Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W


From 107 member  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. More…

As the home they knew collapses, going from vibrant metropolis to stifling ghetto and ultimately the Ponar killing pits, they face painful moral choices to save others while putting their own lives at risk.

2h 15m | Already closed | Theatre at St. Clement's (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (107)


Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Relevant
Avg Score

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.

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

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.

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.

Also This is a must see drama and told so powerfully and is very moving. Yo... Read more Read less

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.

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.

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,

Ambitious, Cliched, Intense, Great acting

See it if You like epic stories with many threads and moments of high stakes drama and intense moral dilemmas. Some very praiseworthy performances.

Don't see it if You like a concise plot and a consistent build. Mind a play that takes quiet a bit to get going and is very long and in need of editing.

Also The play has moments of true power. It’s like they had 4 different goo... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You want to experience a comprehensive nuanced well done play about the Holocaust.

Don't see it if You don’t like intimate theatre space.

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.

Thought-provoking, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Well-meaning and important story about the destruction of Jewish life and towns in Eastern Europe where the Holocaust was most bloody.

Don't see it if Unfortunately the level of writing, acting and directing is strictly that of Community Theatre.

Also Vilna is meant to tell a story based on history the author is afraid m... Read more Read less

Must see, Masterful, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want to learn about the Jewish suffering in Vilna, Lithuania from 1915 to 1943 through a wonderfully acted play.

Don't see it if the topics of hatred and genocide are to depressing for you.

Profound, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a play that delivers a little known piece of history that needs to be told.

Don't see it if you want a play with more embellishment; there is bare bones scenery to focus directly on the story.

Must see, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Have little or no knowledge of anti-Semitism. Thought provoking-are you able to ask what would you have done in similar situation? An scri

Don't see it if Not interested in man’s inhumanity to man

Also I would have flashed the translation of the songs in English on the wa... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You will appreciate the historical dramatic kind story telling. Not a dull moment. Maybe the "kiss my ass" scene is a little too excessive..

Don't see it if You are too emotionally immersed yourself with the part of the history, you may not be able to enjoy the show...

Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if A history based story that will hold your interest and sadly has too many parallels to today. A flaw may have been trying to cover too much.

Don't see it if Looking for light fare or stories involving the Holocaust are not for you.

Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in some fictional history

Don't see it if you find Holocaust stories too frightening to be on a theatrical stage

Also This is not my usual type of entertainment - if entertainment is the r... Read more Read less

Stagey, Profound, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if Enlightening historical drama of the intricacies of the dismantling, survival techniques, and the exterminating of innocent European Jews.

Don't see it if Somewhat stagey and overt, at times.

Chilling, Didactic, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Paul Cooper is excellent as a taunting Nazi, as is Mark Jacoby in his short, but powerful role as the ghost of Motke Zeidel.

Don't see it if Holocaust themes upset you, didactic approach, timing and reactions a little off. 2nd act more powerful but harder to watch.

Resonant, Profound, Important, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate shows that not only entertain you but also inform you. So much is written about the Holocaust but there is so much to learn.

Don't see it if prefer to attend bubblegum shows that avoid serious issues past and present.

Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in Holocaust history and some of the background as to why the Nazis were so easily able to exterminate Jews in Poland

Don't see it if You want to see something light and upbeat. You have no knowledge of WWII holocaust ghettos (some background knowledge would be useful)

Also I generally do not like plays that try to impose political polemic on ... Read more Read less

Profound, Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like plays involving historical events with great acting and singing. Also if you appreciate good staging with a large cast.

Don't see it if If you can't deal with disturbing events dealing with the Holocaust.

Must see, Riveting, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if Please see this show if you want to learn the history of Vilna and the atrocities of the nazis. Very well acted and intense. Harrowing!

Don't see it if If you worry about a play upsetting you as this is harrowing based on true story

Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you want to better understand the events leading up to the Holocaust. if you want to think about how this could happen again

Don't see it if you are a Holocaust-denier

Great staging, Profound, Intense, Masterful

See it if a story depicting Jews' experiences in Vilna during WWII is of interest The story is based on the true events which makes it very compelling

Don't see it if you are not interested in a Holocaust story,It is lengthy although there is some relief with singing,an innovative set and great acting!

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...
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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 ploddin...
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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...
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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 whi...
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