Bad Penny NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(14 Reviews)
Positive
72%
Mixed
14%
Negative
14%
Members say
Quirky, Delightful, Refreshing, Absorbing, Confusing

About the Show

Part of The Flea's "Mac Wellman: Perfect Catastrophes" series, "Bad Penny" asks: how do we make choices in the face of the end of the world as we know it?

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Member Reviews (14)

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75
Edgy, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if like Mac Wellman. An old play that still engages today. staged well to get the audience more involved

Don't see it if need a linear narrative then skip this. Though this is a very accessible Mac Wellman play.

70
Quirky, Dizzying, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You’d like to sit outside and watch young actors throw themselves into the messy wackiness of a Wellman play about a road to hell thru NYC

Don't see it if You want clarity or a traditional play. It’s not Hadestown (although there is some singing!)

95
Refreshing, Clever, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if you like cleverly meandering text circling around the meaning rather than spelling it out; you've never seen anything by Mac Wellman.

Don't see it if this is quite straightforward and accessible by Mac Wellman's standards but don't expect a plot-driven narrative play. Read more

89
Entertaining, Evocative, Delightful

See it if you want to see great performances as mercurial and dynamic as the weather.

Don't see it if it's so short and delightful that even if you get lost in Mac Wellman's language the show is still a good time.

89
Enchanting, Refreshing, Edgy, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You want a unique (not too long) night at the theater.

Don't see it if You can’t stay outside for longer than an hour

79
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Confusing

See it if you like deconstructionist theater and if you appreciate an experience (rather than a coherent narrative).

Don't see it if you want structure, narrative, or a plot. This doesn't have a ton of that.

100
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Hilarious, Delightful, Clever

See it if You love sitting outside with friends and watching people bicker over cosmic misfortune and flat tires

Don't see it if You hate sunshine and great writing

During previews
86
Historically important script, Good lead actors, Uneven production, Innovative, Smart

See it if you are interested in innovative theater that is script-based.

Don't see it if you are in the mood to experience a traditional play: This is not that! Read more

Critic Reviews (5)

The New York Times
September 9th, 2019

"Mac Wellman’s ‘Bad Penny’ Promises a Boat Ride to Hell: The Flea Theater has revived this brief play, in which a flat tire is the least of the problems you might encounter in Central Park."
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BroadwayWorld
September 8th, 2019

"Mac Wellman's skewering of America in 'BAD PENNY' and 'SINCERITY FOREVER' at Flea Theater"
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TheaterScene.net
September 21st, 2019

"From the evidence of the 1990 Sincerity Forever and 1989 'Bad Penny,' Wellman is not particularly interested in plot but makes copious use of satire, poetry and symbolism to write absurdist plays which skewer hypocrisy and pretense in America."
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New York Theater
September 7th, 2019

"A day in the park in New York, but it's not a walk in the park….a heightened dramatic distillation and affectionate parody of what it's like to live in New York, and... to be a New Yorker.. would surely have worked better in a set, or setting, more recognizably NYC."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
September 7th, 2019

"Nonlinear, linguistically challenging, intellectually slippery, politically charged, and morally determined…Wellman's script reveals considerable wit mingled with numerous provocative notions. Very little, however, comes through in the Flea's jumbled production."
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