New York | 1h 30m | Already closed


From 11 critic and 11 member reviews
Members say: Great staging, Disappointing, Clever, Insipid, Absorbing

About the show

HERE presents this fictional "making of" tribute to the movie you thought you knew featuring an intricately woven multi-narrative script. More…

'CasablancaBox' lifts the veil of the eponymous classic film to reveal the stories behind the legends. Audiences embark on a tangled journey, from 'Casablanca’s' sound stage at Warner Bros. Studios, to Nazi Germany, to London during the Blitz, to Ingrid Bergman’s living room, to Humphrey Bogart’s dressing room, to an Austrian extra’s real-life escape from a concentration camp, to Peter Lorre’s morphine-addled mind. Rife with glamour, war, censorship, sexism, racism, addiction, and the refugee crisis of 1940s Hollywood, 'CasablancaBox' sets out to explore and expose the often accidental and chaotic nature of great art through the lens of "America’s Favorite Movie."

Theater In The Now

"'CasblancaBox' is a riveting, immersive theatrical collage about the making of the classic film...There was a lot of drama happening off the set as well, which this masterful production shows…The production moves at high speed through many scenes of the film, showing us the disillusionment of some cast members…Hats off to the Farringtons for realizing this breakneck journey through the creation of 'Casablanca.'" Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“An enjoyable, funny, sincere, and tightly managed chaos that brings the classic film to life and captures the heart of a cinematic classic...The performers strike a solid balance between the historical and the imaginary…The show is an emotional and thematic roller coaster...A fun and rich experience that packs a tremendous amount of complexity into ninety minutes and pays tribute to the chaos of art making in the best possible way—by living it.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"The craftsmanship that has gone into this multimedia production is pretty astounding all around...I only wish the creators had put as much energy and time into the greater worldview of this piece as they did in the visual concept. The video work and the choreography are spot-on perfect, and the execution, although shaky and messy at a few moments here and there, is also pretty exacting...What was needed was a better narrative as to why we should be interested in the behind-the-scenes story." Full Review

Off Off Online

"The play constructs a lively cross-section of early-1940s filmmaking to explore what that movie meant to its creators and an American public less than a year into World War II, as well as the darker undercurrents of American life it helped to crystallize and obscure. The play nearly bursts from trying to say and do so much, but is held together by its nimble staging conceit...'CasablancaBox' is more interested in peering into people’s lives than diving deep. " Full Review

Village Voice

"'CasablancaBox' is a brisk 90 minutes of entertainment first and foremost, a breakneck-paced behind-the-scenes comedy...catnip even for the most casual cinephile...As much a dance between the actors as between the stage performers and the precisely timed multimedia, 'CasablancaBox' is no vanilla tribute to the safest member of the American movie canon. Rather, it embodies its subject through design and theme, cramming together as much energy and detail as its running time permits." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Multiple thematic threads appear…but the chief goal is to tell the well-documented backstage stories associated with the movie. As placed in the script, however, many seem clumsy and over-obvious; what works best is when we see how the film was written by its four writers on the fly, with multiple endings being tried…Lots of trivia about the making of the film is stuffed into the plot but so is surprisingly inaccurate information…Cavils aside, 'CasablancaBox' is compellingly creative.” Full Review

The New York Times

"A brave, almost foolhardy undertaking, presenting the backstage drama during the making of 'Casablanca,' and daring its audience to compare its cast members to the actors in what many believe to be the finest Hollywood movie of all time...As Bogart, Roger Casey captures the actor’s tics but not his undercurrents; Catherine Gowl’s Bergman...invites greater sympathy. The most impressive performers here are the most naturalistic...'CasablancaBox' is a noble effort." Full Review

The Huffington Post

“It’s head-spinningly difficult to imagine pulling off and yet they succeeded with only minor snafus…Where the show falters is in tone and purpose...It fails when bluntly offering up some of the backstories…When the script veers off from the reality of on-set mayhem, it falters even more…When they show everyone working together to make ‘Casablanca,’ the piece works...Pare down the extraneous and this intriguingly complex production could be...a work of art in its own right.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Technically polished, and textually messy...One wishes that all of this material had been given more shape and direction. As it is, the staging is often disconcertingly frantic...Also, allowing for dramatic license, the script is loaded with pointless errors that will ring false to any film fan...They undermine one's confidence that the artists have done their research...'CasablancaBox' dishes up rich material and makes less than a full meal out of it." Full Review

Time Out New York

"As a visual object, 'CasablancaBox' has moments of beauty...Reid Farrington is a past master at projection work, and as always, it's precise and glowing. But he's less deft with the non-pixelated performers. Sara Farrington has frequently written them scenes that seem nearly impossible to play...For the most part, the live elements swing among tonalities and genres—many of which are too broadly delivered—and the performers fade beside the film fragments around them." Full Review


"A pretentious travesty is perpetrated on the beloved classic movie 'Casablanca' by this this tiresome performance art deconstruction...The large cast for the most part offers exaggerated, fast-paced characterizations that, due to the piece’s stylized agenda, don’t really register as full-fledged performances...Technically the show is highly accomplished...Unfortunately, the Farringtons have opted for high-tech trendiness and the result is hollow and uninvolving." Full Review

Great staging, Great writing, Masterful, Great acting

See it if Regardless of your familiarity with the film "Casablanca", you want to see an ambitious staging of the filming of a movie.

Don't see it if You might not be interested in war, refugees and other unfortunately contemporary concerns.

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny, Great staging

See it if This is must-see fun for any Casablanca fan; difficult to describe what I saw, but I know I liked it!

Don't see it if If you haven't seen, or aren't a fan of, Casablanca, you may have trouble following or appreciating this work, so do your homework first.

Absorbing, Refreshing, Masterful, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if you appreciate dazzling yet thoughtful integration of performance and technology.

Don't see it if you prefer straightforward, traditionally staged theater.

Ambitious, Romantic, Intelligent, Great staging, Clever

See it if you like the inner-workings of things, and creative staging

Don't see it if you hate creativity or the movie Casablanca

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you liked the movie

Don't see it if you didn't like the movie


See it if So it sees nothing beyond the making of the film Casablanca ha? It thinks Casablanca's a great film and pays this tribute to it ha?

Don't see it if The interplay of the original film clip and reenactment on the stage is more like a gimmick and becomes dull and unimaginative quickly

Fictional, Well-staged, Imaginative

See it if you are up for a light-hearted romp through the chaos behind this film, or don't know much about its history & want to learn.

Don't see it if you are a stickler for historical accuracy. This is imaginative & informative fiction loosely based on facts, but not beholden to them.

Also What stuck w/me most about 'CasablancaBox' was how it was put together... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Confusing, Cliched

See it if The projection work is stellar and the acting leads were amazing. Great concepts.

Don't see it if It just doesn't merit a show. The story is trite and ultimately not a story worth telling onstage.

Banal, Great staging, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if You are intrigued by contemporary scenic projection design.

Don't see it if You are seeking an original, engaging plot.

Disappointing, Dated, Excruciating, Slow

See it if The projections are magnificent and the casting if nice for the most part.

Don't see it if The plot is boring and hard to follow. It'd hard to care for anyone in the piece.

Banal, Insipid, Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You like getting a nap in the theater.

Don't see it if You value your time.

Cast & Creatives (22)