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The True

From 38 critic and 128 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the show

Edie Falco ('Nurse Jackie') stars as Dorothea “Polly” Noonan, the blunt, profane, decades-long defender of Albany’s Democratic Party machine in Sharr White’s fiery return to The New Group. More…

When it comes to Polly, politics is only personal, especially now that her hero, “mayor for life” Erastus Corning II (Michael McKean), is battling for party control while at the same time fighting the fiercest primary challenge of his life. "The True" is an intimate portrait of the bounds of love, loyalty, and female power in the male-dominated world of 1977 patronage politics.



92
Front Row Center

“White’s riveting new play...Is based on real people and real events...The relationships between the three main characters, Erastus, Polly, and her husband Peter are fascinating, extremely well drawn, and powerfully portrayed by the performers...Falco gives us another award worthy performance...The last scene between her and McKean is a breathtaking, heartbreaker of words not said, but meanings clear. She’s also got impeccable comic timing." Full Review

90
Theatre's Leiter Side

"Sharr's swiftly spoken, exquisitely gritty, colloquial dialogue captures all the raw force of gloves-off political…squabbling. The intricacies of Albany's political culture-with its Democratic machine, committeemen, ward leaders, patronage, corruption, and so on-are limned with surgical precision, and the stakes for each participant couldn't be more vividly expressed…Flawlessly matches the ensemble to its material, creating a production of exceptional honesty…But this is Edie Falco's show." Full Review

90
Broadway Blog

"Mr. White’s bristling play 'The True,' directed with razor-sharp precision by Scott Elliott and featuring knockout performances, delivers a firmly grounded sense of place and time and simultaneously illuminates broader themes of intimacy and power...'The True' also offers an unspoken commentary on the era’s socio-economic and feminist blueprint." Full Review

90
WAMC

"A fascinating play centering about Albany politics, circa 1977. It’s a rich, insightful work that uses a complicated, personal relationship to illustrate how machine politics operate...White is able to take the potentially dry topic of the day-to-day operations of a political machine to create a compelling story. He explores and expands individuals who devote their lives trying to make machine politics work...The acting is inspired...Elliot’s direction and pacing of the play is near-perfect." Full Review

85
Lighting & Sound America

“The pleasure of seeing Falco disappear into the role of Polly Noonan is the greatest of many offered by White's salty, bracing comic drama about politics...’The True’ starts out like a standard political melodrama, but White is interested in Polly's sui generis position in a nearly all-male power structure...Falco, who, given the best role she has had in perhaps twenty years, creates an indelible, indomitable political survivor.” Full Review

85
Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s clear from the first few moments...that we are in the presence of some truly gifted actors in the prime of their game...But the true powerhouse of the evening, without a doubt, is...Polly...played heroically by the utterly brilliant Falco...Directed with a detail for direction and preciseness...The piece shuffles along deliciously, mainly because of Falco’s blowout performance...‘The True’ is an actor’s dream, and the three leads rise to the level.” Full Review

85
NY1

"A beautifully-acted drama about the real-life relationship between a longtime mayor of Albany and his closest aide...Falco's nuanced portrayal of this scrappy woman is quite stunning...The rest of the company is equally talented...Some may find 'The True' rather dense, delving perhaps too deeply in the political weeds. But the bravura company directed by Scott Elliott produced a terrific character study of New Yorkers we should know and remember." Full Review

85
BlogCritics.org

“’The True’ succeeds on many levels: the fascinating characters, the acting, the directing. Though the individuals are factual, White teases out the emotional tenor between and among the Noonans and Corning II. Importantly, the playwright depicts an incredible force in Noonan. And Falco portrays her with that particularity inherent in one who is wise, ferocious, logical, politically savvy, and street smart...The production is a must-see for Falco’s dogged portrayal." Full Review

85
WNYC

"It's a rich, imagined look at the local Albany Democratic machine told through the story of a woman who loves it...In actor Falco's hands, Polly Noonan becomes one of the great characters of the American stage...This play is still deeply relevant in an era when Albany corruption continues to be uncovered. It is also an extraordinary portrait of a woman who, in a different time, may have — like her granddaughter — become a political leader herself.” Full Review

80
Theatermania

“Elliott's elegant period production feels undeniably relevant while firmly rooting its aesthetic in 1977...Falco's Noonan is hard not to love. Ruthless, smart, and unfailingly funny, she's the kind of fabulous that makes you want to shout 'yaaasssss,' only to feel guilty about it later...Feels particularly timely following NY’s recent primary elections. The name Cuomo is uttered late in the script, giving New Yorkers the opportunity to ponder the role dynastic politics play in our state.” Full Review

80
Variety

"In his laser-focused view, White shows us exactly how machine politics works without taking a moral position on the patronage system on which it’s based. His only false step is the character of Bill McCormick, a bland young man...Anyone who has ever been involved in a political campaign should find this play enthralling. Everyone else in the room can marvel at the ferocity of Falco’s performance and the passion of her character." Full Review

80
Gotham Playgoer

"Offers a wonderful vehicle for Edie Falco’s return to the New York stage. For many, including me, that is sufficient reason to celebrate...Sharr has a flair for snappy dialogue, but resorts to shouting matches a bit too often...The depiction of how little opportunity there was for a strong woman in 1977 politics reveals one aspect of the down side of that era...Scott Elliott directs with assurance. It’s not a wonderful play, but it’s quite entertaining." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"'The True' is essentially a gift to its lead actor, a series of tough, satisfying arias, spiked with profanity and humor and just enough vulnerability, fashioned to let a performer like Falco shine...White’s dialogue is audibly fun to speak, and often peppered with political observations that feel meaty and real. I won’t call it prescient; more accurately, it’s more well-observed." Full Review

80
New York Stage Review

"White has made her credible as both a member of her generation and an example of how superficially women are still judged, and under Scott Elliott’s sensitive direction, Falco embraces all her vulnerability and fortitude, with typically unmannered intelligence and wit...Polly also thinks, and fights, quite adroitly in both cases. To its great credit, 'The True' insists that we not see these pursuits as contradictory, in women or generally." Full Review

80
StageZine

“White’s new drama ‘The True’ takes electioneering to simpler but not gentler times...Elliott’s direction is fluid, thanks in large part to McLane’s easy transforming sets. White has delivered another entertaining evening in the theater but it is Falco’s stunning and galvanizing performance that you will remember for a long time. She truly embodies the adage of 'behind every successful man there is a strong woman.'" Full Review

80
Show Showdown

“There is much to like here: solid writing, smooth direction, and an amazing cast. But for all those strengths, I just didn't care...Falco gives an excellent performance, and you can't keep your eyes off her as she talks...Some of the political machinations are interesting. Some of the relationships look like they would be fruitful to explore. But as it stands, there is little reason to care about these characters, and the play ends up being about ploys rather than people.” Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

“While ‘The True’ has a solid foundation and a valuable story to tell of a woman who influenced power in a time when she couldn't claim it for herself, the dialogue could stand a bit of sharpening and the scenes could use a bit of editing. Director Scott Elliott mounts a fine production, but it's the chemistry between Falco, McKean and Scolari that keeps things interesting as they play out the emotional complexities of marriage and politics.” Full Review

75
The New York Times

"Put some snappy dialogue, a bit of skulduggery and a stellar cast led by Edie Falco in one end and get a damn good time out the other...Whenever Ms. Falco is bringing these themes to the fore, especially in her scenes with rival politicians played by Mr. Fitzgerald and John Pankow, 'The True' is riveting...But in Polly’s more domestic scenes, with Peter and Corning, the play sometimes bogs down...The lack of drama — or rather the subduction of it — may be what’s most interesting here." Full Review

75
CurtainUp

"Falco makes the most of this fine vehicle for showcasing her acting chops live rather than on screen. But, given the subject, can even Ms. Falco, her very able colleagues and the New Group's Artist Director Scott Elliott's fluid direction make a play about Albany machine politics back in 1977 really fresh and exciting?...Well, despite being a bit dated and too talky, yes." Full Review

75
Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Another case in which the excellence of the acting surpasses the level of the play. This New Group presentation is sharply directed by Elliott and the cast grasps one’s attention. But how excited can one get about the subject of local political maneuvering around a 1977 mayoral primary in Albany?...Although everyone in the cast is good...the play drags a bit here and there. Yet no problem can overshadow the dynamism of Edie Falco’s acting achievement.” Full Review

75
Newsday

“White has meticulously researched this intriguing drama, but never for a minute did it seem anything but real — and director Elliott makes it as entertaining as an episode of ‘House of Cards’...Some may consider this dry docudrama, but political junkies will be riveted by Falco's gritty, earthy Polly, wheeling and dealing for all she's worth...The play ends as it began, with the three main characters back in the living room, sitting in wordless contemplation.” Full Review

70
DC Theatre Scene

"Falco can make almost any show more engaging than it would otherwise be, even a relatively sedate one like 'The True,' with scenes of arguments, strategy sessions and deal-making...Here, leading a spot-on seven-member cast, Falco is entertaining and believable...'The True' is more or less true...Such knowledge should help to win over theatergoers who are not die-hard students of politics to a play that they might otherwise see as largely uneventful." Full Review

70
Talkin' Broadway

“The play itself suffers from a degree of choppiness. Some characters show up long enough to make a point, and then disappear until the next time they are needed, if at all. These individual scenes play well, but they also break the flow, and the political vs personal stuff that ought to provide the dramatic tension is underserved. Yet the acting, especially Falco's mesmerizing performance, is so thoroughly compelling as to render the structural flaws pretty much moot.” Full Review

70
CitiTour

"As she has long shown on stage and television, Falco can effortlessly project fire and ice, sometimes both within seconds, and never fails to find the hidden layers of the flawed women she's asked to play. Here, she delivers the kind of riveting, tour-de-force performance that basically makes 'The True' worth the price of your ticket." Full Review

70
Time Out New York

"It's not really about politics; it's about the people behind them, specifically Noonan: a fierce and profane defender of the party and politico she adores...Because the play is set when Corning's career was on the wane, it's hard to understand what Noonan sees in him...But the play's biggest scandal is its flip-flopping tone, which careers from quippy comedy to political thriller to sentimental nomance. But though 'The True' sometimes seems falser than fiction, Falco is consistently thrilling." Full Review


100
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like history stories about political figures; marriage issues, powerful women in recent history

Don't see it if You get bored listening to a history piece about politics in a small city in upstate NY

100
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if This play astutely demonstrates the truth about elections, and how, once elected the officials can subvert the majority vote in local

Don't see it if if you do not like plays about elections

Also elections for as long as they wish. This play, however has a very inte... Read more Read less

100
Never a false note.

See it if a dip into the cesspool of American politics--1970s style--might just be your thing.

Don't see it if you think four-letter words belong in the locker room, or in the movies--but not onstage.

Also Edie Falco shines as a tough and tough-talking political operative in ... Read more Read less

98
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if A complex situation about Albany politics seems like a no win evening. You will be definitely surprised & in for a thrilling theatrical eve.

Don't see it if You’re tired and prefer dinner and a nap

95
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You want to see an actress devour the part! Edie Falco is absolutely terrific!

Don't see it if If you don't like fast moving talk about politics and the schemes and scams that come with that.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Relevant

See it if You are intrigued by thought provoking political dramas. Edie Falco is a power house with A-plus support cast. While set in the past, the

Don't see it if You have no interest in politically themed dramas and are turned off to profanity and continued cigarette smoking on stage.

Also Issues and political machinations are still timely. Besides political ... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you want to see Edie Falco head a dynamite cast in a dynamite role; if you enjoy political dramas presented with humor

Don't see it if you are offended by four letter words; if a play based on real politics isn't interesting to you

94
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a fast moving drama with excellent recognizable actors set in the 70's changing political milieu.

Don't see it if if you do not like fast talking dramas with not a lot of plot and that deal with characters in a political crisis.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to see an amazing performance by Edie Falco. You are interested in a fresh perspective on how our political system works.

Don't see it if You don’t like a theater so small you get to be close to the actors.

92
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you love Edie Falco since performance was intense w/rapid fire dialogue; she & the rest of cast was excellent. staging complemented story

Don't see it if you don't like political themes with a lot of intense dialogue

91
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Entertaining, Based on real people

See it if Loved Edie falco-she was magical to watch. Rapid fire, overlapping dialogue about politics, loyalty, female vs without being preachy

Don't see it if 1 hour 45 minutes no intermission. No resolution/ redemption for falcos character. Some comedy but also heartbreaking -

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You remember your dad working with the Democratic Party and some of the behind the scenes shenanigans that went on...or if you’d like to.

Don't see it if You have no interest in politics or in seeing some of the best acting in NY right now. Edie Falco kills it!!

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You like dramas about politics provided by excellent actors.

Don't see it if You like musicals and lighthearted comedies

90
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a fan of Edie Falco (who is once again brilliant); you want to see a brilliant cast;

Don't see it if would like to see shows that have absolutely nothing to do with politics

90
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Friendships and marriages are stressed by political changes. E. Falco is terrific as a mover & shaker whose lifestyle is threatened.

Don't see it if You are uninterested in middle aged people coping with change, insight into the political machine, and an aggressive foul-mouthed lady.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to be absorbed by the performances of the three leads and, in his only scene, John Pankow.

Don't see it if you can't follow rapid-fire dialogue.

Also the set is amazing, the plot is interesting, the direction is great, a... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like taut political drama with great writing and acting all around. Edie Falco and the rest of the cast are terrific.

Don't see it if You’re not interested in a play about the Albany political machine, which is really about politics in general.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you want to see a play about behind the scene politics that is well written and brilliantly acted.

Don't see it if you are not interested in a play about politics.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you want to see Falco & company shine in a taut, realistic, fascinating look at the machinations of Albany Democratic politics in the 70s.

Don't see it if you have no interest in political drama [Tho this is more about relationships]; you're ok missing some of the season's best acting anywhere.

Also The New Group is back! After what may have been their most disappointi... Read more Read less

90
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if You like heavy, rapid fire dialog from interesting characters with lives entwined with each other

Don't see it if You want everything spelled out from the being. Need to like a small production with lots of dialog

90
Thought-provoking, Smart, Falco is simply mesmerizing, Dated setting with a modernly-applicable story, Riveting: a political play that does not polarize in the expected ways

See it if Edie Falco effortlessly stealing the show with a bold, brassy, brash performance appeals; you like fast-talking socio-political dramas.

Don't see it if you dislike politics or plays set within that framework; uncomfortable with frequent swearing; seeking something lighthearted and upbeat.

Also Dogged Polly Noonan (a stunning Edie Falco), lifelong Albany Democrati... Read more Read less

90
Smooth and clever scene changes, Great fast-paced acting, Intelligent, relevant script

See it if Edie Falco plays an organization woman who strong-arms people to build party loyalty. Traction builds from beginning to end.

Don't see it if You aren’t interested in plays about behind-the-scenes political activity.

90
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Edie Falco and supporting cast have great chemistry and deliver a fascinating look at politics in the late 1970s.

Don't see it if Politcal topics don't interest you.

Also Fun fact - Edie's role is based on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's grandmoth... Read more Read less

90
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you want a fast-paced wordy show that is about Albany politics in the 1970s but also speaks to the current political climate

Don't see it if the idea of seeing a play that revolves around a mayoral election sounds really boring to you, you want something slow/gentle

Also The whole cast of this show was great; Edie Falco is amazing. Also, wh... Read more Read less

89
Funny, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you want to see a fine performance by Edie Falco and the rest of the cast. See it if you are interested in politics and fierce women.

Don't see it if cursing isn't for you. Don't see it if you want a show that dwells on the current political scene, though, some references hold true today.

Also Take your high school children and/or their friends. The day I saw the... Read more Read less


Cast & Creatives (14)