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
Avg Score

Not sure how i felt about this adaptation

See it if I have seen other versions of this play and this one was quirky and different which I usually like but still unsure how the production

Don't see it if If you don't like new versions of classic shows

Confusing, Quirky, Funny, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You like British humor and farce in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if You can't follow dialects or prefer large shows in a large setting.

Delightful, Dated, Great acting, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you want to see some great NYC character actors chewing the scenery.

Don't see it if you're not interested in Shaw plays.

Weird take on a weird play

See it if You're a Shaw fan. It's not perfect, but at least it's interesting.

Don't see it if You think Terry Teachout's rave review can't be wrong, and would be disappointed to find out it's quite overblown.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you love Shaw and you want to see just how relevant his plays are in today's world. The actors are fully committed to this work.

Don't see it if you can't sit through a long play. However, it beautifully acted & staged that it never felt long.

Delightful, Entertaining

See it if It was delightfully entertaining. The cast was talented. The show was fun.

Don't see it if If you don’t like humorous banter.

Clever, Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky, Funny

See it if You enjoy clever concepts, staging, and performances in an intimate setting

Don't see it if You dislike long shows.... no matter how enjoyable!

Ambitious, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy work by Shaw. You love the actors or you like supporting small works at Theater Row.

Don't see it if You don't like plays, specifically wordy ones like this. You find some plays hard to follow.

Also I read Heartbreak House before seeing this. I had an idea of what to e... Read more Read less

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
Ambitious, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if If you like a traditional show. Good acting.

Don't see it if Direction was aweful. Different then previous on and off Broadway performances, this one was not good to long. They changed it fromoriginal

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
Good cast. weak shaw.

See it if You’re a fan of Shaw and cast.

Don't see it if You want a good Shaw production.

During previews
Forced acting, Disappointing, Slow, Limp farce, No tension

See it if you like singing in a group. Audience singing is encouraged. You know HH so well you won't notice how underdeveloped these characters are.

Don't see it if I can’t recommend it in its current state. Cast/director just didn’t pull it off. A chore to sit through.

Also It might get better. First performance flopped but I don’t think the s... 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
Creaky, Dated, Very slow, Nice acting

See it if Reimagined 1920 GBS play now set in theater basement during London blitz. Appealing cast, charming beginning.with singalongs.

Don't see it if Anti-war, anti-big business points are never made clear in 2:45 hour play. Heavy British accents, lots of declaiming, fusty humor.

During previews
Mildly entertaining, Repetitive / much too long, In previews / still getting its feet wet, Seasoned performers / some ok acting, Farce / only a few chuckles

See it if you'd like to experience the original Shaw take on this play (it's a premiere) before he rewrote it. Seasoned performers worth seeing.

Don't see it if you expect a full-on production. Charming but a bit stagnant, doesn't really go anywhere. Felt a little flat, like Chekhov's Cherry Orchard.

Also Last night, Alison Fraser "fainted" first 10min in.... Read more Read less

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
Disappointing, Energetic, Talky, Uneven, Unnecessary framing

See it if You love Shaw, can tolerate the gas-bagginess, and will appreciate the (overly) enthusiastic acting.

Don't see it if The awkward contrast of opera buffo acting and serious political ideas will irritate you. The tone, acting, and direction are inconsistent.

Also The framing of a WW2 London bomb shelter gives this a bit of Dorothy-a... Read more Read less

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, ...
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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...
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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’...
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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 ...
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