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

Thom Pain (based on nothing) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(204 Reviews)
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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235 Reviews | 80 Followers
Pain pure pleasure

See it if You love Mr. Hall and a surreal meta experience.

Don't see it if You want traditional theater. Plot, other characters and set design are woefully missing. Read more

139 Reviews | 28 Followers
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy, Great acting

See it if You want to experience great acting and a play that actually is about something, Humankind. Very existential in its message.

Don't see it if You are not into serious and somewhat disturbing plays. This is not meant to be an enjoyable night out to the theater but not to be ignored Read more

203 Reviews | 49 Followers
Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you want to see beautifully performed stream of consciousness that eventually makes sense of the human condition...if you let it.

Don't see it if you need everything to make sense at face value rather than in a very ethereal way Read more

60 Reviews | 18 Followers
Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if M.C.Hall is quite good with this challenging show. I have seen it twice as I really like his work as an actor

Don't see it if Don't go if low action monologues aren't your thing.

1054 Reviews | 430 Followers
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 beginning, middle or barely an end. Read more

224 Reviews | 20 Followers
Entertaining, Funny, Confusing, Dizzying, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy one person theater and like to be totally involved in every word.

Don't see it if You enjoy musicals and drama.

90 Reviews | 17 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a show that makes you think. The play doesn't have a typical linear story - almost like a stream of consciousness monologue

Don't see it if you don't like plays without a coherent and chronological storyline. Read more

674 Reviews | 157 Followers
Smart, Suave, Fluid, Philosophical, Sly

See it if you would like to see a brilliantly written piece of philosophical stand-up comedy brilliantly performed.

Don't see it if you are looking for a traditional drama: this is (essentially) a 1-man show. 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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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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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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