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And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little

Members say: Great acting, Quirky, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny

About the show

Retro Productions revives this biting and occasionally touching black comedy about three sisters whose father abandoned the family long ago, and whose mother recently passed away.

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The Reardon sisters, now grown and all working in the New York City public school system, have come to a crossroads. Catherine and Anna still reside in the apartment where they grew up. Having barely survived a scandalous incident at school, Anna suffers a nervous breakdown. When Ceil, their older married sister, returns to try to commit Anna to an institution, the built-up resentments of the last decade are pushed to the forefront. Should Anna be committed? Does Catherine really need another cocktail? Who is strongest in this fight of wills? 

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


“Playwright Paul Zindel is ripe for rediscovery. From the evidence of Shay Gines' riveting revival of 'And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little,' this tragicomedy now celebrating its 50th anniversary is Zindel's ‘Three Sisters,’ ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ all rolled into one. The performances in this production are first rate and could not be bettered. Like those earlier plays by Chekhov, Williams and Albee, the ending of ‘Miss Reardon’ is absolutely shattering.” Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Starts out shakily with an uncertain tone in Act I but gradually builds up a head of steam that leads to an explosive second half when the 'dark' overtakes the 'comedy'...The dialog is full of biting humor, which really needs to come out more in the performances...Where the performances grow and greatly improve is in the play's second half...An ambitious if imperfect play...The cast do best when they are focused on the efforts of the Reardon sisters to navigate their way through life," Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“Zindel’s evocation of a specific social milieu is masterful…Director Shay Gines doesn’t always get the rhythms of this world exactly right, though to be fair, the play itself tends to rehash the same points multiple times. But the show boasts some good performances…‘And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little' provides a challenge that this production doesn’t quite meet...New Yorkers of a certain age will definitely appreciate its portrait of a bygone era in the city’s history.” Full Review

Culture Catch

"It is not difficult to envision the connections between the late-1960s setting of Retro's newest revival, the darkly comic 'And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little,' and 2017's own tensions around race, gender, military conflict, and political upheaval...Complexity lends the play balance and nuance—none of the characters is entirely beyond reproach or without blemish...The production provides an engrossing, funny, provocatively relevant study of character and context." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining, Bravura

See it if You like to see smart revivals of plays that aren't often seen, bringing back different eras in recent history.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in pieces set in the recent past, exploring then-normal bigotry and sexism.

Intelligent, Dated

See it if you like strong women's roles or sibling dramas.

Don't see it if you don't like plays about women or dramas from the 60's.

Funny, Quirky, Cliched

See it if You want to see a piece that embodies that late 60's absurdist style of comedy about dysfunctional families with some clever performances

Don't see it if You would rather see better examples of the genre (Albee/Guare, etc)

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a play about three adult sisters and their challenges. You want to laugh. You want to see a play with great actors.

Don't see it if You are not interested in dysfunctional families. You don't want to laugh. You are not interested in a play about family challenges.

Also I enjoyed the play and the performers. The neighbors were very funny a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy 60s dramas with terrific acting and a realistic set in a small space. It's pretty depressing overall but very well done.

Don't see it if you're looking for a comedy or a happy ending, or characters that aren't damaged and unhappy - that pretty much describes everyone.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Disappointing, Pathos was missing

See it if you want to see what was an important play for Estelle Parsons over 40 years ago.

Don't see it if dysfunctional family plays are not your thing.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Great writing

See it if you enjoy a slightly dated Dysfunctional Family drama with humor and realistic characters. These ladies really get into it and take us along

Don't see it if you aren't interested in another DF drama; you think that people making their own problems are not interesting; prefer up-beat dramas.

Also Some fine acting here, an interesting story that is not totally predic... Read more Read less

Funny, Dark, Absorbing, Intense, Slow

See it if you're interested in the 60s. Women's options are limited. The tone shifts too often, tho, and the acting is uneven. Repetitive fights.

Don't see it if you want a polished piece. Act I sagged; Act II was better w the Steins, but even it dragged. Three sisters creating one hell for ea other.

Disappointing, Dated, Unevenly written

See it if Uneven play about dysfunctional sisters well acted but falls short veering between comedy, dark comedy, and melodrama;falls short of mark

Don't see it if You don't like wild changes in tone and characterization; good staging but overdrawn but not fleshed out characters


See it if you want a major downer. Seriously, no character has any redeeming qualities.

Don't see it if you want to experience any joy.

Also I can't get past how much I hated the experience of watching this play... Read more Read less

Intense, Quirky, Engaging, Biting humor, Authentic set

See it if you want to see an absorbing, sharp-witted, dark comedy about three troubled sisters whose issues gradually unfold as the play progresses.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of plays set in the 1960s, or shows with uneven acting, where lines are occasionally flubbed or overacted.

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if family drama and infighting interests you.

Don't see it if you don't like family arguments.

Disappointing, Dated, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a play with female leads that is about a very dysfunctional family

Don't see it if You are looking for a well written black comedy. While the acting was not great they didn't have much to work with.

Also The first act for the most part is unwatchable. Heather Cunningham who... Read more Read less

Great acting, Must see, Entertaining

See it if Must see !

Don't see it if n/a

Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You want to see a drama set in the 1960s and female leading roles.

Don't see it if You don't like dysfunctional families with a lot of intense moments.

Also The intermission can be cut. The second half is better than the first ... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like psychological dramas

Don't see it if family dysfunction disturbs you.

Quirky, Resonant, Disappointing, Good acting

See it if Little seen Zindel drama about three dysfunctional sisters Shakily veers from black comedy to tough melodrama Feminist overtones interesting

Don't see it if Able cast battles tonal shifts (both from author & director) with varying success Acting can get operatic but 3rd act brings it home

Funny, Absorbing, Intense, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like a dark comedy that takes place in the 1960s. It's a reminder of the second tier life of women and schoolteachers at that time.

Don't see it if You want a tighter production. There seemed to some over acting at times.

Overrated, Slow, Dated, Great staging, Solid acting

See it if You want to see '60s playwriting & structure. You want to support a talented Off-Off-Broadway company.

Don't see it if You want an older play w/relevance to now: everything is out-of-date.

Also This was frustrating: the acting, directing & staging were solid-more ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if you like dark dramas

Don't see it if you're expecting to leave feeling happy


See it if You can handle seediness. The drinking was the least of these characters' flaws. Good drama in the intense dysfunctional family tradition.

Don't see it if The acting could have been better in some cases but I'm guessing the actors are still settling into the roles.

Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you like a good dark comedy in a nice intimate venue, performed by a very competent cast

Don't see it if a bizarre story about three sisters, that can be slow at times, is something that won't interest you


See it if you like family dramas set in the past

Don't see it if you like big shows with enormous casts

Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Good acting

See it if you'll enjoy a traditional drama set in the 1960s with strong female roles, well acted, about the relationship among adult siblings .

Don't see it if you'll dislike a play about a dysfunctional family/ mental illness, with a largely female cast, you prefer big productions

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like great Black Comedy, very funny, great characters! Very intimate!

Don't see it if Flat out comedy or a big production

Cast & Creatives (14)