Thom Pain (based on nothing)
Closed 0h 50m
Thom Pain (based on nothing)
74

Thom Pain (based on nothing) NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(204 Reviews)
Positive
69%
Mixed
26%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Quirky, Clever, Absorbing, Disappointing

About the Show

Drama Desk Award-winner Will Eno returns to Signature for a new staging of his surreal and very real one-man show, starring Michael C. Hall ("Dexter," "Six Feet Under," "The Realistic Joneses.")

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Member Reviews (204)

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866 Reviews | 898 Followers
78
Great acting, Interesting, Different, Engaging, Slow

See it if you like slightly surreal theatrical experiences. Surprising, twisting and somewhat poetic. Hall is masterful.

Don't see it if you prefer more conventional linear plots. Sometimes stream of consciousness. Read more

841 Reviews | 1006 Followers
73
Unconventional, Confusing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if An unconventional solo show. Michael C Hall is great & does an amazing job engaging the audience.

Don't see it if You are looking for traditional play. It's a bit confusing but I was never bored and found it to be pretty amusing.

963 Reviews | 338 Followers
80
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Clever, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you like existential plays; TP's mostly abt love, couples, connectns, childhood trauma, thought processes, death. Hall mesmerizes. Engaging.

Don't see it if you dislike solo shows/brief audience interactions. TP is in-your-face, but it's funny and smart. A reminder to carpe diem. Barebones set.

928 Reviews | 379 Followers
91
Quirky, Absorbing, Delightful, Profound, Resonant

See it if You want to experience one man’s cerebral meanderings through his lifetime of memories and experiences shared with an audience.

Don't see it if You dislike one person shows or shows without a strong story line. This has no clear plot line...no beginning, middle or barely an end. Read more

764 Reviews | 212 Followers
81
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you enjoy stories, word play and mind play that often starts normal but turns out opposite delivered in a superb performance by one actor.

Don't see it if you do not like one person shows that talk at you about what seems like almost nothing but makes you think about almost everything.

703 Reviews | 213 Followers
85
Profound, Sad, Funny, Insightful, Devastating

See it if Introspective rumination on life under the spell of depression. Deeply sad, lonely & vulnerable; and painfully funny. Gave me much insight.

Don't see it if You don’t want to connect and empathize with a depressed character. You don’t enjoy solo shows. This is all a monologue by one character. Read more

741 Reviews | 121 Followers
69
Great acting, Indulgent, Funny, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a master performer hold the attention of hundreds of people working with a less than a bare stage & not much of a plot.

Don't see it if you lack patience. This is a monologue of interruptions and distractions.

MJK
677 Reviews | 186 Followers
81
Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Felicific

See it if u want to see Hall's nuanced, thoughtful perf of Eno's crafty, stylized, dense, nihilistic monologue about 1 man's search for life's meaning

Don't see it if you like your shows to be easily digested and tied up neatly in a bow; you need high production values to justify the cost of your ticket. Read more

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
November 11th, 2018

"Oliver Butler’s new production lets some fresh air and even a sliver of sunlight into the nocturnal depths of its title (and only) character’s imagination...But while I’m usually grateful for glints of optimism in these cynical times, I can’t honestly say that this transformation is for the good...Mr. Hall is best in relaxed moments of semi-improvised interaction with the audience. But this Thom is seldom lovably loathsome enough to make us squirm."
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Time Out New York
November 11th, 2018

"Eno’s text is a wonderfully light thing—a butterfly’s erratic passage through a man’s mind as he tries to narrate both his past and the constant, irritating demands of the theatrical present...'Thom Pain' has to fight a little too hard to be heard, where director Oliver Butler has given it a very handsome and polished revival. Michael C. Hall performs Eno’s script with immense charm (if not danger), but it’s a piece that requires the intimacy of a mind moving very close to yours."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 11th, 2018

"Canon or not, faced with Eno’s play now, I found myself recoiling from its aggressive flippancy. There’s something brittle and deceptive about 'Thom Pain’s' systemic self-deprecation...The pleasure of the production is watching Hall in moments of simple, full presence...The problem is that what 'Thom Pain' wants to be and what the play is are two different things."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 11th, 2018

"The 70-minute monologue never really coheres into a discernible storyline, which will certainly prove frustrating for those looking for a linear narrative. But the play's deliciously clever wordplay and theatrical inventiveness provide myriad rewards for the more open-minded. Signature’s current revival particularly highlights the work's strengths, thanks to the actor's formidable charisma and charm.”
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Variety
November 12th, 2018

"Sitting in the literal dark with the unpredictable narrator of Eno’s intellectually dizzying drama is still a dangerous thrill...Hall’s deadly deadpan is deeply funny, in an unnerving way...Hall tries his level best to be true to this self-absorbed character; but he just can’t help himself. He’s a fine actor, but a personable one, much too likable to pull off the character’s blinding, self-regarding narcissism."
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Theatermania
November 11th, 2018

"Eno's play is much more than just a playful comic lark...Michael C. Hall is dynamic enough as an actor to hold our attention for 70 minutes, keeping us rapt through Pain's quicksilver mood changes and evasive forays into whimsy. But a sense of pained inner life is lacking in Hall's interpretation, with the actor seemingly prizing speed over depth in delivering his character's ramblings...It's a tribute to the richness of Eno's play that it survives a relatively superficial approach."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 29th, 2018

"I'm mystified by the entirety of Will Eno's play, beginning with the title, which seems to reach in the direction of cleverness before pausing, thinking about it, and giving up altogether...At times, 'Thom Pain' feels like nothing more than a series of delaying tactics with no discernible endpoint...Michael C. Hall, the star of this production, brings much more presence than his predecessor, along with some dry humor and tantalizing intimations of psychological darkness."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 11th, 2018

"Lest one think Thom Pain makes for miserable company, Eno has created a highly entertaining, poignant, and intellectually stimulating evening...As Thom Pain, Hall is outstanding. He has the requisite charm to bring the audience into his confidence, while sporadically gesturing toward the seething bitterness and sadness just below the surface...Under Oliver Butler's direction, this is also a master class in comedy."
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