Emma & Max NYC Reviews and Tickets

(28 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (28)

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172 Reviews | 19 Followers
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.

567 Reviews | 150 Followers
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

265 Reviews | 44 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Good play about racism .

Don't see it if You want light fare.

540 Reviews | 64 Followers
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.

386 Reviews | 56 Followers
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.

62 Reviews | 11 Followers
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 Read more

302 Reviews | 99 Followers
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.

50 Reviews | 20 Followers
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.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
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 another matter...From the moment we meet the whiny, needy, terminally solipsistic Brooke and Jay, it’s clear that they’re fish in a barrel, just waiting to be speared and gutted."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 the actors, who do credible work despite their schematic characters. Still, ‘Emma and Max’ ultimately feels more exploitative than illuminating of the tragic event that inspired it.”
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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 of what was just seen...It is so hard to come up with the perfect form of praise for everything this show is, without also thinking of how the show affects me...This production is, simply put, wonderful."
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Lighting & Sound America
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 wring every last drop of bile from the roles...The play is less about race than Solondz's distaste for his fellow humans.”
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New York Stage Review
October 14th, 2018

"Solondz appears to have spotted the dangers upper-middle-class liberals can face in their supposedly insulated lives...Perhaps because Solondz eventually noticed that as written Brooke and Jay are more suited to comedy sketch than legit drama, he shifts the action to Brittany about three-quarters through...Solondz, better at this point as stage director than playwright, needs a more solid way to make his points in the current political climate of vague liberal inclinations."
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October 19th, 2018

"Making an impressive stage debut with 'Emma and Max,' satirist Todd Solondz proves that he is a very astute man of the theater. As acted by its shrewd quartet of players, 'Emma and Max' is a devastating portrait of entitled urban white liberals who have never actually looked in the mirror to see how deep their prejudices go. 'Emma and Max' may not be an easy play to watch but its rewards are great."
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Theatre is Easy
October 26th, 2018

"Even while shedding light on the ugliness present in American society, 'Emma and Max' still manages to create great aesthetic beauty. There may not be any hope or redemption for these characters, but Solondz has created comedy and commentary out of fictional lives that might just be closer to reality than we think."
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Theater Pizzazz
October 18th, 2018

“’Emma and Max’ is a trap set to deceive us all...Hyper-relevant dissection of our fears, favoritism, shortcomings...The audience will relentlessly laugh at a character until a tragic detail of their past is casually revealed...All of this is made possible from accomplished and skillful performances...The brilliance lying within ‘Emma and Max’ is that no matter how villainous some characters may appear or how irrational we are to forgive their trespasses, we can’t stop rooting for them.”
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