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Wakey, Wakey

From 130 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing, Absorbing

About the show

Signature Theatre presents a thought-provoking new play about some of life's biggest questions, written and directed by Obie winner Will Eno ('The Realistic Jones'). Starring Emmy winner Michael Emerson ('Lost'). More…

What are we here for? Is time a friend or an enemy? Do we all eventually end up in the same place, but take different routes to get there? 'Wakey, Wakey' challenges the notion of what really matters and recognizes the importance of life’s simple pleasures. (All of which might sound dreary, but there’s a chance this will be a really good experience.) Inspired in part by the playwright-director's friendship with the late James Houghton, Signature Theatre's founder. 

Member Reviews (130)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing, Absorbing
Avg Score

Great acting, Profound, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if Eno's existential 'stand-up' about the end of a man's life Michael Emerson quite extraordinary as Guy with a moving LeVoy as the 'caretaker'

Don't see it if Eno is an 'acquired taste' Piece can be a bit slow & too quirky for some & Eno's choices as director a bit too twee but often very moving

Clever, Edgy

See it if January LaVoy a great talent is wasted in a 15 minute role, The Meaning of Life seems to be overdone. A diifernet approach here.

Don't see it if Not sure if I would say :See It' but I was impressed gy the short performance og Ms. La Voy

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you're a Will Eno or Michael Emerson fan, you enjoy the unexpected, you're interested in a new perspective on approaching death

Don't see it if talk of impending death disturbs you, quirky surprises set you ajar, hard to grip characters

If you like will eno's sly existential humor see this; otherwise, you may be scratching your head

See it if a kind of comic homage to Our Town asking ?s about life/death; M. Emerson as dying man turns in virtuosic improvisational performance

Don't see it if observations about life/death so varied, no coherent point of view; Eno can write a brilliant monologue/Thom Pain; this is not @ that level

Also Eno's punning dialogue and titles give you a clue as to the concerns o... Read more Read less

Great acting, Profound, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Slow

See it if you enjoy one-man shows (there is a second character at the end), or existential/philosophical works.

Don't see it if you need action--any action at all. This show is mostly just a single man sitting and talking about life.

Also The dialogue is deeply thoughtful and feels like a stream of conscious... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are ready to face how the end of life affects us physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you are alone, this will be more disturbing.

Don't see it if You recently faced a serious illness or had someone close to you pass away. Are afraid of being alone.

Also Michael Emerson is amazing as the lead!!... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You have no choice

Don't see it if You have a chice

Ambitious, Banal, Confusing, Great acting, Excruciating

See it if You enjoy Will Eno and Michael Emerson. Or enjoy a great actor just talking to you for 75min straight. He makes it feel very spontaneous

Don't see it if You require substance, or a story, or anything resembling a plot structure. This was 75 minutes of banality passed off as great wisdom.

Great acting, Confusing, Indulgent, Slow, Nothingburger

See it if want to see a fine actor looking miserable for good reason and if you worship at the altar of Eno.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy half-baked banalities being passed off as gems of wisdom and won't accept special effects in place of theater.

Also When the playwright-director has to resort to video collages, balloons... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy short, but slow plays that are quite meditative and thought-provoking. Deep with some funny moments. Great acting by Emerson.

Don't see it if you want to see a play with a clear narrative and more action, you don't like long monologues or minimal movement and staging

Clever, Great acting, Intense, Slow, Sad in a happy way

See it if you are stimulated by interesting dialogue and visuals despite feeling this is more of a monologue than a play.

Don't see it if you expect a real plot and don't like to think a bout sad things.

Astonishing michael emerson, Resonant but slow, Ultimately hopeful, Underwritten

See it if A tiny play (but a long one-acter) about the biggest questions. The tension between life & death and between being connected & individual...

Don't see it if ...with a serving of life's pleasures delivered by YouTube, combine for a somewhat slow but never treacly or cranky look at the inevitable.

Absorbing, Great acting, Clever, Edgy

See it if You enjoy complex plays , out of the ordinary with excellent acting.

Don't see it if Do you not see if you only enjoy lite musicals or plays.

Contemplative, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You love Michael Emerson and have been yearning to see him on the stage since Gross Indecencies. You want to experience a moving piece.

Don't see it if You get impatient with plays that don't connect dots clearly. You have lost someone recently--this can be cathartic or bring you to tears.

Slow, Confusing, Ambitious, Banal, Intense

See it if You are a follower of Will Eno. Otherwise, I found this end-of-death play incredibly disjointed and confusing.

Don't see it if You want a more developed play in which you can develop an emotional connection. Didn't like the need for AV effects, balloons, etc.

Also It was hard to relate to this play when I am going through this with a... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Confusing, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a fan of Will Eno's plays. Great acting by two person cast. Unique story makes you contemplate your mortality.

Don't see it if You prefer more traditional,straight forward story. It was confusing at times.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like Eno's work. Like thinking about life's essential questions. Enjoy pondering and excellent acting.

Don't see it if Need action. Are bored by a meditation on our humanness. Don't want to think.

Also All Eno. Delightful ending.

Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You are of a certain age, have lost someone recently, or are open to reviewing/summing up your time here with a talented gracious host.

Don't see it if You just want to be entertained. You have no interest in spending a very, very long, quiet 70 minutes where you might be confused.

Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you are a fan of Will Eno and you don't mind his self-indulgent writing; appreciate good acting; like surprise endings.

Don't see it if you are looking for something new, provocative, insightful, stimulating. It is definitely "been here, seen this before" time.

Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Quirky

See it if existential theater or themes of end-of-life are of interest to you or if Eno or Emerson are people you love.

Don't see it if you are already tired or are in an emotional rut. It's a bit of a slog that will have you thinking though.

Clever, Indulgent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you enjoy quirky works that are more about asking questions and putting you in the headspace of a character than... plot or action

Don't see it if you don't have patience for indulgent writing or meandering monologuing.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You are of a certain age and thoughts of mortality run through your head.

Don't see it if You want plot, dialogue, scenery, singing, dancing and you are so young you think you are immortal.

Also I went with two friends. One was bored but thought a lot about the sho... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are interested in how one man approaches life and death. Very thoughtful dialogue. Captivated by the energy driven by the inevitable.

Don't see it if You aren't introspective about yourself, much less have to listen to someone else's AHA moments.

Tedious sparse just an idea

See it if You are particularly interested in meditations on end of life, enjoy plays that are partially about being a play, are OK with slow

Don't see it if You are looking for action or a lot of character development and interaction or if you dislike theater that breaks the 4th wall

Also Wakey Wakey strips back most conventions ( robust dialogue, character ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Riveting

See it if You can imagine being at the intersection of theater and a workshop on end of life - both didactic and experiential. Extremely wise, funny.

Don't see it if You shy away from "big question" plays, want to miss a remarkable performance by Emerson who "dies" in increments before your very eyes. Go!

Also There is so much sweetness and wisdom to be found here, and even humor... Read more Read less

February 27th, 2017
"Dying is a stand-up routine in 'Wakey, Wakey,' the glowingly dark, profoundly moving new play by Will Eno. Portrayed with a master’s blend of pretty much every emotion there is by Michael Emerson, the monologuist at the center of this short, resonant tragicomedy is the M.C. of his own demise...T...
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February 28th, 2017
“A quietly beautiful piece…Eno knows that there are only so many ways of saying, ‘You will die; celebrate life,’ so he makes a spectacle of vamping and false starts, awkward yet deeply felt pauses, as the keen, funny, transfixing Emerson reads from index cards, gets his slides confused and bathes...
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February 27th, 2017
"A rambling monologue of no apparent consequence...But then, halfway through, the tone flips...I felt my hostility toward the first half of 'Wakey, Wakey,' with all its dull cuteness, beginning to melt, and I wondered if this was part of the play’s design...Partly that’s because January LaVoy is ...
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February 27th, 2017
"The hook that reels us into this abstruse, tricky, stream-of-consciousness contemplation of mortality is a beautiful performance from Michael Emerson...While the thematic richness of 'Wakey, Wakey' creeps up on you during its brief 75-minute run time, few will make the claim that this is a major...
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