The Whirligig
Closed 2h 30m
The Whirligig

The Whirligig NYC Reviews and Tickets

(140 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (140)

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73 Reviews | 15 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Clever

See it if you ever loved someone.

Don't see it if you have to blame someone.

473 Reviews | 114 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if Extremely well-acted & heartbreaking tale about a mom's daughter who is dying because of a decision made years ago. Superb cast.

Don't see it if You're easily confused and can't keep track of scenes that go back and forth in time.

269 Reviews | 26 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Resonant

See it if You love a great drama and great actikfm. Fresh. Innovative. Engaging.

Don't see it if You don't want to see another dysfunctional family

118 Reviews | 26 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Interesting

See it if You like theater that interweaves characters and situations.

Don't see it if You are easily confused

545 Reviews | 81 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Confusing, Ending is its only flaw

See it if you want a play that infuses comedy into sad situations beautifully. Because of its flow between now and then, it requires concentration.

Don't see it if you are looking for an easy straight forward play

281 Reviews | 38 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Profound, Unique

See it if You want to see an intelligent show that has a great ensemble cast.

Don't see it if Substance abuse, or issues of a psychological nature are too much for you.

314 Reviews | 52 Followers
Great acting, Confusing, Edgy, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you like plays about people, their struggles, and how we are influenced by our relationships

Don't see it if you only like to see straight forward "well made" plays

184 Reviews | 30 Followers
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you enjoy an entertaining play that is about today's culture. At bit confusing at first but it all comes together in the end.

Don't see it if you are the type whose mind wanders and you can't sit still and follow a story because this one requires your attention.

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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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 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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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 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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