Already closed | Soho/Tribeca

Emma & Max

From 28 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intense, Disappointing, Absorbing, Great staging

About the show

Todd Solondz ("Welcome to the Dollhouse," "Wiener-Dog"), known for his style of dark, thought-provoking, socially conscious satire, makes his theatrical debut at The Flea. More…

In "Emma and Max," Solondz turns his critical eye on New Yorkers, exploring the illusions and delusions, hopes and despair of the city’s well-off and worn down. Parenting and marriage, kids and vacation, devastation and survival – the quotidian stuff of life. In his typical fashion, Solondz spares no one and skewers everyone in a play about privilege, race, and the intersection of black and white.

Member Reviews (28)


Great acting, Intense, Disappointing, Absorbing, Great staging
Avg Score

Clever, Quirky, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting

See it if A delusional nanny is terminated w/ consequence. Solondz doesn't sacrifice his dark & quirky sensibilities for the stage.Great scene changes

Don't see it if The long final 5-minute monologue drags.For a satire of race & class, the point is well taken for scene changes in character, but belaboured

Confusing, Dark

See it if you want to see stereotypes of all 4 characters onstage and a bad treatment of a terrible tragedy.

Don't see it if you don't want to see stereotypes of characters. The topic is very dark and the play is essentially three monologues.

Great acting, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if Enjoy quirky dialogue with characters that one loves to hate and others we feel sympathetic towards. Great use of space and staging.

Don't see it if Need a full story with an arc versus separate scenes that tie together.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Intense

See it if you are a big fan of Todd Solondz, I suppose. Or if you want to see four actors try valiantly to make the show work. The set is attractive.

Don't see it if you like dialogue. This show is basically three long monologues with some lines between them. The pace is really slow due to scene changes.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Good play about racism .

Don't see it if You want light fare.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Intense, Masterful

See it if You want to see one of our leading chroniclers of suburbia extend his reach to the stage. You like dark satiric takes on society.

Don't see it if You have a hard time detecting satire -- or do not like commentary where all sides are shown to be problematic.

Confusing, Intense, Quirky, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy shows with a heavy set element, including projections; you enjoy shows that don't have linear or very clear plot lines

Don't see it if you don't enjoy heavy drama, triggered by child endangerment

Also This was no a very cohesive piece and there isn't much to take away, b... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense, Funny turns excruciating, Disappointing

See it if you're a Todd Solondz fan and want to see what he does in another medium

Don't see it if you're expecting a heartfelt and affecting comedy. This thing gets uncomfortably dark in the final segment.

Also The actors were excellent -- great to see Matt Servitto on stage -- he... Read more Read less


See it if You’re a fan of The Flea.

Don't see it if You don’t like two-dimensional treatment of race relations.

Also I like Mr. Solondz films. This play is not likable. It lacks smarts an... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Intelligent

See it if You want to look at race and class issues from a lot of different angles

Don't see it if You dislike long monologues and a potentially confusing plot

Slow, Cliched, Ill-conceived

See it if you're a fan of this filmmaker and you absolutely need to know if he can make theatre. (i'll save you the time, see below)

Don't see it if you're up for a painful & long-winded monologue-heavy rehashing of racial stereotypes that fails to shed light on any of the real issues.

Disappointing, Quirky, Slow

See it if you like dark plays infused with Todd Solondz's style of humor and unique perspective.

Don't see it if you expect something that has the substance and weight of Solondz's more successful films. This felt more like re-treaded material.

Also I admire Todd Solondz as a filmmaker, but felt that this play needed d... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You're curious about the filmmaker's theater debut (or a big fan of his), or you can't get enough of satires of overentitled affluent whites

Don't see it if You don't like plays that consist more of monologues than dialogue. You've had enough of satires of overentitled affluent whites.

Also I wish the story were told with more "back & forth" (dialogue, interac... Read more Read less

Timely, Relevant, Slow

See it if you enjoy dramas about class issues and racism.

Don't see it if you're looking for a light evening at the theater.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if You like racially tone deaf, offensive plays. Shame cause the actors are brilliant & wasted on this terrible play with TERRIBLE transitions.

Don't see it if just don’t see it. Look out for when these great actors are in something else And support them in that.

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if you think that Todd Solondz can do no wrong, just to prove that he very much can.

Don't see it if you want to keep liking the Flea Theatre, which almost always has compelling and meaningful productions.

Also I've loved Solondz's films, and I was excited to see what he'd do on s... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Profound, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You like dystopic dramas with mordant humor performed in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if You like spectacle.

Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky

See it if you like a sharp and incisive view on contemporary life

Don't see it if you are worried about social mores

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if You’re interested in compelling and powerful ideas about identity and race. Smart staging.

Don't see it if You’re looking for tired ideas about race and identity.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if you enjoy being totally involved in a wrenchingly emotional experience. Zonya Love is riveting in the main role.

Don't see it if you want fluffy entertainment.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You want to see something memorable. Incredible play. Must see.

Don't see it if You don’t want to be moved

During previews
Cliched, Beautifully acted, Hi concept indie in real space, Ambitious, Muddled

See it if you are interested in seeing contemporary depictions of race relations in the US.

Don't see it if you want what is being said about race relations to be consistently powerful or insightful.

Also Anyone interested in theatrical depictions of current race relations i... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Edgy, Intelligent, Profound

See it if you like dark, dark, dark satire about race and are fine with political correctness being thrown out the window (where it belongs).

Don't see it if if you are looking for explosive drama or laugh out loud comedy. This show is very quiet and introspective, but smart and funny.

During previews
Great writing, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to see some truly TRULY fine acting, like comedic dramas and enjoy shows that take on current issues.

Don't see it if It’s mostly monologues (with interjections from other actors,) quiet but intense and about race. If that doesn’t interest you, stay home.

During previews
Cliched, Horrible, insensitive, stupid, Indulgent

See it if You are clinically insane

Don't see it if You have a heart and a brain

Also This is a terrible monetizarion on a real tragedy that happened in our... Read more Read less

October 15th, 2018
"In physical terms, Mr. Solondz has translated his cinematic-eye view into a specifically theatrical vision with admirable success. There’s not a misstep in the staging...'Emma and Max' is always fascinating to look at, even if it’s in a masochistic way...Listening to what it has to say is anothe...
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October 14th, 2018
“Much of the play is composed of long, rambling monologues that feel stilted and overwritten, designed to make thematic points. And the final scene...seems mainly designed for cheap laughs...Solondz overly indulges his writing, resulting in an evening that feels static and talky. It's no fault of...
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October 25th, 2018
"There are many plays that evoke feelings and entertain and do everything that an admirable piece of theater is meant to; I cannot say, though, that these plays are as poignant or as tragically beautiful as 'Emma and Max'. I can't remember the last time I not only stepped out of a theater in awe ...
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October 16th, 2018
“’There is next to no dramatic action in ‘Emma and Max’...Inertia is the play's default state as it lurches from one long aria of bad faith to the next, delivered by characters so repellent that the only sensible reaction is to tune out...The action move at a snail's pace...Becker and Servitto wr...
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