Closed 2h 20m
Cymbeline
Upper W Side
83

Cymbeline NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
6%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Funny

About the Show

Part of The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park, this Shakespearean fairy tale stars Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater.

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Member Reviews (32)

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70
Rambling, Unfocused, Disappointing, Great actors wasted, Issues of editing/directing

See it if you love going to Delacorte to see great actors (even if not well used). Lesser Shakesp still has good moments. But Cymbeline can be good...

Don't see it if as proven by the Fiasco prodn at Barrow St. This Cym was not fun or engaging. I blame Daniel Sullivan (the director).

85
Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Funny, Classic

See it if you like Shakespeare in the Park. great actors.

Don't see it if you don't like lotteries and lines.

Critic Reviews (23)

August 10th, 2015

"Daniel Sullivan, the reliably fine director whose Shakespeare productions here usually have avoided self-conscious concepts, has almost made a U-turn with this disappointing staging...Here, the emphasis is somewhat deflatingly on the artifice in 'Cymbeline.' We are encouraged to recognize that we are watching a troupe of actors in performance, presenting a fictional tale...The trouble is, when the play’s strange marvels are presented inside a heavy theatrical frame, they lose some of their wonder."
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August 10th, 2015

"Daniel Sullivan’s production provides not only a delightful evening in Central Park but also a successful argument for the play. He settles at once on a tone that can support the narrative’s oddball excursions...Sullivan has to play the final scene, with its hailstorm of absurd revelations, entirely for laughs in order to make sense of it here. In the process, it loses some of its potential emotional power. But everywhere else, that power is only heightened by an immediately identifiable genre frame...The park on an August evening begs and rewards a lighter meal."
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August 10th, 2015

"Although entertaining in spots, this stylistically all-over-the-map rendition is more wearisome than enlightening...This late romance is one of the Bard's most problematic works and most difficult to successfully stage. Featuring allusions to characters and situations from many of his previous plays, it's as if he was raiding his attic in search of inspiration...By the time the lengthy evening concludes, you're likely to feel thoroughly exhausted. The play's happy ending has never felt so hard-earned."
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August 10th, 2015

"The problem with director Daniel Sullivan’s fresh take on the play is that it’s neither here nor there — not outrageous enough to be funny, but not sober enough to be taken seriously...At the end of the show, the company comes together for a wonderfully witty court dance. Everyone seems to be cavorting in his or her own fashion, but their individually distinct movements are all carefully composed into a harmonious whole. At last, we see what the director wanted us to see all along in his show. But what a shame the play didn’t open with the dance."
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August 13th, 2015

"'Cymbeline' makes joyous sense out of a play that even the most devoted of Shakespeareans have oft looked at askance. What makes it a 'problem' play is that the complex plot is stuffed with implausibilities that can obscure the themes of jealousy, forgiveness and reconciliation. Daniel Sullivan, the director, has gotten around this obstacle by shading his staging in the direction of knockabout farce, but doing so with the lightest and sweetest of touches."
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August 10th, 2015

"One of Shakespeare’s least loved plays, 'Cymbeline' is too convoluted to sort out and too dense to follow; increasingly preposterous as the story unfolds, and yet. A production as wonderful as the one that director Daniel Sullivan has assembled in Central Park challenges us to suspend overthinking and simply to luxuriate in the charms of an off-center romantic comedy whose twin triumphs of love and forgiveness override logic, and to just enjoy the damned picnic...One very fine night in the Central Park."
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August 10th, 2015

"Shakespeare’s 'Cymbeline' is such a convoluted mashup about love and war and much more that getting it even halfway right is something. The Public Theater’s al fresco take on the late, not-so-great play manages that mean feat by fighting fire with fire: Unruly play? Freewheeling approach...It makes for a breezy 90 minutes. Alas, there’s another hour and a half to go. And the show loses steam in a big way in the second act. Chalk it up to the overwrought play and conceits that wear thin."
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August 12th, 2015

"There are ways around this challenging play and I take great pleasure in being able to say director Daniel Sullivan and his outstanding company have navigated its pitfalls with delightful finesse...So yes, we are entertained, captivated and moved in an altogether magical night of mayhem in the Park."
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August 10th, 2015

"Their sleazy and foolish characters aside, this is one of the most richly voiced casts in recent memory. One could listen to them read aloud from the phone book and never grow bored, so hearing them recite Shakespeare is an unparalleled treat...You can't help but laugh at the absurdly long resolution scene, in which the playwright ties up no fewer than 27 loose plot points. A rollicking jig follows, leading the whole theater to clap along. This kind of irreverent fun is what Shakespeare in the Park is all about."
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August 15th, 2015

"'Cymbeline' shows signs of the playwright losing steam, with numerous instances of repeating memorable moments from his previous works. If director Dan Sullivan's lively production doesn't exactly reveal any hidden genius, it certainly offers enough madcap fun for a summer night."
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August 10th, 2015

"Sullican keeps things middle-of-the-road enough that never do you feel you're watching a show about a show. No, the play is always the thing. And though a play this troubled guarantees some iffy results, you get a lot more good than you do bad...Even when the script is a bit wanting, as a production this 'Cymbeline' more than satisfies."
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August 6th, 2015

"What fun it is from start to finish for this play that has had/earned a reputation for being not only a bit dopey but a trifle dense to follow. The comedy's convoluted paths and well calculated mis-directions become almost unimportant...One can't be sure whether Sullivan has run wild with this absurd play or he has simply decided to play the wild card to make it just wonderfully absurdist."
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August 10th, 2015

"'Cymbeline' may not be a great play, but there are fragments of greatness in it. Daniel Sullivan and his wonderful cast have done everything they can to make it work, and, even if they don’t always succeed, I can’t think of many other things I’d rather have been doing on a beautiful summer night than seeing it come to life in Central Park."
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August 10th, 2015

"Rabe and Linklater, two of the finest stage actors of their generation, return this year in a Shakespeare in the Park production of a less widely familiar and, frankly, consistent work, 'Cymbeline...' The result is a sometimes uneven mix of bawdy humor, brooding melodrama and tender, whimsical romance. The excellent cast ensures that the individual elements are at least played supply...As a showcase for the talents and range of these players, Cymbeline is, even at three hours long, an enjoyable ride."
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August 10th, 2015

"The Public Theater's modern-dress production, directed with wit and unexpected substance by Daniel Sullivan, has nine terrific actors switching around 24 sober and silly characters. The style has more than a dash of Lewis Carroll and, with actors generally sitting on chairs facing the stage when not performing, there is a let's-pretend attitude that never loses touch with the need to keep emotions real...Enchanting production of Shakespeare's messy tragicomedy."
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August 11th, 2015

"While the script and performances are essentially faithful to Shakespeare's work, there are also delicious embellishments, such as Iachino singing a speech a la Sinatra during the Rat-Pack years...The one quibble with the production is that it has no overarching concept. The various comic bits are unrelated, stuck in solely because they're amusing...It's hard to complain too much, though, when a production is as entertaining as this 'Cymbeline.'"
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August 10th, 2015

"Its complex plot is kept comprehensible thanks to a sure-footed cast...In 'Cymbeline,' Shakespeare dips deep into his bag of tricks. There are poisoned lovers; disguises and mistaken identities; and the weight of parental expectations. It’s all resolved in an intricate final scene, and somehow everyone ends up dancing and relatively content...except, of course, for poor Cloten."
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August 11th, 2015

"Director Daniel Sullivan does a miraculous job of trimming up the traditional five acts to a manageable three hours. He puts two cohorts of the audience on stage and uses them as props and barriers, villains to be called out, foils for the players’ humor; he even gives them a few lines...Sullivan has an arsenal of wonderful diversions to keep us alert to the humor of the piece. There is an early surprise — a time-and musical shape-shifting number that is brilliant!"
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August 11th, 2015

"No Shakespeare in the Park production can trump the sylvan setting around the stage. The medium-green playing area of Daniel Sullivan’s very watchable new imagining of 'Cymbeline' may mimic some of the surrounding trees, but it more often reminds one of a miniature-golf course...Less felicitous are the giant new apartment towers jutting out behind the theatre’s Belvedere Castle backdrop. The magic is marred but not, with this impressive 'Cymbeline,' eclipsed."
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August 11th, 2015

"This elaborate, overly-complicated play once again brings the real-life couple of Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater to the stage as star-crossed lovers...Although this play includes the proverbial 'everything but the kitchen sink,' it's still enjoyable to watch. On all counts, 'Cymbeline' is a rousing success -- another in a delicious lineup of summer treats for lucky New Yorkers."
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August 10th, 2015

"The Public’s new production of Shakespeare’s 'Cymbeline' must have been conceived with two goals in mind: to ensure the audience can follow the play’s famously convoluted plot, and to make the viewing experience as much fun as possible. Happily, 'Cymbeline' succeeds on both counts...Tony-winner Daniel Sullivan made an artistic decision to depict Italy as a Las Vegas nightclub run by the mob. It makes no sense, but it’s great fun."
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August 13th, 2015

"While this production runs into problems of tone, it makes up for it with the emotional backbone of a performance by Lily Rabe, who treats her role with all the heartache of a tragedy though she is surrounded by more broad characterizations; somehow this blend creates a completely enjoyable breeze of an evening with emotional moments felt throughout...While there isn’t much in 'Cymbeline' that one can take with you to think about after the show, it is a wonderful, light evening that most anyone can enjoy."
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Z
August 22nd, 2015

"'Cymbeline' was fantastic. What I feared about its chaos came through brilliantly to an attention deficit defined modern audience. Kept fresh with some musical interpolations, deft stage design, and most significantly, stellar acting, 'Cymbeline' engaged the audience, primarily on its humor and wit...This 'Cymbeline' was far more than an evening of laughs. Indeed the play is a spectrum of human experience, and I felt it all, thanks to The Public Theatre and Shakespeare in the Park."
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