What We're Up Against (WP Theater)
Closed 1h 45m
What We're Up Against (WP Theater)
79

What We're Up Against (WP Theater) NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(90 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
17%
Negative
1%
Members say
Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Intelligent

About the Show

WP Theater presents the Off-Broadway premiere of Theresa Rebeck's comedy, a darkly funny and all-too-relevant exploration of gender politics in the workplace.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (90)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
86
Smart, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant

See it if Deft script and superb performances help this 90’s work shine in 2017. Krysta Rodriguez is exceptional. Nice, intimate show.

Don't see it if Don’t like workplace dramas or issue about equality or harassment.

85
Funny, Edgy, Intense, Clever, Relevant

See it if Over-the-top comic satire of blatantly sexist office. Recently hired young woman is smarter than everyone else. Fireworks ensue.

Don't see it if You don't like caricatures. You don't see the humor in foul language. You can't laugh, scream and cry at the same time.

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
November 8th, 2017

“Ms. Rebeck’s play isn’t about sexual harassment. It’s about all of the other ugly ways that a woman can be foiled and dismissed, ostracized and worn down, when she’s just trying to do her job. It’s also about what happens when she dares to show her anger...As sitcomish as it sometimes feels, ‘What We’re Up Against’ has a complex view of its characters and their dynamics...The cast is an impressive assemblage of talent...Oddly, though, the flashiest roles belong to men.”
Read more

Time Out New York
November 8th, 2017

“A bitterly funny workplace comedy...This is prime Rebeck territory—driven characters locking horns in pursuit of a prize—and the current political climate makes this 1992 play seem frighteningly timely...'What We’re Up Against' is not as fully realized as Rebeck’s later works; the premise wears thin, and the characters can come across as mouthpieces for a message. But director Campbell-Holt and her accomplished cast, send sparks flying as genders and generations collide.”
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
November 8th, 2017

"The play couldn't feel more dated...A provocative premise, but Rebeck's writing fails to do it full justice. The characters are so one-dimensional they might as well have their defining traits tattooed on their foreheads; the dialogue is repetitive and exclamatory; and the storyline feels padded despite the relatively brief running time...The performers bring a fierce energy to their characterizations that goes a long way toward compensating...It rarely rises above the level of cliche."
Read more

Theatermania
November 8th, 2017

“With its undeniably sharp perspective and neat archetypal characters, ‘What We're Up Against’ is guaranteed to infuriate — which is why you should see it...The story is dramatically compelling, the rage behind it undeniably authentic, and the characters are recognizably human...Even if you disagree with Rebeck's take on the way women are treated in the workplace, it is impossible to resist this ever-unfolding Machiavellian tale...An uncomfortable but vital night at the theater.”
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
November 15th, 2017

“'What We're Up Against' suffers from nagging little structural problems that occasionally prove undermining...The play that houses it could stand a firmer foundation...The play tries to occupy a middle ground between satire and drama that really means it, never really paying full tribute to either approach...The dialogue could use more zing at times...It suffers from a certain fuzziness of presentation that keeps it from landing a knockout punch."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
November 9th, 2017

"It's a solid setup, which leads to a mildly satisfying comeuppance. But nothing about Rebeck's play is particularly surprising or, more importantly, challenging, unless, I suppose, you happen to share Stu's mindset. And, if you do, you're probably not hanging out at the Women's Project Theater."
Read more

Theatre is Easy
November 8th, 2017

"'What We’re Up Against' relies on some sitcom-y dialogue, and some standard dumb male tropes, though ultimately I found it to be an honest and realistic depiction of what it’s like to be a woman in the workforce...All of the actors are extremely well cast and committed to their roles...Perfectly directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, 'What We’re Up Against' feels like a realistic depiction of a toxic office."
Read more

Stage Buddy
November 14th, 2017

“Relies very heavily on its dialogue. Fast-paced and yet annoyingly overly verbose at times...The play was relatable to anyone who has ever worked in any kind of office at any time; it was certainly not a black comedy, but more an accurate reflection of the day-to-day office politics with a funny observational commentary spattered throughout. The characters were certainly well established but never seem to grow."
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
November 9th, 2017

"Fast-paced, entertaining direction...The chief problem: Eliza emerges as the only three-dimensional person onstage...Creating such easily hateful characters sets up an imbalance of power between Eliza and everyone else, which allows Rebeck to preach to the choir...She wields her messages like blunt objects. But who am I to say that we don’t all need a good smack in the head from time to time?"
Read more

C
November 8th, 2017

“Good timing turns out to be the production’s strongest asset. While Rebeck’s script is certainly thought-provoking, it is also somewhat superficial and full of two-dimensional characters. Fortunately, a first-rate cast and Campbell-Holt’s mostly astute direction help elevate the proceedings...‘Why is it still like this?’...One wishes Rebeck had chosen to actually explore the answer...In the end, what the audience is up against in feeling satisfied is the playwright’s laziness."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
November 12th, 2017

“Rebeck's…stingingly smart…dramedy about sexual politics…Forget about the play's being set in 1992…or that it's not about physical exploitation; the topic couldn't be more pertinent…You have to buy the one-sided depiction of the men…to appreciate Rebeck's argument…Its actors are all well cast, although the eye-catching Rodriguez is not your conventional image of an architect. Playing against type, she establishes herself as the sharpest pencil on the drafting table.”
Read more

Times Square Chronicles
November 9th, 2017

"There are a few twists and turns that could be cleaner...Adrienne Campbell-Holt doesn’t bring out the layers, as much as Ms. Perez did and I found myself comparing the two productions, with Life Force Arts, Inc bringing much more well rounded production...Ms. Rebeck’s play is dark, timely, foul-mouthed, juicy and seems like it is placed in the '50s not now, but the truth is we have not come along way, baby."
Read more

The Huffington Post
November 8th, 2017

“It’s so heavy handed, starting with the aggressive title...The problem with Rebeck's play is that the argument she wants to put forward is so clumsily and obviously handled that viewers who would be inclined to agree with her by the time she arrives at her closing line will have long since been put off...Angry she should be, but there’s a way to temper it and thereby register her anger even more effectively.”
Read more

Village Voice
November 13th, 2017

"An enjoyably sardonic comedy...With its frequently humorous and sadly all-too-relevant look at sexist attitudes, 'Up Against' is an apt programming choice for WP, which here provides a well-tuned production...Shows Rebeck’s dexterity as a smooth and entertaining storyteller...If some viewers might wish that the playwright had presented deeper characterizations and sharper satire, anyone who has ever worked in an office can attest that paper cuts are awfully painful, too."
Read more

DC Metro Theater Arts
November 19th, 2017

“Directed by Campbell-Holt with a fluid pace, engaging blocking, and a fine eye for social satire...A top-notch cast of favorites from the stage, screen, and TV delivers Rebeck’s sardonic laughs with gusto...in well-crafted comic portrayals that are not so exaggerated...An entertaining and sorely-relevant production that makes us laugh, even as we shake our heads, roll our eyes, and grit our teeth at the outdated practices that still sadly prevail in our present-day culture.”
Read more

T
November 9th, 2017

"An all-too-timely, darkly humorous play...Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt focuses attention to keep the hour and 45 minutes of dialogue brisk...The questions are typical of those asked by those defending themselves against charges of sexual bias and who point to women who stand up for themselves as having attitude problems, so the audience can understand the viewpoints of the coworkers as well as Eliza."
Read more

Motherhood Later
November 11th, 2017

"Packs as much a sexism punch even today...The show features a likeable, accomplished and feisty cast...There is nothing new here...but the strong cast brings the story home. With little character development, we might as well just know them for their gender and role at the firm, thus the focus becomes the takeaway, which asks or rather pleads...Why haven’t things changed?! Sadly, there is no satisfying answer, nor is the play as ultimately satisfying as it might be."
Read more

The Culture Mom
November 8th, 2017

“It’s not about sexual assault, but rather office politics, gender imbalance, and equality, all which are issues that pertain to what we are hearing about today...Delves into office politics in a smart, refreshing way. It’s honest, real, and its dialogue cuts right through the heart of a problem that persists in nearly every workplace. The combination of direction, acting, the set, the 1990’s haircuts and costumes, the music that plays between scenes – it all works for me.”
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

87
Excellent
4K+ Reviews
Ends Jan 2022
NYC: Midtown W

"Waitress" is back on Broadway starring the show's creator, Sara Bareilles as pie maker Jenna.

Buy
84
Great
200+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
73 Reviews
Ends Nov 2022
NYC: Midtown W

Broadway debut of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson's solo play.

Buy