Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Chess Match No. 5

From 55 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing

About the show

SITI Company and Abingdon Theatre Company present the world premiere of an avant-garde work inspired by American composer, writer, artist, and philosopher John Cage.  More…

SITI actors Will Bond and Ellen Lauren create a unique live art performance, part chess game and part music happening, which explores the words and ideas of a visionary artist. Come experience the wide-open mind-bending brilliance of Cage’s insights about the world, art, music, philosophy, and the adventures that life presents. Conceived and directed by veteran theater maker Anne Bogart.

1h 30m | Already closed | June Havoc Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (55)


Slow, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing

Quirky, Overrated, Indulgent, Edgy, Confusing

See it if you want something different. I have to agree with the majority though

Don't see it if Our lowest rating.. My 60 and partner's 30 did it in.. It is for those who want to MAJORTHINK..

Slow, Edgy, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if You're a big fan of Cage and avant-garde theater and enjoy wondering what the he and she are up to. Some use of sound and light fun.

Don't see it if You can't handle 90 slow moving min with philosophical talk. I wanted to like it but the chess moves were like watching paint dry.

Excruciating, Quirky, Indulgent, Ambitious, Provocative

See it if artistic philosophy, creativity, provocative

Don't see it if no plot, drama

Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you are a fan of John Cage and his seemingly "esoteric" philosophical musing about art and life, maybe.

Don't see it if are looking for a show with any semblance of plot or want to have the ideas of John Caged doled out to you . . . tediously.

Brainy, Overwritten, Great acting, Banal

See it if you love Will Bond and Ellen Lauren so much you wouldn't miss anything they are in.

Don't see it if you have no patience for brainy plays with a lot of text and not much of action.

Also I really wanted to love a SITI Company show about John Cage but walked... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You are a fan of any of the following: Anne Bogart/Viewpoints, John Cage, two people shows.

Don't see it if You don't see the wonder in everyday.

Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you want to see the excellent acting of Will Bond & Ellen Lauren

Don't see it if you think you are going to learn about John Cage

Ambitious, Dated, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You like heady obscure intellectual theatre and are a friend of experimental theatre. Helps if you know and enjoy the work of John Cage.

Don't see it if You are looking for a plot.

Fluffy, Indulgent, Clever

See it if You enjoy old musicals regardless of performances.

Don't see it if You'd be bothered by low energy.

During previews
Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Intelligent

See it if You're interested in the words of John Cage and like avant-garde theater of his bygone era then this is for you. If not, don't go.

Don't see it if You are looking for traditional theater. You will be totally bored.

Also Luckily his music is not played.

During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You don't mind being spoon fed an intellectual premise as opposed to discovering it woven inside an interesting narrative interestingly told

Don't see it if You're looking for a well put together performance piece that's filled with fully flushed out ideas.

During previews
Repetitive and tedious, Indulgent, Slow, Good production values, A distracting soundscape that feels as though it has adhd

See it if you are obsessed with John Cage (this show exalts his work, using his words). Some comic moments. Cute & necessary dance breaks.

Don't see it if you have sound sensitivity, want to be entertained, or haven't had caffeine before hand.

Also I wanted to like this show, but the longer I sat there the more disapp... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Great acting, Ambitious, Fluffy, Dated

See it if If you like non traditional theater, with hardly any staging and chess

Don't see it if Like exciting plays with more action and more interested topics.

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting

See it if you're willing to see terrific actors working w/less than stimulating material

Don't see it if you are unwilling to see a show just for the actors and not for the material

March 28th, 2017
"They are not visibly doing theater, if that means plot, traditional characters or singing cats. Except, of course, that they are. You just need to recalibrate your expectations…‘Chess Match No. 5’ is a cerebral peek into an artist’s worldview…Will Bond, displaying the impish smile of an eccentri...
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March 20th, 2017
"Even as it quotes Cage, 'Match' resists him, and the resulting performance is respectful, warm-hearted, lovely…and inert...There should be an interesting tension between Bogart and Cage—there's so much that's different, they should come together in a crash. But the SITI method sands and polishes...
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March 19th, 2017
"Clarke's finished product onstage is—in the most objective sense of the word—boring. And yet, it's so Cage-like in spirit, you almost can't fault Clarke or director Anne Bogart for crafting 'Chess Match No. 5' in just this meandering way...Nevertheless, this sensory stimulation can't bear all th...
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March 23rd, 2017
"Works best as a kind of tribute to a singular figure in 20th-century culture, done with great affection and no small amount of charm...The text doesn't really assist in understanding the line of Cage's thought, and the director's slick, often amusing direction may be at odds with his rather aust...
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