me in ways that a lesser play would not. It is wonderful...On the surface, this is a by-the-numbers issue play...But there's a great deal more here, including funny and poignant ruminations...Like many virtuosos, Friedman makes it look easy...Dunagan plays a less complicated character. But plays her with a combination of charm and ferocity...Cromer has created a deceptively simple but powerful production. There are no flourishes, just haunting revelations."
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