Already closed | 2h 45m | Midtown W

Vanity Fair

From 216 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious, Funny

About the show

The Pearl Theatre Company presents a new stage adaptation of William Thackeray’s classic 19th-century novel, which exposes a society that cares more for good birth and good manners than skill. More…

Becky Sharp, poor, plain, and devilishly clever, is determined to defy the odds through risky romantic entanglements, shady business practices, and social climbing at any cost. She won’t stop until the world lies at her feet. Adapted by and starring Kate Hamill, who wrote and performed in the award-winning 'Sense & Sensibility.'


Member Reviews (216)

MEMBERS SAY:

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious, Funny
79
Avg Score

80
Intense, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing, Edgy

See it if you like innovative staging, altho sometimes it's disruptive. The story is well-told w/rare lags. The moral: we often want the wrong thing.

Don't see it if you like realistic action on stage. Or you get bored after 2 hours (this is 2 1/2). I enjoyed this VF much more than the 2004 movie.

81
Fun, Creative, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you like reinterpretation of classics. Funny and fun, quirky and very creative. Hamill has managed to include comedy, pathos and heart.

Don't see it if You want classic theater. Some acting is uneven but others more than make up for it. Can get confusing at points but clarifies soon after.

Also It was a surprisingly fun and enjoyable evening. ... Read more Read less

82
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You enjoy period pieces with a TWIST! Very fun night at the theater. Super creative adaptation, Kate Hamill's writing/performance is amazing

Don't see it if You are purist and aren't receptive to new interpretations. It could use a 20min trim but Hamill has injected the story w/ lots of pizzazz!

86
Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Great staging, Clever

See it if You want to see a show that's really well written, acted and directed, but is rather unusual. Very clever without being gimmicky.

Don't see it if You're not willing to use your imagination. They do a good job keeping it clear who's who & what's what but they do do a lot with a little.

95
Delightful, Clever, Funny, Dizzying, Profound

See it if Wonderful mix of a farce and a serious drama. A circus of human desires for us to contemplate. When it gets too serious, mayhem erupts.

Don't see it if You won't enjoy a satire of 19th century British society, with a cheeky narrator breaking the fourth wall.

Also Loved the intricate staging and over-the-top characters. My favorite c... Read more Read less

84
Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Good acting

See it if Hamill's perceptive adaptation of Thackeray's over stuffed novel is both trenchant & stimulating Tucker's staging works more often than not

Don't see it if At nearly 3 hrs could easily lose a half hour w/o harm enhancing relevancy to modern times Burlesque staging sometimes gets in drama's way

77
Ambitious, Confusing, Slow, Enjoyable, Disappointing

See it if You are a fan of Thackeray and of Eric Tucker's direction, enjoy novelizations of classic novels on stage & seeing portrayal of women

Don't see it if you expect something like Tucker's Sense and Sensibility or Midsummer Night's Dream, not fond of 18th century literature or small casts

77
Team brings same antic approach used brilliantly 4 "sense and sensibility"; worthwhile 4 "vanity fair" but not as successful

See it if brings out wicked satire of VF & its modern sensibility; fine cast/ multiple roles; director stages play as campy 3-ring-circus-it's a hoot!

Don't see it if broad overacting/slapstick becomes monotonous over time; at 2 hrs 45 mins overstuffed/merits serious editing

70
Clever, Quirky, Overrated

See it if You want to see a modern and creative staging of Vanity Fair. Lots of energy.

Don't see it if I didn't find it as amusing as others have. Many of the actors played multiple roles which I found quite distracting rather than fun.

Also There was lots of overacting and winks to the audience. Some might fin... Read more Read less

85
Charming, Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Clever

See it if irony, satire and plain old humor float your boat. This clever production of a character driven classic held my attention for 2.5 hours!

Don't see it if you expect a simple translation of novel to play. A lot of theatrical elements have been added to enrich the staging of the familiar plot.

84
Ambitious, Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You are a fan of Thackeray and want to see how this most ambitious work of fiction can be developed into a terrific play !

Don't see it if You can't deal with a full length play. You don't enjoy Victorian era themes and style.

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, A feast for bedlam fans, Funny

See it if you enjoyed Bedlam's "Sense and Sensibility." This production is directed by Eric Tucker, and he brings his unique sensibility to the play.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Bedlam's inventive staging and small casts playing a variety of roles.

Also Eric Tucker (director) and Kate Hamill (playwright and actor) are reun... Read more Read less

82
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Edgy

See it if you enjoy inventive settings and presentation of dialogue. Same person did Sense and Sensibility at the Judson

Don't see it if you like conventional sets and old fashioned presentation of play.

60
Indulgent, Slow

See it if You'd enjoy the high energy moments in act one, such as the auction scene where actors go down the aisles..

Don't see it if ...You get bored since show runs 3 hours and quickly runs out of steam. Needs major cuts.

82
Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if You liked Kate Hamill's take on Pride & Prejudice;like a frenetic pace to a classic;great energy;engaging cast plays multiple characters

Don't see it if You expect the original story told in a conventional way; dislike interchangeable male/female roles;cannot keep up with the storyline

Also The audience is engaged in the play by the narrator,Zachary Fine, who ... Read more Read less

75
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Dizzying

See it if if you enjoy outside-the-box story based on a literary classic, bits of contemporary dance and music in the mix; a bit of chaos; good acting

Don't see it if you enjoy a straight forward show with an easy to follow plot and characters; fancy sets and costumes; one person per role; short plays.

Also this show is definitely not for everyone . . . it is a bit strange in ... Read more Read less

75
Entertaining, Too long, Confusing, Quirky, A lot going on.

See it if A fan of Hamill/Tucker/Bedlam and like artsy productions of old novels. You DIDN"T see Sense&S, but wish you had & thought it sounded fun.

Don't see it if Impatient with clever just to be clever, get antsy w long shows, don't like dizzying staging/caricatures. If you DID see S&S, it pales.

Also I am reluctant to write this lukewarm review because so many in the au... Read more Read less

82
Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Entertaining

See it if A 900 page English novel spun before you in a whirlwind of set pieces, characters, and chapters interests you. And you loved the book.

Don't see it if You don't like it when actors double, triple, and quadruple roles. And you want sets that offer more than a suggestion of where you are.

70
Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Too long

See it if you want to see a camp interpretation of a period piece. Actors give their all in this fun adaptation of a classic.

Don't see it if you don't like elements of overacting, camp, and melodrama. you don't want to sit through a 3 hour play which drags on at times.

79
Great staging, Raunchy, Silly, Energetic fun

See it if you loved Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility and you like adaptions with broad humor and anachronistic touches.

Don't see it if you like your adaptions faithful to the period, don't care for lots of running and rolling about or actors playing multiple roles.

Also The playwright plays one of the leads, so this is clearly a labor of l... Read more Read less

74
Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if You enjoy a fun take on a classic. AND can have fun with a great cast that appears to be enjoying themselves

Don't see it if If you are expecting the absolute brilliance of their adaptation oF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. This story just isn't as fun so it isn't as good.

78
Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You appreciate an interesting take on a classic piece of literature.

Don't see it if You want traditional story telling

82
Rollicking adaptation of classic novel

See it if you're a fan of Kate Hamill's Sense & S. She also plays Becky Sharp and nails her. I loved Zachary Fine's farting Miss Matilda Crawley

Don't see it if you're an English lit purist. The cast is so talented.

95
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to be entertained by top notch performances, great writing, and clever staging. The Pearl has done it again. Do not miss this.

Don't see it if you are an idiot! Seriously, this is as funny and clever as it can be. It ain't the dry as dust Vanity Fair you read in high school. Go, GO!

84
Delightful, Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing, Intelligent

See it if You liked Bedlam's Sense and Sensibility. Distinctive characterizations. brilliant staging. Updated Thackeray. Constant motion.

Don't see it if You dont want to keep up. You dont like equivocal characters. You want a traditional setting and production.


April 3rd, 2017
"Ms. Hamill and Mr. Tucker’s 'Vanity Fair' is a breathless thing and often too hectic. But this show is a gift to actors and a goody bag for its audience...Mr. Tucker encourages the actors to indulge themselves. But they’re having such a high old time that their pleasure is infectious. Less succe...
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April 3rd, 2017
“Ms. Hamill’s ‘Vanity Fair,’ which is being performed to coruscatingly brilliant effect by the Pearl Theatre Company, is a masterpiece of creative compression that is at once arrestingly original and faithful to its source material…The quick-change shape-shifting of the cast, the outrageous physi...
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April 3rd, 2017
"Thackeray's delicious wit and satirical side-winks often get lost in this ambitious, sometimes unfocused translation...More straightforward storytelling might have better served this almost three-hour-long production. The actors never fail to impress as they race about the stage and deliver some...
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April 3rd, 2017
"'Vanity Fair' has a little bit of everything to make it one of the most intriguing adaptations of a novel I have ever seen...Becky is such a fascinating character, and watching Kate Hamill in this role was such a pleasure...That is not to undermine the extremely talented cast that joins her in t...
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