Widowers' Houses
Closed 2h 0m
Widowers' Houses

Widowers' Houses NYC Reviews and Tickets

(31 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Clever, Relevant

About the Show

The Actors Company Theatre presents George Bernard Shaw's debut play about a young man's crisis of conscience when he must choose between his love and his ideals.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (31)

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55 Reviews | 16 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you enjoy George Bernand Shaw!

Don't see it if you can't understand British English!

181 Reviews | 39 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a terrific production of Shaw's 1st play-still amazingly relevant & mportant.The ingenue is someone to see-she should be a ☆

Don't see it if You don't enjoy great writing and production.

182 Reviews | 30 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like terrific acting and sharp writing. Talene Monahon gives a tour de force performance and Shaw's writing remains relevant today.

Don't see it if you don't like plays that take place over 100 years ago.

95 Reviews | 31 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to see great actors up close. The theatre is small so you really can appreciate what they're doing.

Don't see it if You don't like to think about divisions between the classes, or where your money, food, etc comes from.

111 Reviews | 17 Followers
Clever, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you wonder 'what would I do if...', this gives you a chance to see what these characters do when they discover the source of their income

Don't see it if clever staging and witty banter wrapped around hard hitting issues doesn't suit you. Its great Shaw, well done!

279 Reviews | 201 Followers
Absorbing, Very timely, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Funny

See it if You like GB Shaw, see the sweep of repeating history, appreciate questioning the status quo.

Don't see it if You want big staging, costumes, music. You do not want to be morally challenged, will vote Republican this year!

159 Reviews | 33 Followers
Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like British comedies with some "teeth" to them, esp socially progressive political views from 1900 that illuminate current problems.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of George Bernard Shaw's semi-socialist polemics cleverly embedded into a comedy set in 1900 about unscrupulous landlords.

112 Reviews | 21 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You'd like to see a master playwright's first play that foreshadows much of the brilliance that was to come. Great acting and direction!

Don't see it if You hate Shaw, or you don't like to "think" too hard.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
March 14th, 2016

"A curiously static production...Shaw intended 'Widowers’ Houses' to highlight the complicity, greed and indifference that allow the upper classes to thrive at the expense of the lower. His third act bogs down in the obscure details of a real estate scheme...The play is a novice effort by a fledgling dramatist, but it isn’t helped by Mr. Staller’s additions to the text, which have none of Shaw’s comic acerbity. I can’t help thinking that the playwright would squirm."
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Time Out New York
March 14th, 2016

"George Bernard Shaw had the notion that very little money can be considered truly clean. Director David Staller offers the rare opportunity to study this obsession at its inception—in an adaptation not always to the good. It’s an odd homage that seeks to improve on an acknowledged master...To Staller’s credit, he has turned out a sprightly, enjoyable rendering that comes across as a piquant drawing-room comedy packing some provocative talking points, very much in the spirit of the original."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 22nd, 2016

"A refreshingly unpreachy comedy about the evils of capitalism that ought to be as popular as 'Pygmalion'...TACT’s revival, directed by David Staller, is a winner, a small-scale staging that’s as full of Shavian sparkle as the play itself...Mr. Staller has also trimmed and tightened the text in order to keep the pace as brisk as possible, cutting the cast from eight to six and bringing the running time in at a hair under two hours, all to utterly pleasurable effect."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 14th, 2016

"There's a reason 'Widowers' Houses' has been seen exactly once on Broadway...the provocative arguments are in place, but the sparkle isn't yet there...If played straight, 'Widowers' Houses' can be made to work, but the current production works much too hard, never really coming to grips with the acrid facts at the play's center...The script is an uneasy mix of romantic comedy, on which Staller puts too much emphasis, and social drama, which here becomes overwrought melodrama."
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March 14th, 2016

"This excellent revival is a fascinating opportunity to observe that the themes and style of writing Shaw would become known for in his later works were there from the beginning...Shaw entwines the plot with comedy and blunt pragmatism...His characters verbosely state their opinions and observations often at length. The result is drawing room comedy with depth. Director David Staller has ingeniously staged this small-scale production."
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March 16th, 2016

"Despite proficiency from the performers and the creative team, and despite its topicality, 'Widowers' Houses' fails to captivate. It may be an important piece in understanding Shaw's career as a dramatist, but the play itself is unlikely to win over audiences thanks to its excessive focus on real estate transactions."
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Stage Buddy
March 14th, 2016

"I doubt that the script was ever meant to be played as a farce. In many scenes in the production, however—notably, the early ones—farce seems to be Staller’s game...Later scenes are much more subdued—and the characters come off as humans rather than caricatures. Perhaps Staller meant to switch to a more naturalistic mode as the story’s serious themes emerge. But it’s hard to take the characters seriously when they’ve previously behaved so clownishly."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
March 13th, 2016

"Despite it being classed as one of Shaw’s 'romantic comedies,' the laughs are subsumed by Shaw’s anger at the social conditions he attacks. However, there’s considerable energy and sprightliness in Mr. Staller’s adaptation, enough to maintain the semblance of a comic spirit so that the more nefarious aspects of the plot and characters retain their entertaining edge. This production shows it’s not only pleasurable in its own right...but that its relevance has never vanished."
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