Women of a Certain Age: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play Three
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Women of a Certain Age: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play Three

Women of a Certain Age: Election Year in the Life of One Family, Play Three NYC Reviews and Tickets

(73 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Great writing, Intelligent

About the Show

Tony Award-winning playwright and director Richard Nelson returns to the Public Theater with the final chapter his new three-play cycle about the Gabriels of Rhinebeck, New York.

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Member Reviews (73)

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909 Reviews | 924 Followers
Banal, Cliched, Pointless, Great acting, Slow

See it if you are a completionist and must see all 3 parts of this trilogy. Well acted. You relate to severely passionless family interactions.

Don't see it if it feels myopic & aimless. Characters go through the same life transition at the same time in the same way. Not microcosm but a microscope. Read more

884 Reviews | 1014 Followers
Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Boring, Dull

See it if You would enjoy being a fly on the wall of typical family conversations, that aren't necessarily all that interesting.

Don't see it if You dislike slow shows or need strong story, action, or conflict. It moves along at a snails pace & not a lot happens.

1002 Reviews | 412 Followers
Enchanting, Exquisite, Great writing, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you like plays that have a quiet beauty. This play says so much without ever saying anything directly. It's an incredible peak at ourselves.

Don't see it if you can't appreciate nuance or if you don't like sentiment. This is a beautiful portrait of a slice of real life.

975 Reviews | 341 Followers
Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Profound, Touching

See it if you enjoy kitchensink dramas; the trilogy is a great example. I preferred the 3 plays to Chekhov; the issues are relevant, the humanity deep

Don't see it if you want a happy ending. Life can be brutal. I didn't like the misguided seance talk, but otherwise all 3 boast outstanding writing. Read more

708 Reviews | 155 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you've seen the other two plays in the Gabriel Family cycle, enjoy understated but terrific acting, like literate takes on current issues

Don't see it if a family's quiet but interesting conversations would bore you, you don't like slice of life realism, don't want to reflect on modern issues

643 Reviews | 279 Followers
Richard nelson is gradually becoming our chekhov, finding the pain and yearning roiling beneath the surface of family life

See it if /4 fine ensemble who through small gestures/revelations show how middle class family has been worn down by age, burden of being "happy"

Don't see it if /since this play in focusing on what "Hillary-ness" means to mature women, misses the looming Trumpian cloud

677 Reviews | 189 Followers
Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you want to see the finest, most realistic acting in town; you've seen parts 1 & 2 and want to see the family through to their latest act.

Don't see it if you expect any new revelations or timely lessons about the effects of the 2016 campaign; you haven't seen the 2 previous plays in the cycle. Read more

629 Reviews | 231 Followers
Absorbing, Plain, Slow, Uninteresting, Great acting

See it if You enjoy well-acted, kitchen-table, family dramadies that convey a lot while saying very little at the same time.

Don't see it if You dislike naturalistic family plays with no substantial plot or drama — just somewhat uninteresting conversation.

Critic Reviews (23)

The New York Times
November 9th, 2016

"The Gabriels are the tenderly wrought creations of the playwright Richard Nelson...As we listen to its members talk, even on trivial subjects like the decoration of cookies, we feel the far-reaching tremors of a scared country that has come down with a rattling case of identity crisis...Before you know it, this modest play has indirectly addressed matters both of the utmost immediate relevance—the election, the economy, the medical industry—and of cosmic implications."
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Time Out New York
November 11th, 2016

"Certain notes of hubris in the project, like much self-referential preening about art, were already jarring on election night. Imagine them now. Some people find reassurance in the cast’s palpable warmth; some find Nelson’s Chekhovian languor a balm. But I’m troubled at how 'The Gabriels' assumes a sameness; it’s nearly two hours of self-perpetuating agreement...It’s relentlessly plaintive and, we now know, utterly beside the point."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 9th, 2016

"Even if it weren’t so despairing about some of the largest issues we face today, the astonishingly full and fine-grained performances of the six-person cast, under Nelson’s direction, are almost too much to handle...Despite that drollness, and the frequent laughs, the tone of 'Women of a Certain Age' is not only grimmer but angrier...Already, watching the play, I felt that the anarchic spirit of Trumpism had somewhat overwhelmed Nelson’s playwriting levees."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 9th, 2016

"It's an interlude swollen near to bursting with sorrow and comfort, with losses absorbed and yet-to-come, with crushing disappointments but also with stubborn strains of humor and humanity...Although the Gabriel plays are inextricably political, they are also profoundly human and personal. Not one character on the stage feels inessential to the drama and not a single actor fails to bring a lifetime of intimate knowledge to his or her fully inhabited portrayal."
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November 10th, 2016

"The playwright’s own intensely personal direction, at Off Broadway’s Public Theater, is brilliantly sustained by a tight ensemble of actors who have been with the project since the beginning...Mary Gabriel, Thomas’s third wife and now widow, quietly rules this roost, as does the sublime actress Maryann Plunkett, who steps back into the role she now owns...Cast in Nelson’s ultra-naturalistic style, the voices are measured, thoughtful, comfortable — and comforting."
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November 9th, 2016

"These exquisitely intimate plays and these engaged audiences long ago began to feel like family, and 'Women of a Certain Age,' which left me in tears at the end, comforted me later on...As with Nelson’s model Chekhov, the big picture is in the details. It’s the accumulation of them in these mostly quiet moments that make 'Women of a Certain Age' so rich an exploration of identity...Nelson again is the masterful conductor of these amazing actors."
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New York Daily News
November 17th, 2016

"The final chapter in writer and director Richard Nelson’s trilogy leaves the titular family where we met them — in angst-riddled limbo...Everyone in the family, played by the finest ensemble in town, hopes for something brighter. Knowing the results of the race for the White House deepens the play’s dark streaks."
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November 11th, 2016

"A play that deals with election results cannot help but resonate differently with audiences before votes are tallied and after...The blending of the play's world so intimately with our own makes for vitally naturalistic theater. Naturalism has always been the specialty of Nelson's play cycles, which he directs with great subtlety...It's a shame to say goodbye to characters who so expertly capture our anxieties, as well as to the magnificent actors who take on these roles with full devotion."
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