Vilna NYC Reviews and Tickets

(107 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Relevant

About the Show

"Vilna" tells the heroic story of Motke Zeidel and Yudi Farber, actual people who come of age in the remarkable city of Vilna during its degradation in the years before World War II and its destruction during the war.

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Member Reviews (107)

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1085 Reviews | 265 Followers
Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Ambitious

See it if If you want a play about atrocities and holocaust. A Moving play about wwii.

Don't see it if If you do not want to see a play about atrocities or inhumanity. Play is sporadic and not smooth in plot.

891 Reviews | 259 Followers
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you like good theater based on real people & real happenings. A great cast with flawless light and sound on an interesting set transport you

Don't see it if you are troubled with the horror of the Holocaust, the mistreatment of people & the strain of relationships or the brief violence portrayed

715 Reviews | 108 Followers
Must see, Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Powerful

See it if you appreciate a very powerful, very intense story about the Holocaust. The excellent actors play real people in an extremely moving drama.

Don't see it if you do not want a play about the Holocaust or do not like violence on stage. This show is very disturbing and should be. Read more

488 Reviews | 316 Followers
Tragic story very sobering to watch, Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Very important as history lesson

See it if To learn about of Vilna and the Holocaust. Excellent in that respect. impressive staging - multiple scenes conveyed w/minimal props.

Don't see it if Important history lesson but not that great a play. Acting often awkward and stiff. Adults playing children didn't work for me here.

408 Reviews | 56 Followers
Amateurish, Superficial characterizations, Sketchy dialog, Uneven acting, Covers crucial topic

See it if you desire to see shows about the holocaust, details about how it developed & can overlook "uneven" writing and acting.

Don't see it if you want in-depth characterizations and very realistic dialogue in a play about the holocaust.

379 Reviews | 69 Followers
Ambitious, Sad, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in Jewish history and details of population mistreatment, and are intrigued by characters on both sides of the events.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to extreme mistreatment and abuse, do not care for the Jewish experience, or prefer happy plots.

334 Reviews | 46 Followers
Relevant, Resonant, Intense, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like beautifully acted, important, profound historical drama. This story of WWII is important and moving. Beautifully done. I recommend

Don't see it if you can't handle difficult, brutal stories. This one is tough. But it is nicely done. Only the very easily triggered should skip it,

303 Reviews | 74 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Very moving and well acted play about a terrible time in history. Really kept you engaged throughout the entire production.

Don't see it if Plays about the Holocaust and difficult subject matter is not your thing.

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
March 24th, 2019

“In Discher’s inert production, ‘Vilna’ feels dutiful and strangely hermetic...Hudock and Mulcahy give thoughtful performances, and the rest of the cast is mostly fine...But the many characters and relationships are too shallowly written to allow us to care about them...As ‘Vilna’ unfolds over 18 years, its sheer sprawl dilutes it...The play feels isolated — each scene sealed off, divorced from the larger historical tragedy."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 25th, 2019

"'Vilna' tells a story of such historical importance, bearing a message of such timeless relevance, that it is a great pity it hasn't been told more forcefully...A sincere and reasonably well-constructed work, 'Vilna' is top-heavy with characters and incidents, the latter unfolding with a plodding determination that is the very opposite of drama...Joseph Discher's direction is a one-note affair, even when the action includes throat-cutting, attempted hanging, and other tortures."
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March 22nd, 2019

"'Vilna,' written by Ira Fuchs, is one of the more successful stage dramas to deal with the Holocaust, a notoriously difficult subject to portray on stage. That this play succeeds as well as it does is to the credit of its director Joseph Discher who assiduously avoids clichés and stereotypes and its cast of fine actors, led by the great Mark Jacoby, a star of Broadway musicals, here displaying heart-breaking depth of emotion in two parts."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 27th, 2019

“’Vilna’ was a very difficult play to write but...Fuchs, inspired by the discovery of an underground escape tunnel dug by a few survivors...manages to cover significant moments in 18 years in the lives of one Jewish family, the Zeidels. Most of the characters in the play were real people. And while the scenes depicted are fiction, they align with actual chronological events...Ably directed by Discher, cleverly lighted by Feiner, with very convincing fight direction by Sordelet.”
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Front Row Center
March 21st, 2019

"'Vilna' is an emotionally draining depiction of atrocities for a human being to see, hear, and witness...It is rare to hear an audience gasp in New York City – especially in theatre. During a palpable, unexpected, and raw scene between German officers there was a collective gasp with one patron screaming out. Filing out of the theater Fuchs said, 'Please tell a friend, we can never forget.'"
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March 20th, 2019

"An informative but rather static drama…The multipronged drama throws its net far too wide…Some of this is strong stuff. But the effect is more momentary than cumulative because the events are stretched out over so long a period of time. This robs the play of more than temporary intensity, as scene follows scene, with actors…dutifully carrying furniture on and off as quickly as possible while we wait...Eventually, the dramatic tension decreases instead of the opposite."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
March 20th, 2019

“A potent story that is both devastating and didactic, portraying the worst and calling for the best in humankind...A compelling cast turns in deeply-affecting performances throughout the course of the story, with its ever-worsening circumstances and slowly-shifting tone...While it’s profoundly disturbing to watch ‘Vilna’ and its retelling of the inconceivable atrocities committed there, it’s important to remember what happened, and to ensure that it never happens again."
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Epoch Times
April 1st, 2019

"A work that should be mandatory viewing for everyone over 18...Joseph Discher’s direction is strong. He and Fuchs slowly and methodically introduce the audience to the various characters and ratchet up the tension as the story progresses. While the early part of the play is perhaps a bit too by the numbers, that feeling vanishes as the tale unfolds...'Vilna' reminds audiences in no uncertain terms why these stories should continue to be told."
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