Closed 2h 50m
The Winter's Tale (TFANA)
Brooklyn
73

The Winter's Tale (TFANA) NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(37 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
22%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great staging, Absorbing

About the Show

Theatre for a New Audience presents Arin Arbus's new staging of Shakespeare’s haunting late romance. A parable of jealousy and redemption, that is half-tragedy, half-comedy.

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Member Reviews (37)

93
Magical, Exquisite, Underrated, Beautiful, Intelligent

See it if you have the patience to sit & attend closely to many difficult events & wait for the wonder to happen.

Don't see it if you don't believe miracles are possible. Read more

76
Entertaining, Intelligent, Quirky, Long

See it if Shakespeare's romances with comedy, tragedy but with happy ending; a very funny Arnie Burton who interacts with audience; some great acting

Don't see it if you would find some over-the-top comedic acting annoying, want to understand each Shakespearean line or cannot handle almost 3 hours Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

March 25th, 2018

"Death is shown to be, like life, a chain...That grief is at the heart of Arbus’s interpretation, and is almost enough to make the disparate pieces of this strange play hang together...Most productions I have seen work too hard to make these elements emulsify. Arbus doesn’t try; rather, she emphasizes the lumps...Mostly Arbus depends on the excellent cast to squeeze the ripe Shakespearean language for all it’s worth...You may never hear a Paulina as fierce as Mahira Kakkar."
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March 26th, 2018

"The tonal dissonance is jarring. Director Arbus attempts to unify 'The Winter’s Tale’s' disparate parts by bookending them with their emotional opposites: The dark half opens on a lighthearted note, with a bear dancing in the snow, and the lighter one concludes with the ghost of a child. In between, the drama is frequently overwrought and the comedy sometimes too broad; but there are magical moments, too."
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April 5th, 2018

"Arbus embraces everything that, down through the centuries, has been labeled problematic about 'The Winter's Tale'...A connection has been forged between the two halves, something that isn't found in every production of 'The Winter's Tale'...Arbus guides her company with the steadiest of hands...So much does this production exude an air of purpose that when forgiveness arrives in the surprise appearance of a statue that comes to life, it doesn't feel the least bit forced or tacked on."
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March 26th, 2018

"Arin Arbus and Theatre for a New Audience have news for you: 'The Winter’s Tale' is about Paulina. Fearless, truth-telling, proto-feminist Paulina...Aside from the antics of pickpocket/peddler/all-around rogue Autolycus (played by the exceptional Arnie Burton) the pastoral elements of the play grow a bit tiresome...Thankfully, soon enough, you’re jolted back to Sicilia and into the capable hands of Paulina, who’s about to make some magic happen and anthropomorphize a Hermione statue."
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March 27th, 2018

"Burton’s Autolycus is a delight, as he breaks the fourth wall and interacts with audience members...The mostly top-notch acting aside, Arbus’s team creative team rounded out a crisp, elegant production...This iteration of 'The Winter’s Tale' is an ideal production for both Shakespeare aficionados seeking a (finally!) complete version of the play, as well as those who want an easy-to-follow version of this sometimes confusing, often illogical, but, of late, much beloved Shakespeare play."
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March 30th, 2018

"Arbus's production doesn't avoid all of 'Winter's' potential pitfalls, but it does admirably grapple with them head-on...After the tragic half, the play's comedic half achieves much-needed equilibrium. That's not necessarily an indication that the production wasn't on firm footing earlier on. Arbus seems too deliberate in and aware of the tragedy's chaotic tone...Arbus's production starts as impossibly grim, but leaves us grateful for the gift of a hopeful ending."
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March 27th, 2018

"The production stays true to form, preserving almost the entirety of Shakespeare's original text. More importantly, Arbus' direction preserves the spirit of the work: quietly brimming with wonder...The most famous moment in 'The Winter's Tale' is the statue scene; and here, both the dynamic cast and Arbus' inspired direction are at their very best...You're not likely to see a more lovely, more faithful, or more magical production of Shakespeare's great transformation play."
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April 6th, 2018

"A wonderfully rendered production of one of Shakespeare's 'problem plays'...Filled with intense psychological drama...An ending that is surprisingly a happy one...Arbus has decided to utilize the bear as a tell-tale sign...Arbus' point is solid in the making even as it doesn't fit entirely well with the mood of the first half...Quickly paced, with all of this action flying by at a well orchestrated and confident speed...Redemption and reconciliation are the fundamental key of this play's metamorphosis."
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March 25th, 2018

"It comes nowhere near capturing the play's schizophrenic, tragicomic personality…Malone and Keating's shepherds…are the single most memorable feature of this otherwise ordinary revival…just the right touch of Shakespearean drollery. None of the serious acting is notably distinctive. Too much of the dialogue…either strives for conversational naturalness or…delivers un-nuanced emotional rhetoric. The actors speak passionately but too often it comes from the head and not the heart."
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March 29th, 2018

"I’ve seen enough versions to come away from this one unsatisfied. Leontes is a tricky role...Alas, Anatol Yusef only goes so far. He’s grim, determined, macho, and cruel, but the performance is all surface and moderately smooth verse-speaking. It’s not only Yusef who comes up short. Arbus gets clear and steady work from an ensemble of seasoned actors but the cumulative effect is dignified but uninspired. The surprising exceptions are the comic roles."
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March 26th, 2018

"Rather than ignoring or attempting to mitigate the wild tonal and stylistic swings of the play, Ms. Arbus hangs a lantern on them, accentuating shifts in mood, whimsy, and magic with crisp design and a terrific troupe of actors at her disposal...'The Winter’s Tale' remains a strange and inharmonious play, but finds temporal resonance in its fascinating discourse on misogyny and disbelief in fact, and is ultimately about loss and restoration, universal features of the human condition."
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March 28th, 2018

"In Arin Arbus’s terrific production, Anatol Yusef is completely convincing, masterly in the language and commanding a range of emotions, including anguish, arrogance, and cruelty...Arbus’s take on the story of cruelty and redemption benefits foremost from crisp, intelligent verse-speaking...The director has modernized bits of the text, cut judiciously, and, most important, paid attention to details."
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March 27th, 2018

"Arbus juggles the play's so-called problems deftly, balancing the darkly serious with the lightly comic, moving things relatively briskly on Hernandez's spare but austere, at times almost blindingly white set...Rebholz's contemporary costumes take some getting used to...Much of the cast is allowed a wide berth, especially during the wacky sheep-shearing festival, but Curran, Rogers, and Yusef keep it grounded just enough...Might be a lesser-performed Bard work, but it still has its gems."
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March 28th, 2018

"'The Winter's Tale,' which has seen a resurgence in popularity recently, is one of Shakespeare's trickier texts, a diptych of tragedy and comedy, of city and pastoral, of youth and old age. Yet with all these pieces, each of which could motivate Ms. Arbus' interest, there is a lack of urgency, really of direction to all of this."
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March 25th, 2018

"It is easy to see why this is not one of the more popular Shakespeare plays. 'The Winter’s Tale' is a bizarre sort of play that seemingly doesn’t know what it wants to be...Any attempt to make the two parts of the play feel unified often fail. So Arbus’ solution was to create two completely distinct worlds...The play often came across as flat and felt as if it was lagging...The play itself is not perfect, but Arbus takes the audience on a ride where anything can happen."
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April 11th, 2018

"When a Shakespearean tale is produced this intelligently, it is ripe for every season. Though the writing itself is long and frustrating at times, it is made fantastically accessible...While infused with bold notes of humor...It takes a while to get to the funny, and those are the scenes that make this production unique and memorable...A genius telling of a nominal, faltering story...The choices made by Arbus and the marvelous ensemble are stunning in their complexity and splendor."
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