Ends Dec 15 | 1h 25m | Midtown W

The Underlying Chris

From 167 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting, Clever

About the show

This world premiere play from Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno is a high-spirited look at how a person comes into their identity, and how sometimes it’s life’s tiniest moments that most profoundly change our lives. More…

From the show:

In these divided times, The Underlying Chris serves as a celebration of our differences, our individuality, and the many mysterious, difficult, and beautiful things we share simply by being alive.


Member Reviews (167)

MEMBERS SAY:

Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting, Clever
71
Avg Score

85
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Funny, Clever, Profound

See it if Fascinating exploration of innate vs. acquired identity. Vignettes of "Chris" at different life stages. Warm, amusing & intellectual.

Don't see it if You would be confused by 10 actors of various ages/races/genders playing Chris. You prefer intensity & emotion to inward reflection.

90
Great writing, Profound, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if u want to learn the meaning of life in a play about universality & identity as told thru birth-to-death vignettes from the ever-astute Eno.

Don't see it if you prefer directness, realism & conventionality to allegory, abstraction & non-conformity.

Also Via the protagonist's journey through his/her/their life's milestones ... Read more Read less

79
Amusing, Relevant, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if An unusual chronicling of a life from start 2 finish. Since all people have both male & female aspects to themselves Chris is no different.

Don't see it if you don't like when a playwright enjoys playing with his audience; you prefer a straight forward story that doesn't make you think.

72
Playing with form, Glib, Humorous, Next day forgetable, Momentarily engaging

See it if want brief reminder of what life & theatre can be. like expectations to B turned on their head, want to pay attention & figure it out

Don't see it if like not challenge of disruption of theatrical expectations, want ONE actor to play the same character all the way thru, fight 2 stay awake

86
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you like plays that make you think, that deal with issues like who are we,can we be good & bad at once,are we more than 1 person

Don't see it if you want a straight line, totally comprehensible play.This is probably one you should see twice.That's not a good thing.It should be easier

70
Edgy, Indulgent, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if You enjoy a play about what makes up our identity, blending gender, race and age into a variety of scenes that come to no real conclusion

Don't see it if You dislike a play about what makes up our identity, blending gender, race and age into a variety of scenes that come to no real conclusion

70
Entertaining, Interesting staging, Clever enough

See it if ...a story about the events in one’s life that influence forever played by a variety of “Chris”. Needs to go deeper.

Don't see it if ...the appearance of a character before 1st scene to explain what the play is about worries you. It’s not that mysterious.

72
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Uneven, Challenging

See it if life to death of Chris & his/her many incarnations of age, gender, race & how ordinary random occurrences shape his/her life progression.

Don't see it if non-linear, sometimes confusing, many brief scenes, occasionally tedious

Also Having so many different performers play the character can have a dist... Read more Read less

77
Great staging, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a play about celebrating our differences, individuality and being alive. You want to see some very good actors

Don't see it if You don't like performances that are in essence short plays. You don't like to see a different type of play. You want to see a musical.

Also I was very impressed with the set design. Very well done. The performe... Read more Read less

69
Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if you enjoy vignettes exploring the development of human character, viewpoint, relationships, with racially/ethnically/gender diverse cast

Don't see it if you prefer spending more energy/time on play theme than on identifying each character played by different race/gender actors in each scene

Also The laudable premise and theme of the work (human emotional and psycho... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Intelligent, Great staging, Melancholic

See it if you want to see a brilliantly conceived, but not fully developed, play about life and its universality

Don't see it if you want "men" to be unique. Eno posits that there is far more to compare than contrast in our lives.

Also "Chris" is a gender and race neutral character who trudges on, "just b... Read more Read less

70
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You appreciate the plays of Eno.This is another unusual one, exploring the life cycle of a "Chris",portrayed by various actors of different

Don't see it if It is a unique work,but following the play can be confusing.

Also races,ages, and sexes. The performances are excellent.

90
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like a talent cast of 11 (including children), who play multiple characters. It’s very emotive, well-acted, well-staged. If you watch

Don't see it if AND love ❤️ “This Is Us”, on NBC, then you’ll love this play. I love that the cast was diverse, in age, gender, ethnicity, size, etc. I love

Also That “Chris” was the common theme throughout, however, it was confusin... Read more Read less

81
Thought-provoking, Epic, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in thinking about life's big questions or like Eno's other work

Don't see it if you are easily confused or are uninterested in nontraditional theater/storytelling.

73
Disappointing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Great acting with interesting sets.

Don't see it if Character changes were a bit confusing.

81
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you can follow one "character" played by several different actors

Don't see it if you can't

70
Slow, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You like interesting shows with a unique premise and shows that try to make a deeper philosophical point.

Don't see it if You want to see a straight-forward show with clear characters, that has a lot of action and forward momentum to the story.

80
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like a fun non-traditional show that requires close attention.

Don't see it if You want a traditional show with a clear linear plot.

95
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You can follow a slightly surreal, kind of non-linear plot. You like non-traditional stories. You like good writing.

Don't see it if You want something easy to follow or traditional. You’re looking for something big and flashy.

Also Captivating, fascinating. Jumping through time and identities. Indescr... Read more Read less

75
Thought-provoking, Resonant, Profound, Great acting, Confusing

See it if you like to think about life, you are patient in waiting for a playwright to come to the point, you can tolerate a bit of confusion

Don't see it if you want a traditional play with traditional casting, you are easily confused

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you want a complex view on life & identity. This play does something interesting with the casting a views when following one character.

Don't see it if you want a fast paced spectacle. Or if you don't want an overly complex show that requires some brain power in order to appreciate.

55
Dizzying, Edgy, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You can handle many actors in many roles doing many scene changes with many confusing storylines Trying to tell you the meaning of life

Don't see it if You can’t handle many actors in many roles doing many scene changes with many confusing storylines Trying to tell you the meaning of life

Also I’m the type of person who prefers Monty pythons “meaning of life”

90
Absorbing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You enjoy seeing theater that tries to tell stories in different ways. This show was simultaneously completely relatable and foreign.

Don't see it if You don’t like to think at the theater. You like straightforward storytelling.

75
Absorbing, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you're into high-concept, low-narrative shows. What was intriguing to me may wear thin & annoy those seeking more traditional fare.

Don't see it if you're easily confused. It can be hard to keep track of who's who as characters get shuffled among actors of varying genders/races/ages.

58
Indulgent, Gratuitously sexual, Cliched, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you like theater that portrays real, sometimes unlikable, mostly white people who are feeling stuck in their lives

Don't see it if you don't have patience for a play about a middling middle-aged white man and the women who take too long to realize they're better than him


November 21st, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK ‘The Underlying Chris,’ You Are Who You Were" Will Eno’s new play about the many people each person contains is glib at first, but grows, like life, from trick to tragicomedy.
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November 22nd, 2019
"The Understated Charms of 'The Underlying Chris,' and a High-Decibel 'Crucible'"
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November 21st, 2019
"The latest play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno, author of 'Thom Pain (based on nothing),' chronicles a life from infancy to death in unconventional fashion."
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November 21st, 2019
"The subject of Will Eno’s new play is, he tells us, 'Life on Earth.'"
read more

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Cast & Creatives (3)