New York | 1h 20m | Already closed

Death of the Liberal Class

From 10 critic and 7 member reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Confusing, Slow, Indulgent, Banal

About the show

The New Ohio presents the world premiere of this dark domestic comedy about liberal parenting, capitalist co-option, and losing (or finding) your edge. More…

A burned-out, left wing journalist retreats to the family farm for peace of mind. Then his teenage daughter arrives, bringing all the anger he’s left behind and her hacktivist boyfriend. When his wife shows up to negotiate their split, his newfound vision of being happy proves more elusive than he imagined. Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges's book of the same name.

1h 20m | Already closed | New Ohio Theatre (West Village)

New York Theatre Guide

"An intensely vivid dark comedy that makes you question your viewpoints on everything from infidelity to yardsticks for success, from progressive parenting to post capitalist apocalyptic scenarios...Robert Lyons has written a complex, multi-layered and thought provoking play...Director Jerry Heymann has ensured a great paced production full of beautifully conducted moments as he expertly dissected the remains of a bloated family corpse." Full Review

The Huffington Post

"The play defies the dichotomous branding of 'liberal' and 'conservative'...'Death of the Liberal Class' is essential theater for the new generation-- where cultural, social, and political mores are constantly evolving, weaving together, and merging. Robert Lyons has given us exceptionally well-written characters." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"'Death of the Liberal Class' takes a typical dysfunctional family narrative and raises the stakes with an economic conspiracy theory…Even though she only appears in three scenes, Olivia Horton particularly shines as Maggie…Horton approaches the work with a delightful truth and simplicity…How reassuring to see the New Ohio continue to take risks on new plays like 'Death of the Liberal Class.'" Full Review

The Knockturnal

"This play is more dramatic than anything else, but it manages to insert a lot of dark humor into the mix. The way that the jokes seemed to seamlessly fall into line with the plot is something to commend...the laughs seemed to flow gradually and naturally...Overall, ‘Death of the Liberal Class’ was a very interesting and fun play to watch. Intimate, humorous, dramatic, and captivating are all words that would perfectly describe this play." Full Review

Off Off Online

"The sexual tension is palpable even with their eyes glued to their respective keyboards...Robert Lyons’ play asserts a very important message in this age of technology: that it can be both useful and destructive, but what it’s not, is sensual." Full Review


"Ultimately, this play succeeds at getting you to care about the characters and their domestic issues, but not necessarily about the financial apocalypse that may or may not be rapidly approaching. The actors have great chemistry onstage…'Death of the Liberal Class' suffers from an inconsistent tone and a few metaphors that are never fully developed." Full Review

Time Out New York

"This could be the stuff of a fascinating play, but Robert Lyons hasn’t written one....'Death of the Liberal Class' is thin gruel that feels long even at a meager 70 minutes. The characters seem artificial and Jerry Heymann’s wooden staging does no favors to the writing or the cast. Chalk it up to the gap between theory and practice." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

"Unfortunately this script only scratches the surface of the issues it raises, getting to the meat of the matter in the last few scenes instead of diving more deeply earlier on. Somehow there is simultaneously too much exposition and not enough information...Perhaps this is the product of an incompletely drafted play meeting up with less than stellar directing." Full Review

The New York Times

"'Death of the Liberal Class,' a muddle of a play tries to find bigger themes in a male schlub’s midlife crisis. But that’s asking too much of the story’s irksome, inconsistent characters…The notion of a younger generation calling out hypocrisy by actually taking the actions an older generation only bloviated about holds some appeal, but the play is more interested in validating several wearying middle-age fantasies." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"Sometimes plays are so bad you get to actively enjoy how bad they are...But other times, darker times, plays are so bad they’re bad. They’re boring, dull, wastes of time and energy. Today we’re dealing with the latter...When I say it’s uninspiring, I mean it to the extent that I can’t be bothered to think of a decent hyperbole to end this sentence with. It’s the kind of play that is so bland it’s hard to know where to start." Full Review

Disappointing, Insipid, Indulgent

See it if you want one (improbable) solution to corporate hegemony. This middling play should've pushed the satire of "Robo Corp" to the extreme.

Don't see it if you desire a family dramedy of consequence (see "The Humans" instead).

Disappointing, Awkward

See it if you don't mind clumsy conversation and unlikely human reactions in an otherwise interesting plot.

Don't see it if you think you will get the sense of the book of the same name which inspired the play.

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You have nothing better to do.

Don't see it if You enjoy an engaging story and interesting, well drawn characters.

Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like short shows, as it's only 1 hour 20 minutes including the 15 minute late start.

Don't see it if You don't like bad acting, you want to be able to follow the plot.

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if loved it

Don't see it if you are boring

Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You want to see an inter-racial couple

Don't see it if You hate plays

During previews
Indulgent, Slow, Banal, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if You can look past curious casting choices and self-important dialogue to appreciate a new work in its roughest form

Don't see it if You want a less politically-driven play or something with a bigger budget with characters that are likable

Cast & Creatives (13)