Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W


From 75 member  reviews
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. More…

From the show:

From the brawny castles of 16th Century France, to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, to the strapping fortresses of 1920s India, all hail the remarkable stories of Great Men! — and their whiny, witchy, vapid, vengeful, jealous wives. In this kaleidoscopic, time-hopping comedy, Jaclyn Backhaus pushes past patriarchal cliché to reach an ecstatic breakthrough, untethering stories and history — and language itself — from the visions made by men.

1h 30m | Already closed | Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (75)


Great acting, Disappointing, Clever, Funny, Indulgent

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

Simplistic, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you're looking for a light-weight show about the patriarchy and for tidy little nuggets of feminism through an avant garde theatrical lens

Don't see it if you're expecting a deep meditation on the patriarchy beyond the simplistic thought, "we need to tell our daughters they can be anything!"

Mercifully short, Goes nowhere, Confusing ending, Collection of sketches, Shrill

See it if You are a Playwrights Horizons subscriber or have scheduled to usher for it and don't want to cancel. You are a fan of Adina Verson.

Don't see it if You don't want to watch a bunch of sketches and spin their wheels and make no point. An ending that is confusing and entirely dissatisfying

Indulgent, Excruciating

See it if you are related to the playwright or any of the actors.

Don't see it if you are a crabby old man.

Also rubbish! 10 seconds in, and every fiber of my being cried: FLEE! but i... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Unfunny

See it if to see 4 brave, talented actors yuk it up & try to hold together a trifling historical comedy about the chronic marginalization of women.

Don't see it if u hope for a sharp comedy (or even a mildly funny one!); u expect a play that "subverts patriarchal narrative" to actually feel empowering.

Also Not a single funny thing is said for the entire 90 minutes in what is ... Read more Read less

During previews
Insipid, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You find it absolutely hilarious (like some in the audience) when the women call each other "b*tch" or keep saying the F word over & over.

Don't see it if You can't make any sense (like me) of who these 3 women & 1 guy were supposed to be. 4 different scenes & they're different people in each?

During previews
Unstructured, Disappointing, Disjointed, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you support female voices in Off-Bway houses—no matter what.

Don't see it if you desire stronger writing and stronger direction.

During previews
Slow, Disappointing

See it if Your relative is in it.For example, Adina Verson is hilarious as a Julia Child-esque medieval cook at the open & good w/weak material later.

Don't see it if You are hoping to laugh throughout what aims to be a farcical play.

Also First preview, so some potential to improve. But other than the first ... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Slow

See it if You are a fan of Jacqueline Backhaus and want to see her entire oeuvre. This is no Men On Boats. The Hemingway wives are divine though.

Don't see it if Just don't see it.

Also The actors are all excellent and there are valuable, interesting ideas... Read more Read less

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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September 16th, 2019
“‘Wives,’ in Four Exuberant Feminist Conversations”
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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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September 17th, 2019
"Jaclyn Backhaus' Frantically Funny and Freestyle 'Wives' Comments on Patriarchal Pigeonholes"
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Cast & Creatives (3)