Wives NYC Reviews and Tickets

68%
(75 Reviews)
Positive
52%
Mixed
36%
Negative
12%
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Clever, Funny, Indulgent

About the Show

The author of "Men in Boats" returns to Playwrights Horizons with a new comedy that tracks and subverts patriarchal narrative tropes throughout the ages.

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Member Reviews (75)

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677 Reviews | 150 Followers
62
Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you like feminist plays & unexpected twists, learn why women feel so unempowered, like non-linear plots that jump in time, odd happenings

Don't see it if you need a linear plot following same characters, shocked by ill-treatment o women, yearning to stand up on your own& living for who you are

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
49
Feminist credo: shows how wives from various historical eras have been overlooked; all over the place; how did this get produced?

See it if 1st several scenes where famous/not-so-famous historical wives rendered like TV “Real Housewives” amusing at times; cast better than script

Don't see it if skits are thin & jokey; final “woman let me roar” scene is tedious & sophomoric

596 Reviews | 121 Followers
77
Quirky, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if Four time period about women in comedy form (modern language).

Don't see it if Light weight show. Ending does not fit. Read more

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
90
Entertaining, Resonant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you can. This is a wildly entertaining show that manages to both split your sides and crack your mind wide open.

Don't see it if you're expecting something stuffy and buttoned up. This show's raucous energy manages to bolster the dramatic punch it packs.

501 Reviews | 127 Followers
70
Inconsistent, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy good acting, funny & witty moments; interesting take on the treatment of women through the years; some laugh out loud moments.

Don't see it if you are looking for consistency amongst the three vignettes; third vignette seems out of place; don't appreciate satire or lots of cursing.

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
70
Indulgent, Intelligent, Ambitious, Funny, Clever

See it if A mixed bag. The stories of 3 wives at different eras. Some vignettes worked and were entertaining. Game performances.

Don't see it if Others did not. A bit confusing as to who was who. The vignette at "Oxbridge" University was a little too obvious.

384 Reviews | 132 Followers
73
Ambitious, Resonant ideas, Disappointing, Not epic, Delightful

See it if 4 interrelated, skit-like shorts by Backhaus; 1 w/ a hilarious Hemingway parody that will be most appreciated by women who love Hemingway.

Don't see it if you’ve no tolerance for affected irreverence. Too little time to develop intimacy that would make the serious parts authentically impactful. Read more

412 Reviews | 69 Followers
68
Intelligent, Didactic, Cliched, Funny, Ambitious

See it if you like entertaining theater that furthers the cause of liberating women from patriarchal stereotypes.

Don't see it if you don't like to be preached to in a show that presents it's message in a fairly one dimensional, stereotypical way.

Critic Reviews (15)

The New York Times
September 16th, 2019

“In ‘Wives,’ the Other Halves Have Their Say: Jaclyn Backhaus’s slapdash comedy, at Playwright’s Horizons, travels through time to coax oppressed spouses out of their powerful husband’s shadows.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
September 16th, 2019

“‘Wives,’ in Four Exuberant Feminist Conversations”
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Theatermania
September 16th, 2019

“The ‘Wives’ of History Are Breaking Free From Their ‘Man’-Made Storie: Jaclyn Backhaus writes new versions of Catherine de' Medici and Ernest Hemingway's exes for a world premiere at Playwrights Horizons.”
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BroadwayWorld
September 17th, 2019

"Jaclyn Backhaus' Frantically Funny and Freestyle 'Wives' Comments on Patriarchal Pigeonholes"
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Talkin' Broadway
September 16th, 2019

“Backhaus, whose most recent stage offering, ‘India Pale Ale,’ was far less colorful, has written a time-hopping comedy that vents playfully and eloquently about the sorry lot of wives, and by extension all women, in a patriarchal society...’Wives’ is untidy and obsessive, and one is not always sure what Backhaus is trying to say, but it's still a zippy ride.”
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New York Stage Review
September 16th, 2019

3/5 Stars "'Life With Papa and Three Other Feminist Tales': An episode involving Ernest Hemingway's several widows is a highlight of a new satirical comedy"
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Theater News Online
September 16th, 2019

“I must confess that I was not a fan of ‘Men on Boats’ – and I did not much care for Wives either, although I admire Backhaus’ wild sense of theatricality and daring and uncompromising attitude towards both history and the present.”
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Theatre is Easy
September 17th, 2019

A Theasy Best Bet "Feminism is a laugh-out-loud riot…Under the direction of the very talented Margot Bordelon, the play's relentless momentum speeds through all four parts in 80 short minutes…A great deal of the glory here goes to the excellent four-person ensemble."
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