Vanity Fair
Closed 2h 45m
Vanity Fair
79

Vanity Fair NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(216 Reviews)
Positive
86%
Mixed
10%
Negative
4%
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.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (216)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
909 Reviews | 924 Followers
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. Read more

884 Reviews | 1014 Followers
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!

1002 Reviews | 412 Followers
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.

975 Reviews | 341 Followers
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.

712 Reviews | 215 Followers
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. Read more

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
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.

708 Reviews | 155 Followers
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

643 Reviews | 279 Followers
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

Critic Reviews (22)

The New York Times
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 successful are the direct-address monologues Ms. Hamill has interpolated, which state themes too baldly, and dance sequences set to the likes of 'Thriller,' which blare the play’s contemporary bona fides."
Read more

The Wall Street Journal
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 physical comedy of the staging, the startlingly witty use of props: All are Mr. Tucker’s now-familiar trademarks, and all add immeasurably to the show’s impact...Really ought to transfer to Broadway.”
Read more

Theatermania
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 truly inspired moments...But more often than not, the hit-and-miss jokes let the air out of this colorful balloon of a show, and the second act becomes downright dour."
Read more

BroadwayWorld
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 the telling of this story: individuals that each play a myriad of interesting characters with such vigor and conviction, they make it look easy."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
April 6th, 2017

"Hamill has performed a highly efficient act of distillation, exposing the solid structure underlying Thackeray's sprawling satire...Aided by a nimble company of seven, Hamill and Tucker roll out scene after scene right out of a satiric engraving in Punch...I hasten to add that Tucker, who never can let well enough alone, does from time to time indulge himself...These moments are soon over...This production never lets us forget that Thackeray's satire routinely cuts too close for comfort."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
April 11th, 2017

“Thackeray's 784-page novel on love, money and social climbing has been adapted into a concise and cogent stage play by Kate Hamill, who has also given herself a magnificent role as she previously did in her Jane Austen adaptation. Director Eric Tucker has obtained the most out of his accomplished and skillful cast. This ‘Vanity Fair’ is a TKO putting a seemingly huge and unadaptable 19th-century novel front and center on the stage of the Pearl Theatre. Thackeray would be pleased.”
Read more

Theatre is Easy
April 2nd, 2017

“Hilarious…The ensemble cast is uniformly excellent. The male actors skillfully play multiple roles…Hamill is pitch-perfect as the feisty and flinty heroine…As a writer, Hamill has made some inspired changes to Thackeray’s novel…'Vanity Fair' isn't perfect. I could have done with less of the passing gas humor, done as a group effort—but it got laughs, so what do I know…But these are minor quibbles…A fresh, fast-paced, and wildly entertaining take.”
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
April 3rd, 2017

"Great and glorious, equal parts cabaret, circus and non-judgmental morality play...Go see the play. It’s fun, interesting and often even touching...Kate Hamill, the adapter and star, and Eric Tucker, the director, are a smashing duo, as in turning classic stories into theatrical smash hits...I thought the second act could have been cut slightly. As for Eric Tucker’s direction, triple wows for turning an ancient classic into a fun show with a considerable undercoating of content."
Read more