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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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

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

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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CurtainUp
September 17th, 2019

"Despite this time traveling comedy's flaws, Jaclyn Backhaus still drives home an urgent message here about patriarchal tropes and how they can insidiously infect a marriage and undo a woman's self-identity."
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Front Row Center
September 17th, 2019

"An evening that will make you think, laugh and possibly learn something."
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Front Mezz Junkies
September 20th, 2019

"This is exactly what Playwrights Horizons should be doing...Daring the off-Broadway audience to see into the ferociously funny satiric edge of Jaclyn Backhaus' new play 'Wives,' and discover all the new and thrilling ideas of language, structure, theme, and presentation."
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Broadway Blog
September 17th, 2019

"Let’s all just agree: it’s time for them to go ahead and sit down. Those men who for centuries shoved the crown on their own heads and decided that they would take up all the space and write all the stories. And sit down they do in Jaclyn Backhaus’ new play, 'Wives.'"
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C
September 16th, 2019

“Like ‘SNL’’ though, ‘Wives’ is somewhat redeemed by its female actors: three wonderful performers - Purva Bedi, Adina Verson and Aadya Bede - who make the most of every opportunity given them. (Sathya Sridharan plays the token man in each section, doing what he can with deliberately underwritten roles.)”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
September 20th, 2019

"Barely any of this muddled play tickled my chauvinistic funnybone, stirred my patriarchal emotions, or stimulated my caveman intellect. In fact, I would have been unable to sit through it without the vivacious talents of its four actors."
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Off Off Online
September 13th, 2019

"'Wives'…is a raucous, funny, well-acted, and well-intentioned production that suffers from intermittent heavy-handedness and whose four distinct parts don't fully cohere…The conceit, at least of the first three vignettes, is to look at the wives or lovers of 'great men,' but not through 'the visions made by men.'"
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