The Violin NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(44 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
18%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Slow, Clever

About the Show

The Directors Company presents the world premiere of this drama about three guys who find a valuable instrument in the back seat of a NYC cab.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (44)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
83
Absorbing, Great acting, Great sets, Great staging, Sweet

See it if you like slice of life stories from days gone by; you're interested in how choices influence lives for better or worse; brotherly love.

Don't see it if you're looking for fast action and fancy wordplay. This is a story about the intertwining of three lives over many years.

50
Bad writing. good acting.

See it if you must.

Don't see it if you want it to be good and absorbing.

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
September 20th, 2017

“Clumsily crafted, finely acted and, yes, high-strung drama…The crime-caper setup has some of the savor of early Mamet...But McCormick’s plotting, with its florid back stories and unsurprising revelations, is ploddingly predictable. And the dialogue is less than snappy…If such lines lack finesse, some of them are still fun to hear, and there’s pleasure in watching the actors attack the roles…But even capable actors can’t make this play plausible or mend the contrived and sentimental conclusion.”
Read more

Theatermania
September 19th, 2017

“This tortured crime caper strains credulity...McCormick aims for Scorsese, but ends up hitting Dr. Phil…We can understand the appeal for actors looking for a challenge, but not even performers as watchable as LuPone, Bradbury, and Isola can save this show…A lost opportunity, an overwrought melodrama…A dull two hours. The only surprises come when we see just how shameless McCormick is in each successive contrivance, the last of which will leave you with a hearty (if unintended) chuckle.”
Read more

BroadwayWorld
September 20th, 2017

"An intriguing play...The show features the finest staging and superior acting…The story is a thought-provoking portrayal of the choices that people make and how these choices touch their lives. ‘The Violin’ has a cast of accomplished actors that completely master their roles. The characters are distinctive and perfectly portrayed…They capture the drama, humor and the suspense of this very original story…‘The Violin’ is a play that you will remember long after the curtain call."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
October 4th, 2017

"It's never dull, yet never really convincing...Still, 'The Violin' goes down much more easily that you might imagine, thanks to Joseph Discher's taut direction and three tightly coiled performances...There's nothing really wrong with 'The Violin,' aside from a certain predictability and a sense that it has been drawn from other plays rather than real life. In any case, it has been given a first-class production."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
September 19th, 2017

“Some very good acting, a couple of emotionally touching speeches, and an evocative set are not enough to cover up the numerous plot holes and overall sudsy narrative...The play unfolds amidst side stories that lead nowhere, quarrels....and a last-minute confession to justify a sacrifice worthy of a Bette Davis weepie…The performers...do their best with what they have been given to work with, but there simply is not enough for 'The Violin' to escape its discordant structure.”
Read more

TheaterScene.net
September 20th, 2017

“And as it proceeds to unfold, delivering one powerful punch and surprise after another, ‘The Violin’ does not disappoint. Imagine seeing ‘American Buffalo’--one of David Mamet's finest plays--for the first time. But given allusions to an amputated foot and other atrocities in ‘The Violin,’ you're more apt to think of gory plays by Conor McPherson than David Mamet, and that's equally appropriate--they're both, at their best, great storytellers.”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
September 19th, 2017

“A provocative drama...All three actors are excellent and the scenes play out with rapid-fire dialogue. It’s talky, but the constant banter is a necessary means to a strategic end and gives the audience great insight into the personalities of the diverse, troubled men on stage. Joseph Discher’s direction is excellent, ensuring that the dialogue avoids being heavy-handed or preachy and is, instead, engrossing and wise."
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
September 19th, 2017

“Although the theme is heavy, the bickering produces a lot of earthy humor and laughs…To tell more of this tale would be to give away too much...Suffice it to say, it’s complicated and you’ll be somewhat surprised. The story revolves around caring, a debt owed and paid, and the cost of it all. I must admit it’s a really tall tale of circumstances thrown together and hard to believe, but it’s a winning cast and makes its point. And you have to admire McCormick’s reaching imagination.”
Read more

CurtainUp
September 19th, 2017

"The plot does have a credibility problem. It's hard to believe that the brothers can actually drag Gio...into their ransom scheme—or the way that scheme plays out…Despite these major and minor flaws 'The Violin’ is bolstered by the beautiful performances…The hints McCormick drops like bread crumbs...too obviously telescope the high-drama surprise finale. And while that ending sacrifices credibility for melodramatic sentimentality, it does surprise and comes with a big bang."
Read more

Stage Buddy
September 19th, 2017

“The relationship between the two brothers is intelligently explored...McCormick has that rare knack of being able to insert moments of genuine comedy that are perfectly timed within the sincerest of moments, yet don't take anything away from the gravitas of the scene. Discher seems to have tapped into the crux of the themes and nuances of the story, providing keen direction that never looks forced or unnatural…All in all, a gripping piece of theater not to be missed.”
Read more

Front Mezz Junkies
September 19th, 2017

“A fascinating tale of brotherly and pseudo-paternal love…The engaging and slightly predictable story of characters that are so desperate for some sort of salvation plays out with an authentic air and convincing attachment. It’s fairly clever and well put together…The performances are all excellent and relatable, even when they veer into the implausible…The direction and the pace never faltered until the touching (and slightly not surprising) finale.”
Read more

T
September 30th, 2017

"The play has the nuanced feeling of plays by Shepard and Inge. The characters here are lonely, frightened, broken, and seemingly bereft of moral strength...Under Discher’s competent direction, the three actors navigate the treacherous terrain...Each character is forced to come to terms with his choices in the past and in the present. Whether that results in repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation is not clearly answered and the edge of moral ambiguity remains sharp."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
September 21st, 2017

“'The Violin' is about as old-fashioned, formulaic, and predictable as they come; it is straightforward naturalism without any of the fanciful, dreamlike incursions with which so many of today's playwrights like to distract us. The ending can be surmised at least two-thirds of the way through…The characters…are anything but consistent…There are too many times that the vastly experienced actors seem to be wearing signs saying, 'Look, I'm acting.'…'The Violin' is seriously out of tune.”
Read more

Times Square Chronicles
September 20th, 2017

"There is something so touching about Dan McCormick’s new drama 'The Violin'...Robert LuPone instills a past that has almost been erased from New York City...Joseph Discher’s direction is subtle and layered, giving McCormick‘s words the cadence that sinks into your soul. In the end I cried over the sweetness of unconditional love, but also of a time gone by. I look forward to seeing where Mr. McCormick goes next."
Read more

W
September 20th, 2017

“Despite some really good writing, ‘The Violin’ has several problems. It’s top heavy (Act I)–in need of editing...Gio...is the weakest character onstage…It doesn’t help that we don’t buy LuPone’s performance…Bradbury’s Bobby is well played…Isola delivers a marvelous Terry…Director Joseph Discher does a fine job indicating both emotional and the physical sides of the brothers’ relationship...The play didn’t get to me and should have."
Read more

Broadway & Me
September 23rd, 2017

"These are familiar themes and there's a thrown-back quality to director Discher's production too...And the dramaturgy—dependent on anguished soliloquies about unrequited dreams and not-so-surprising revelations about the past—is a little timeworn too. But despite all this, I had a good time. And that's largely due to the committed performances from Bradbury, Isola and most especially Robert LuPone...They all chomp a bit on the scenery but it's fun to watch them do it."
Read more

Manhattan Digest
September 29th, 2017

"There is quite a bit that is commendable about this character-driven piece about trust and loyalty. Although it strains credibility, it wins over the audience by the time the curtain falls...Director Discher has assembled a phenomenal cast here, each of whom deliver McCormick’s script with sincerity and gusto. What the play lacks in entire believability, it more than compensates with these attributes by spinning an entertaining yarn and leaving theatergoers with a night well spent."
Read more

B
September 19th, 2017

"McCormick rounds words and ideas and successfully draws three rich, contrasting characters. Joseph Discher directs to maximize the language and keeps and brisk pace...Giovanni, nicknamed Gio, is magnificently captured by Robert LuPone...Do we do wrong things to help our families, and right things that have wrong elements? Of course. This is the tightrope on which rich human lives are led and 'The Violin' treads its own line in captivating and intriguing theater."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
132 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy