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

During previews
Needs work, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Clever

See it if you like witty dialogue and some very funny scenes. The play has a lot of potential but it needs work done.

Don't see it if you like a show where all the scenes work together.

Also I saw the second preview. It had 10 fewer minutes than the first previ... Read more Read less

During previews
Refreshing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Dizzying, Entertaining

See it if like quirky snapshots throughout history of what it means to be a wive. funny, well acted and staged.

Don't see it if essentially separate stories woven together loosely. a bit disjointed.

During previews
Must see, Indulgent, Great writing, Hilarious, Clever

See it if You like genre-bending, searing comedy that explores gender roles and self-conception across time, place, and culture. Witty writing.

Don't see it if Actors playing multiple characters in different scenes isn't your thing. Non-linear narratives with a clear normative thrust disturb you.

Also One of the most promising, interesting, and funny plays I've seen late... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great acting, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a history of how females have been held down by men but rise up regardless

Don't see it if you want to see a coherent, fluid show that continually makes sense and is easy to follow

During previews
Edgy, Relevant, Quirky

See it if Like feminist themes

Don't see it if Don’t like esoteric plays

During previews
Not cohesive, Uneven, Thought-provoking, Banal, Funny

See it if U enjoy vignettes about a worthwhile topic of women’s place at 4 different times in history, funny and quirky plays and good ending messages

Don't see it if U enjoy plays with more cohesiveness and u don’t have to spend too much time trying to figure out how it all fits together.

During previews
Slow, Confusing, Funny

See it if You like comedic vignettes with a common theme.

Don't see it if The #metoo movement has got you down.

Also Loved the first two scenes—-sharp, relevant, funny. The remaining port... Read more Read less

During previews
Relevant, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like (and want to support!) female playwrights and directors as well as new work. Also if you like historical fiction.

Don't see it if You prefer linear plots and are a white man uncomfortable with stories about women being in power/control.

Also The cast is good, but Adina Verson is a stand out. Truly one of the be... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy clever and funny feminist manifestos. The acting is terrific. The last is a little heavy handed and could stand to be edited.

Don't see it if you aren't open minded. This is 3 short stories, very well done, with a 4th segment that tries to tie it together, not entirely successfully

During previews
Resonant, Great writing, Clever, Funny

See it if You're interested in history re-tellings, but don't get hung up on details. The language is modern, but I loved that.

Don't see it if You're looking for something slow or in depth. It's 4 different stories in 80 minutes, but they all tie together beautifully.

During previews
Great acting, Enchanting, Quirky, Resonant, Hilarious

See it if You love fresh plays and purposeful yet hilarious comedy. Also if you are interested in historical feminist works.

Don't see it if You are not okay with curse words or prefer more traditional plays.

During previews
Clever, Dizzying, Resonant

See it if Very funny and insightful throughout. The ending didn't work for me, but that was the point (in a good way)

Don't see it if You only want one continuous story

During previews
Relevant, Quirky, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if You like a show that hits on themes which are relevant.

Don't see it if Moments are dull or expository. It’s a well crafted play but structurally it bounced oddly for me.

During previews
Forced, Great acting, Indulgent, Cliched, Clever

See it if if you want to see great performances, especially by Adina Verson. if you like cheeky jokes and enjoy the empowerment of women.

Don't see it if if you don't like silly comedic plays. if you don't appreciate satire and a bit of absurdism. if you want an intelligently funny play

Also The show is essentially 3 really funny sketches exploring women in rel... 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.”
read more
September 16th, 2019
“‘Wives,’ in Four Exuberant Feminist Conversations”
read more
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.”
read more
September 17th, 2019
"Jaclyn Backhaus' Frantically Funny and Freestyle 'Wives' Comments on Patriarchal Pigeonholes"
read more

Related content

Cast & Creatives (3)