Happy Days
78

Happy Days NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(14 Reviews)
Positive
93%
Mixed
0%
Negative
7%
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Clever

About the Show

Following rave reviews in Boston, The Theatre @ Boston Court’s existential production of 'Happy Days' by Samuel Beckett starring Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams comes to the Flea Theater.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (14)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
June 29th, 2015

"Andrei Belgrader has brought his production of Samuel Beckett’s 'Happy Days' to the Flea Theater, and there are laughs to be had. What’s missing is the darkness and dread that trigger Winnie’s natterings: the panic she’s trying so desperately to keep at bay...She gave glimmers of a deeper, more assured performance. But most of the time, there was no detectable impulse behind Winnie’s need to be heard by Willie, her audience of one, and to know he is still there...There was no poignancy."
Read more

New York Post
June 29th, 2015

"The show is mandatory viewing, even if you’ve seen it before. Beckett’s plays gain greater resonance as you age and your own particular symbolic mound of earth creeps ever upward...The play is a powerful metaphor for the ways we struggle for happiness despite the inevitable passing of time and the punishments of life...Effectively directed by Andrei Belgrader, this is a superbly acted rendition enlivened by Adams’ fearless performance."
Read more

AM New York
July 1st, 2015

"The existentialist play is essentially a rambling two-act monologue for Winnie, who goes through daily routines and searches through her handbag while Willie occasionally rises out of his hole to read the newspaper or reach for a gun...If you'd like to see a two-hour play with no plot and little movement that is built around a single visual metaphor, be my guest."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
July 2nd, 2015

"Often, productions of 'Happy Days' run out of steam as Beckett states and restates Winnie's predicament, but under Belgrader's direction, the longeurs are few and brief. Most of the time, one is caught up in Winnie's second-by-second focus on the smallest details of living...And, despite the role's weaknesses and oddities, Adams captures the essence of Winnie, bravely, madly anticipating an emotional fulfillment, the possibility of which, if it ever existed, is now long gone, never to return."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
June 29th, 2015

"These performances make the plight of Winnie and Willie seem to be less abstract than they might have once been perceived. The ringing bells that force Winnie to stay awake and alert also pull us beyond the realm of allegory. There is an intelligence behind the torment, as if the pair were undergoing some deliberately staged test of endurance...This production shows us that 'Happy Days' is most decidedly a play for our time."
Read more

Theatre is Easy
June 29th, 2015

"This piece succeeds or fails on the strength of the actress playing Winnie, and Adams is very strong indeed. She keeps us in our seats for the duration of this grim journey... Whether you sit back and revel in its weirdness or lean in to unravel its many mysteries, it’s an experience you’ll be hard pressed to shake off."
Read more

CurtainUp
June 25th, 2015

"But above all what must reach us, teach and amuse us is Winnie's two-act monologue. It is an affirmation and a surrender to life. Adams, a splendid stage actress who comes prepared to instruct and amuse.... Adams also colorizes the often bleak imagery of Beckett's words without losing a beat or a blink. Hers is a performance that gets better and more touching as Beckett's brand of mockery begins to break through."
Read more

Stage Buddy
July 3rd, 2015

"Beckett's brilliance often manifests as tedium, resulting in a test of patience and resilience for both the characters and the audience, and director Andrei Belgrader stays true to the minimalism of the concept, allowing the text to dominate. As Winnie, Brooke Adams handles the unwieldy monologue of a script with astoundingly engaging grace and humanity. As Willie, Tony Shalhoub is almost unrecognizable: dirty, almost subhuman, and equal parts fascinating and repulsive in his brief moments on stage."
Read more

New York Theater
June 29th, 2015

"Samuel Beckett’s bleak but compassionate play is being given a witty, compelling production at The Flea...As Willie, Shalhoub has a total of maybe ten minutes of activity in the two hours of the play; this is the Winnie show. Nevertheless, he manages to be hysterical, memorable, a spot-on impersonation of a member of your family...The production is the closest we’ll get to a sunny Beckett."
Read more

Theatre's Leiter Side
June 29th, 2015

"This is a straightforward, respectful mounting that follows most of Beckett’s requirements...While it’s important to convey the tedium of Winnie’s endless days in a world where the sun never sinks and sleep is incessantly interrupted by the raucous ringing of a bell, the audience itself shouldn’t feel the dullness; this, however, especially in act one, is what happens. Ms. Adam’s portrayal of this now iconic role, while far from a failure, misses being a triumph and falls into the category of "respectable.""
Read more

The Guardian (UK)
June 29th, 2015

"'Happy Days' is a winning offering, though its excellence can sometimes seem effortful, from the pebbly detail of Takeshi Kata’s set to the unrelenting brightness of Tom Ontiveros’s lights to Adams’s practiced performance, in which she cycles through a considerable array of grins, grimaces, puckers and moues, her eyes rolling merrily in their sockets like twinned ping-pong balls...It’s clear from their ample enjoyment that both these actors love, honour and cherish the work."
Read more

Broad Street Review
July 4th, 2015

"Director Andrei Belgrader understands the precarious balance of tragedy and comedy in Beckett’s work. Moreover, he has unearthed a horror that I’ve always sensed underneath the surface of Beckett’s plays but have never seen it brought to light before with such blinding clarity...That final devastating vision of long term marriage and aging, as the day — and their life together — crawl toward an inexorable end, is a truth almost too blinding to behold."
Read more

NY Theatre Guide
July 3rd, 2015

"Happy Days is not a play for everyone. It takes it’s time demonstrating the rules of existence that can be at times unnerving with little punches of laughter. It is worth making a trip to The Flea if just to see Adam’s performance. It slowly crawls under your skin and emotionally smacks you in the back of the head. Shaloub is excellent in his smatterings of stage time."
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
September 18th, 2014
For a previous production

"Like any durable masterpiece, 'Happy Days' can feel different over time as the viewer’s perspective on mortality morphs, and everyone owes themselves a renewed encounter with it every twenty years or so. The pride of this production, so attentively directed by Belgrader, resides in the way it revivifies the play’s everlasting relevance."
Read more

Los Angeles Times
September 15th, 2014
For a previous production

"Winnie, like all of us, is being buried alive by time. But while she has her Willie semi-sentient by her side, it is another happy day. This richly inhabited production, suffused with the tender solace of human connection in the existential void, gives us a less ironic reason to rejoice."
Read more

T
November 13th, 2014
For a previous production

"Despite the script’s bleak metaphor of two lives caught in an existentialist void, the viewer cannot help but feel a kinship to Winnie and Willie, soldiering on as best they can, victims of an unfeeling fate that that they don’t understand and cannot change."
Read more

9
November 21st, 2014
For a previous production

"It’s a lovely one, faithful to Beckett from scenic designer Takeshi Kata’s bright blue trompe-l’oeil backdrop to the play’s ambiguous, here painfully balletic final image. Shalhoub is the funniest, most scabrous and physically effortful Willie I have ever seen, and Adams is an indomitable, comical, profoundly feminine Winnie."
Read more

S
September 20th, 2014
For a previous production

"There is much about social standards, marriage, and the elemental nature of womanhood, all to be gleaned as the evening matures...Director Andrei Belgrader balances the grim, unforgiving quality of set and situation with just enough humor to keep the darkness from descending too soon. "
Read more

LA Weekly
September 17th, 2014
For a previous production

"Though the earth is pulling Winnie down into it, her quixotic defiance of gravity is buoyant in Adams' lucid, dignified and animated portrayal...This production's perfect blend of scorching pointlessness and humor approaches the slapstick of a Buster Keaton movie and also the pathos of tragedy, yet only flirts with either extreme."
Read more

Stage Raw
September 18th, 2014
For a previous production

"Director Belgrader has suggested that the play is newly relevant to a generation burdened by climate change and environmental doom. But this seems a bit too topical for Beckett, who seems more concerned with eternal verities about the human condition. Nevertheless, Belgrader has assembled a clever production."
Read more

O
September 19th, 2014
For a previous production

"'Happy Days' confronts us and embraces us and, if nothing else, shows us how managing day by day may bring 'great mercies'... Director Andrei Belgrader guides the show flawlessly. Highly recommended for an audience ready to be embraced by existential ideas and ready to see a perfect production of a difficult play."
Read more

Stage and Cinema
September 19th, 2014
For a previous production

"It’s a straightforward, unflashy, and intimate performance that belies the usual tendency of Beckett renderings to feel pre-ordained. Director Belgrader, by laying back and indulging the silence, has allowed Adams to realize all the sympathy available from an audience. The show is not brisk. The life it describes is not brisk. But it is very much alive."
Read more

Stage Happenings
May 9th, 2014
For a previous production

"Although a play where nobody moves and nobody complains might be wearing, this production hums along and never lets down. As impeccably directed by Andrei Belgrader, Adams embarks on her trajectory with a sunny disposition that never fails her all the while sinking deeper into the mound."
Read more

Glendale News Press
September 20th, 2014
For a previous production

"A strikingly fresh, definitive revival of Samuel Beckett’s 1961 existential tragicomedy...It is almost unbearably disturbing for its casual acceptance of wrongness, in a staging that is deeply and surprisingly resonant in today’s climate of political, environmental and social upheaval."
Read more

Life in LA
September 14th, 2014
For a previous production

"The director gets it just right. He allows the play to be stagnate, he allows the silences, and in doing so, he also creates a perfect environment for his actors to shine...Anyone can see 'Happy Days' and take something away from it totally unique. It is a work of art of the highest order, and this production rises to the challenges of such a work, and the result is magical."
Read more

Examiner
September 15th, 2014
For a previous production

"Beckett’s prose can be daunting and enigmatic. His vision is unique in his examination of the human condition which requires participation of the viewer to discern its meaning, but the journey is rewarding. 'Happy Days' is non-linear. It is experiential and the experience this production provides is profound and powerful."
Read more

Cultural Weekly
September 24th, 2014
For a previous production

"The performances delivered by the two actors remind us of why theatre will not die. Nothing that is so captivating on this stage, in this dark room shared with others, as we watch these two survivalists soldier on, would work for the camera. The play needs the pulse of life, the precious breath of live actors."
Read more

Trailer

Creative team

Watch This Next (3)

87
Excellent
4K+ Reviews
Ends Jan 2022
NYC: Midtown W

"Waitress" is back on Broadway starring the show's creator, Sara Bareilles as pie maker Jenna.

Buy
84
Great
200+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
72 Reviews
Ends Nov 2022
NYC: Midtown W

Broadway debut of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson's solo play.

Buy