New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

City of Glass

From 8 critic and 3 member reviews
Members say: Confusing, Funny, Slow, Ambitious, Delightful

About the show

Untitled Theater Company #61 presents a stage adaptation of Paul Auster's book, a film-noir inspired meditation on the nature of language and identity, wrapped in a mystery. More…

Daniel Quinn receives a phone call. On the other end of the line is a man asking for Paul Auster, private detective. Quinn claims to be Auster and falls down a rabbit hole, meeting a man who grew up without language, the femme fatale who serves as his protector, and a father who may want him dead.

1h 45m | Already closed | New Ohio Theatre (West Village)


"Einhorn has pulled out all the stops in this powerful and elusive production. In bringing the novel’s intriguing beauty to life with the genius of the design team and Honeywell’s portrayals, he has created an unforgettable theatrical experience...This truth emboldens the themes and sends them straight into our minds in a provocative exercise. The effect is electrifying. For these reasons and others, 'City of Glass' is a production you should not miss." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"Edward Einhorn’s direction is fine tuned and unrelenting. He keeps the actors in a constant state of heightened tension and the audience in a state of hungry curiosity. He has successfully found the glorious expression of that volatile intersection where author, playwright, director and actor all inhabit the stage at the same time and wrestle for dominance...I would however, have liked a few moments of absolute silence and stillness to feel the earth beneath my feet before we flew apart again." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"While one may be tempted to define 'City of Glass' as theatrical and literary onanism, this isn’t always such a bad thing, if it is artfully done...Fortunately, the script handles the kaleidoscope deftly, often humorously, and avoids the pretentiousness that often attends such heady pursuits...The end result is akin to emerging from a dream where you may or may not have learned something about yourself, but probably had a pretty interesting time nonetheless." Full Review

What's On Off Broadway

"'City of Glass' uses on-the-fly created media, movement and a cascade of words to upend the viewer’s expectations. If you read the book and loved it, do not miss this show. If this description sounds intriguing, see the show. If it all sounds like a bunch of hooey, then avoid this show...It feels as if it were direct by Michael Curtiz on acid...The show is wonderful and frustrating and intriguing. And then, suddenly, too long...It isn’t an easy watch, but for the right people very worthwhile." Full Review

The New York Times

“Conceptually the gambit works well, but it falters in performance, which has as much or more to do with the source material as with Mr. Einhorn’s approach. ‘City of Glass’ is a meta-literary novel, and its pleasures are largely found in the twisty language and tricksy twining of themes — elements perhaps better savored on the page — than in plot or action…There are plenty of memorable lines…But they don’t quite build a play.” Full Review


"For the first ten minutes, it's hard to figure out what's going on. In the second ten minutes we gradually get it. We may even admire what Einhorn is trying to do. But after a while, the various devices he employs grow stale. 'City of Glass' will be just fine for people who like to see intellectual exercises on stage." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"Edward Einhorn’s adaptation never succeeds in finding a compelling theatrical approach to the inherently textual pleasures of the novel. Instead, it disgorges big chunks of that prose, almost undigested. It’s a shame, because, visually, the piece is strikingly stylish...But it’s a mood that can’t be sustained. The piece never takes shape as either the story of an investigation or a noirish look into the darker, more opaque sides of human nature." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"'City of Glass' falls flat as Edward Einhorn, the director/adapter, manages to take one of the least literal texts in modern literature and stage the whole affair verbatim. The obscurity and 'meta'-ness that make the novel so powerful are thrown away in favor of a play that sticks with a clear and singular message...This play felt like a staged reading, with concrete choreography going clunk, clunk, clunk, and an interpretation hitting me over the head like a hammer." Full Review

Ambitious, Confusing, Excruciating, Thought-provoking

See it if you like Paul Auster, have read the novel & liked it,, enjoy post-modernism. Interesting staging, good acting

Don't see it if you don't want to sit thru 2 hrs of tedium w/o a break, don't like cerebral, post-modernism, don't like Auster

Clever, Delightful, Funny

See it if You love quirky and funny shows

Don't see it if you are the serious type and like exactly what you like and dont like the idea of new things

During previews
Confusing, Intense, Slow, Original, Great acting

See it if You enjoy the works of Paul Auster, or if you like to get inside the main character's head, where he is several characters simultaneously.

Don't see it if You are unfamiliar with Paul Auster's writings, as it makes the production confusing and hard to follow.

Cast & Creatives (11)