The Whirligig
Closed 2h 30m
The Whirligig

The Whirligig NYC Reviews and Tickets

(139 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Absorbing, Slow, Confusing

About the Show

The New Group presents Hamish Linklater's new drama about a fractured community weaving a circuitous route back to one another. ​Starring Zosia Mamet ('Girls') and two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz.

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Member Reviews (139)

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876 Reviews | 906 Followers
Disappointing, Unnecessarily long, Disjointed, Lost

See it if You are a fan of one of the actresses. Their scenes are good and the most make sense.

Don't see it if You are a fan of one of the actors. All of their scenes could be scraped with no consequence to the "plot". Sad subject done with no heart. Read more

851 Reviews | 1007 Followers
Disappointing, Unfocused, Slow, Frustrating, Uneven

See it if ACT 1: 50 / ACT 2: 75: Act2 is vast improvement on Act 1. The women & Orsini all did well. Long Flashback scene in 2nd act was the strongest

Don't see it if Act1 is a CHORE to get through, all over the place; most scenes are pointless, VERY boring & at times obnoxious. Couple actors overacting. Read more

965 Reviews | 339 Followers
Disappointing, Unconvincing, Inconsistent characters, Strong acting, Great set

See it if you like dysfunctional family/friend dramedies. TW has huge gaps in plot/character, but the strong cast delivers zippy lines. Impressive set

Don't see it if you want deep insights. TW doesn't add up. Moments of revelation are awkward (almost laughable). Overstuffed plotting; improbable ending. Read more

677 Reviews | 187 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Interesting, Engaging, Nascent

See it if you want to see a winsome, if imperfect, play by Linklater. A good dramaturge could tighten the script & loose ends of this fledgling play.

Don't see it if you aren't willing to give an experimental piece with a number of plot holes a chance. This was written in earnest & has a lot of potential.

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
Ambitious, Cliched, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Good acting

See it if Linklater's emotionally charged drama is barely saved by superior acting Themes of reciprocity & blame try to emerge amid whirligig of ideas

Don't see it if Elliot's valiant direction tries to bring coherence but is often defeated However, ending does come together in a somewhat convoluted way

506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
Clever, Edgy, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if Loved the staging, acting all good But... 80 and and a 70 produces the 75. Sets are great. Small space works well.

Don't see it if some scenes needed more projection by the actors. .. some confusion re; who is whom.. Will be better with some tender loving care.

657 Reviews | 101 Followers
Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy characters that do not encourage your sympathy. I could not like any character. I wanted to like this play but couldn't.

Don't see it if you like whiney characters.

605 Reviews | 226 Followers
Great acting, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Romantic

See it if You'd enjoy an everyone-is-connected dramedy performed by an ace ensemble.

Don't see it if You don't need to see another suburban-set, white-family dramedy about addiction, love, loss, and death.

Critic Reviews (41)

The New York Times
May 21st, 2017

"While 'The Whirligig' offers treats for fans of in-the-moment acting, its moments fail to cohere...Linklater has done a great job in furnishing the interiors of his characters’ lives, but the teetering structure they inhabit creaks...By the end, you may feel as if that set had nearly been spun off its axis. But you’ll also be unlikely to forget the moments in which time seemed to stand still, when the cast fully embodied the script’s insights about the consequences of self-medication."
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Time Out New York
May 21st, 2017

"This uncomfortable mixture of tragedy and comedy is central to Linklater’s affecting and intelligent new play...Scott Elliott’s production keeps a steady sense of balance amid the play’s swirling parts, creating strong bonds of unspoken history within his cast of eight...Even in its exuberant penultimate scene, crowded with characters and revelations, Linklater doesn’t overexplain. He gives his stricken creations room to understand themselves, if not redeem themselves."
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The Hollywood Reporter
May 21st, 2017

"'The Whirligig' never overcomes its strained overwriting and overplotting. There’s genuine emotion at its core and no shortage of wit in the dialogue, featuring generous doses of dark humor. But you can always feel the mechanical wheels whirring in this play performed on a revolving stage. Director Scott Elliott toils to provide cohesion to the disjointed proceedings but proves unable to overcome the overall artifice. But he’s certainly elicited fine performances from the large cast."
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May 21st, 2017

"Expressionistic in form and melancholy in tone...Despite the downbeat subject, it’s a touching play and exceptionally stageworthy in this polished production...The emotional swings of the play are best realized by Butz, who’s giving a brilliant chameleon performance...This sprawling, plot-free play has room for all sorts of characters...Director Elliott is a certifiable casting maven, so each of these colorful supporting roles is played to eccentric perfection."
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May 21st, 2017

"A tedious evening of odd exchanges, push me-pull you confrontations, and long detours down paths better left unexplored...The story skips confusingly about in time...The director, Elliott, isn’t able to keep the threads from getting hopelessly tangled until the welcome sorting out of things as 'The Whirligig' spins to its somber conclusion. Linklater reveals each of these characters with considerable warmth and compassion, which does nothing to alleviate their essential banality."
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New York Daily News
May 21st, 2017

"A whirligig of inconsistency. That includes the storytelling and the acting...For each decent, believable scene there are two or three others that sound tinny and strain credulity...When all is said and done in this production, there’s blame, responsibility and, possibly, forgiveness to go around — along with a slightly uplifting ending that emerges unearned."
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May 26th, 2017

"It features very strong scenes with potent passages of dialogue. But structurally it's flawed, and its message somewhat muddled. Fortunately, the performances are so strong, you can almost overlook the contrivances...It's almost farcical in the end as all the pieces come together in rather jaunty contrived fashion...Linklater shapes his characters with tender loving care. But in attempting to lighten this very sad story with levity, Linklater allowed his 'Whirligig' to spin out of control."
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May 21st, 2017

"Linklater creates great roles for talented actors, and this cast just happens to be full of them...We are glad to get to know these characters so intimately, but the price is a script that often feels shaggy and overburdened by ancillary details. Linklater could stand to trim some of his dialogue, even if this cast is doing an excellent job of selling it all...Director Scott Elliott's tidy production also helps to keep the play from getting stuck in a rut."
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