Already closed | 2h 20m | Midtown W

Heartbreak House

From 79 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

About the show

In this new adaptation of Shaw’s play, it’s the first days of the London Blitz. With the performance interrupted, the cast and audience have joined together to seek shelter in the theatre’s basement.  More…

To entertain the crowd, the cast performs Shaw’s most vital paean to resistance and perseverance against tyranny, 'Heartbreak House.' Inspired by actual events as lived by Hermione Gingold during the WWII’s darkest days, this new approach strives to make Shaw’s masterpiece more timely than ever.  'Heartbreak House' brings a wildly disparate group of people together in the English countryside over a September weekend to make major decisions about their future. No stone is left unturned as each character is forced to come to terms with his or her past while finding a way to move forward in the face of the coming crisis. 

2h 20m | Already closed | Theatre Row / Theatre One (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (79)


Great acting, Entertaining, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy Shaw. There is great intelligence, humor and wit in this show.

Don't see it if you feel that Shaw plays are "talky."

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Delightful, Must see

See it if you like Shaw, you enjoy thought provoking theatre, or you want to laugh all night long!

Don't see it if you don't like Shaw plays...there's really no other reason not to see it!

Also David Staller and The Gingold Theatrical Group have brought to life a ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great ensemble cast, Lots of speeches, Problematic script, Rambling, Clever

See it if you like GBS. HH swirls all over. Point isn't clear until the end. Needs cuts; framing device is fun altho it undercuts ending. Great cast.

Don't see it if you want coherence. Fun quips/characters, but sprawling (frustrating) work. Metaphor of unhelmed ship comes late. 85 for cast/65 for script.

During previews
Entertaining, Intelligent, Uneven, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want to see Shaw's great anti-war comedy, adroitly acted by a 1st rate cast of Off-Bway all-stars, in a lively, if uneven, production.

Don't see it if you can't get past Staller's questionable decision to frame Shaw's great WWI commentary within a half-baked, campy WWII "skit".

Also The play-within-a-play gimmick (wherein a cast of actors are trapped i... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if Partner's 85% and my 70%. Had seen the 1960-61 version but unable to match them up. Loved the cast.

Don't see it if Lion theater not the best of T. Row.. Almost 3 hours will not do it with today's theater expectations. Not clear e the time periods.

During previews
Uneven production of one of gb shaw's best

See it if first rate actors act up a storm as iconoclastic characters; anti-war script continues to shock showing society on brink of disaster

Don't see it if variety of acting styles don't mesh; production under rehearsed; frame tale: performance of play waiting out WWII air raid distracting

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Slow, Too long, Great staging

See it if Its a play in a play during an air raid in London WWII, that performance in the basement of the theater. Funny at times.

Don't see it if Its long play around 3 hours. In a small theater.

Also Parts of this play is funny. When you going in you receive a booklet w... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Quirky, Long

See it if you enjoy classic, British comedies. The performances are great and the show does a great job of lightly integrating the audience.

Don't see it if you have a hard time sitting through long shows (2 hr 40 min) and maintaining focus. My mind wandered off several times; I missed things.

During previews
Entertaining, Great writing, Great acting, Funny, A little slow in parts

See it if You are a George Bernard Shaw fan and enjoy campy stories of the British upper class. Set in the 1940’s. Alison Fraser & Karen Ziemba.

Don't see it if You dislike sitting for 2 hours 40 minutes. Actor playing muti-characters. Dislike talky dramas. Expect lots of action.

Also I am a big Shaw fan and this cast is engaged in the campiness of the p... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Questionable framing device

See it if It's Shaw, so naturally some clever, pointed dialogue. Talented cast

Don't see it if you prefer your Shaw without gimmicks. I saw the 3rd preview so the timing was not where it should be.

Also I'd be interested in seeing it again after the kinks are ironed out.

During previews
Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing, Funny, Quirky

See it if You like these super actors playing together.

Don't see it if if you don’t enjoy new interpretations of classic plays. I found the prologue disturbing. And it took Me out of the play

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Confusing adaptation

See it if you are a fan of one of the excellent actors in it; want to see a live performance of a Shaw classic.

Don't see it if you prefer your Shaw "pure" & will dislike some changes that detract from the production., especially the slapstick bits.

Also I really do not understand what the director was thinking. This produc... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you like intimate, smart parlor dramas; great ensembles—everyone has moments to shine; the fab Karen Ziemba (who's wowed us since Contact)!

Don't see it if you don't like dense scripts, or bits of audience interaction, or lengthy productions—second half drags at the end, so endurance is a must!

During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow, Dull

See it if you want to see Alison Frasier camping it up or Karen Ziemba looking lovely. Stars are the attraction. The frame doesn't work; show is dull.

Don't see it if you want to see a really effective staging of this play. It is a difficult one, no doubt, but this version doesn't work. Seemed indulgent.

During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You love GBS plays and actors capable of rendering his dense thicket of words into melody and meaning. A classic even more relevant today.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy long wordy plays with a heavy dose of Britishness. Pluses for me but not to everyone's liking.

During previews
Great acting, Hilarious, Must see, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like to laugh throughout a play and want to see great actors. You find a sing-a-long fun.

Don't see it if You want to see a serious Shaw play.

During previews
Much too much of a good thing

See it if If you love Shaw...every word of it.

Don't see it if You are looking for a quick moving show that keeps you on the edge of your seat

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you want a thought provoking and funny show; great performances and casting

Don't see it if it is a bit long and may be confusing to some

During previews
Loooong, Disappointing, Quirky, Funny, Ambitious

See it if the show is tweaked & fine tuned. In the absence of that, the show (as is) had true moments of wonderful comedic acting.

Don't see it if you'd rather not sit in a tiny, sub-zero theater for 2 hr/45 mins (includes intermission), & you don't like actors playing multiple roles.

Also I really do hope the writers rework this show; it has such promise. Th... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if You like Shaw and fine acting.

Don't see it if You aren’ charmed by Shaw

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You love Shaw and have never seen this play. Enthusiastic cast.

Don't see it if Much too long and poorly directed. Poor choice in using one actor in multiple roles that adds unnecessary slapstick and distracts

During previews
Intelligent, Funny, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you are a GBS fan and if you like sing alongs

Don't see it if you don't like long shows. it's 2 hours 40 minutes

During previews
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Slow, Poorly paced

See it if you like intelligent GBS plays that are sharply written, funny, examine human behavior and can accept the premise that the play's setting

Don't see it if you only like fast-paced plays and have no patience for the slow pace & witty repartee of GBS in this new poorly conceived adaptation of HH!

Also has been changed from Edwardian England to the London blitz of 1940. T... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Exquisite, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy comedies

Don't see it if You don’t like comedies

During previews
Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if You like historical shows, innovative productions of older shows, you like Shaw, you don't mind longer shows, you like smaller theaters.

Don't see it if You don't like when characters play multiple roles, material that's at-all dated, audience interaction, or plays with music.

September 9th, 2018
“A crisp and fizzy comic wake-up call to a society drifting toward self-destruction...The play’s potential for resonance in our own time is enormous...Yet Staller’s unfocused production never answers the fundamental question for any revival: Why now? Even with such a tantalizingly talented cast, ...
read more
September 20th, 2018
“Shaw’s play is a hellishly difficult combination of portentousness and froth...Staller desperately wants us to have a good time; he adds sing-alongs and gives us the divinely silly Hiller...But the ensemble...simply can’t locate the play’s comic spark...No one can agree on how big to play, how g...
read more
September 11th, 2018
“Staller has taken on ‘Heartbreak House’, one of Shaw’s most challenging plays, with altogether extraordinary results...This version is a conceptual staging, one whose ingenious framing device intensifies the effect of Shaw’s text instead of smothering it...A high-quality ensemble cast...Staller’...
read more
September 9th, 2018
“This WW II scenario is not what Shaw had in mind for his trenchant antiwar comedy...Yet Staller has cannily, though not always successfully, adapted the play to make it what Shaw may have first conceived it as...Staller's take sometimes sacrifices the play's comical moments for the sake of this ...
read more

Related content