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High Noon

From 8 critic and 29 member reviews
Members say: Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense

About the show

Axis Company presents an ensemble driven adaptation of the 1952 Western classic.  More…

In this interpretation of 'High Noon,' the Wild West is not the place of heroes and adventure, but a landscape of overbearing nothingness where humans, and their moral conflicts, are cast in glaring light. As the town awaits the alleged return, and savage revenge streak, of a murderer on the noon train, their marshal desperately tries to rally support and save his own life.

Front Row Center

“Hollywood Western meets ‘Waiting for Godot’...An intriguing, at times unsettling evening of theater...Foreman dared to veer in the direction of truth, devising a realistic, nuanced narrative...Sharp has dug into Foremans’ screenplay, dissecting its emotional complexity...A truly ensemble piece. The uniformly excellent cast often moves as one...Unaffected choreography keeps the action moving despite the abstract, bare bones presentation.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“A far reaching adaptation of the very familiar 1952 western...Tension filled...the characters are dressed in black and dark grays immediately creating a sense of foreboding...and it can’t be good...The somber cast moves in tandem some of the time, as pocket watches open and close, as they stare in one direction; severe deadpan delivery provides the emotional buttress to a constant feeling of suspicion and waiting, waiting for something to happen.” Full Review

Off Off Online

"The script, presumably cobbled together by the whole company, sticks fairly close to Foreman’s original, but with some odd digressions and odder directorial touches...Beyond the adjustments in plot and characterization, and there are several, director Randy Sharp has reconceived the material as something of an existentialist nightmare...Makes a reasonable case for reinvestigating and reinterpreting beloved old movies. But be advised, it’s missing a couple of reels." Full Review

Theater Reviews from my Seat

"A famous Academy Award-winning Western film is reinterpreted for the stage. The tension created is riveting...The actors are on stage for the entire performance which lasts a little more than an hour. There is continual movement in which the characters ebb and flow into their scenes. The dialogue is crisp and appropriately clipped and melodramatic for the western genre...The impact is stylized, true to the spirit of a western yet somehow a dreamscape...This troupe has great style." Full Review

This Week in New York Blog

for a previous production "Samuel Beckett’s 'Waiting for Godot' meets Clint Eastwood’s 'High Plains Drifter' in Sharp’s involving staging. All of the actors are onstage through the entire production as if trapped; their words move the tale from the hotel and the depot to the court and the prairie...'High Noon' is famous for, among other things, the building tension leading to the action-packed finale, but Sharp chooses another path there as well, providing a surprising, subtle twist." Full Review

City Guide New York

for a previous production "The intimacy of this 'High Noon' is as palpable as the storyline...In this town without pity or spine...neighbors, lovers, and business partners are interchangeable and the color scheme is film noir. The feeling was also vintage celluloid; French New Wave, to be precise. This haunting theatre piece—a simmering 75 minutes, no intermission—is a true ensemble performance with every actor connected and showcased." Full Review


for a previous production "Every performance is unnervingly suspicious...Presented as one long scene with no clear breaks, Sharp's dark vision feels like an inescapable nightmare...Despite its occasionally soporific tone, 'High Noon' couldn't be timelier as we reexamine political authority and who has the legitimacy to wield it. While the original film presented a black and white tale of duty, Axis admirably paints in shades of gray." Full Review


for a previous production "A triumph of superior production design and physical staging, this 60-minute theatrical adaptation of the classic 1952 film 'High Noon' conceived by Axis Company is emotionally uninvolving...Director Randy Sharp has the cast of 10 on view and in motion for the entire time. They’re precisely and variably positioned all over the space and this yields numerous aesthetic stage pictures and tableaus. Some of which are gratuitous embellishments." Full Review

Riveting, Masterful, Great staging, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You want to see an ensemble at their utmost best. True theatre artistry. The imagery is burned into the retina of my mind's eye. Incredible.

Don't see it if You enjoy kitchen sink theatre.

Also Full disclosure, this was my first Axis Company production. Their repu... Read more Read less

Masterful, Ambitious, Great direction, Great acting

See it if you thrill to see great ensemble, great direction, excellent costume & sound design, minimalist set, smart adaptation of classic Western

Don't see it if repetition, surrealism, need for plot or deeper meaning drive your theatre choices. This is art for art lovers & doesn't always make sense

Also An empty all-white stage, 10 fantastic actors, ambitious direction, dr... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great acting, Great staging, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an expert cast tackle a tradition and make it their own. Superb lighting, perfect setting. great costumes

Don't see it if Only one hour (could be a positive for some)..

Enchanting, Resonant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like quick, intense shows with a tight ensemble.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical, or a show with a tidy resolution.

Also Great sound design, haunting staging and worth it for the surprising f... Read more Read less

Great staging, Thrilling, Mysterious, Lean, Taut

See it if you’d like to see a Western that blows the genre open, but not before it pays the original its deepest respects.

Don't see it if for you the Western is sacred, or you can’t bear to see the original film tampered with, or you’re looking for a conventional play.

Also “High Noon” succeeds in 2 infrequently compatible realms. It’s a total... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Great acting , not long. They tell the story in a refreshing way. Yes it a western.

Don't see it if You want active and flash.

Also They do a great job in telling the story. The stage all white and the ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Haunting, Must see, Riveting, Great writing

See it if enjoy charged, non-preachy scripts evincing mysteries of human behavior: outsiders, insiders, principles, compromise, community, justice

Don't see it if you want either pure naturalism or a handkerchief-waving Western replica; you don’t like serious suspense

Also I hadn’t seen the movie and thought this plot and script were fascinat... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Enchanting, Clever

See it if you'd like a great ensemble, stylistic staging, peroid costumes and intriguing symbolism in a proven story about moral code and civics.

Don't see it if if you disliked the film, or dislike non-traditional staging and delivery.

Also I am a big fan of the film and assumed it would impact my appreciation... Read more Read less

Insightful, Clever, Suspenseful, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if Pending arrival of murderer tests townspeople’s character. Staging & sound amplify the terror. Feels like “The Twilight Zone”. Well acted.

Don't see it if Ambiguous ending open to interpretation. Does it matter what happens next? Maybe these people are already in purgatory.

Resonant, Profound, Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want fascinating ensemble production of a classic movie that only live theater can do. Very different in a good way,

Don't see it if you are expecting the Gary Cooper Western.

Awesome sound design, Inventive staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy seeing a great ensemble at work. Minimalistic slick design. Nothing happens and everything happens at once. Superior sound design

Don't see it if you prefer realism in theater. You have trouble following rapid switching between the scenes.

Relevant, Intense, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Waiting for God-ot & the angry guy on the noon train. Metaphorical (grey-shades) monochromatic costumes confound innate impulse to pick hero

Don't see it if Ensemble remains on stage for the hour duration. Simple set then becomes cluttered w/ townies. Loud end effects. Guns.

Also Haunting aural cues. Political intent. Morality play.

Riveting, Masterful, Intelligent, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy an eerie presentation of the old movie. Surreal.

Don't see it if You just want to sit and relax without thinking.

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you appreciate stylized, innovative interpretations of a known story, great ensemble cast, intimate theater experiences

Don't see it if you want all the dialogue to make perfect sense and to be naturally conversational or if you require shiny broadway pizzaz

Also Often compared to Waiting for Godot, if you are looking for a very cre... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if if you liked the western high noon. Good ensembles. a short show.

Don't see it if if you want a grander, longer show. If you want a more in depth performance.

Edgy, Intense, Great staging, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if Heightened ambiguity & ominous stagecraft highlight eerie adapt of classic '50's western Stylish staging & choreography keep audience alert

Don't see it if For maximum effect, basic plotline of movie a must Can loose story threads w/ numerous actors & tonal quality Still packs a sinister punch

Great acting, Intense, Great costumes, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy cowboy and Western movies, or if you enjoy a revenge story between cowboys...

Don't see it if You prefer light stories or different genre of plays or different types of performances ...

Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you like intense acting, appreciate good sound design, feel a connection with the movie High Noon

Don't see it if don't like loud gun noises even though no guns are shot, not in the mood for a western plot,

Also I was charged up by the other reviews to see this but I did not enjoy ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Confusing, Great staging, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if A packed one-hour stage production of Gary Cooper classic High Noon. Great staging, sound, and direction. Good ensemble acting.

Don't see it if A very stylized adaptation opens with strobe lighting and loud gunshots followed by many men with guns. Promise of threat and acute tension

Also fails to develop as well as it could because of monotonous all gray/ b... Read more Read less

Confusing, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want a challenging retelling of the High Noon story with inventive staging and great acting

Don't see it if you haven't seen the movie High Noon or saw it a long time ago. You may have trouble following it. Also the ending is very anti-climatic

Beautiful costumes / stark blank white set / great lighting effects & sound, Weirdly quirky / edgy / disturbing / dreamy-like (nightmarish), Ensemble-driven / non-stop action / schizophrenic, Extremely stylized (why re-name movie's characters???), Ambitious / creative (albeit pretentious)

See it if you know (& love) the movie, you will DEF do your homework & understand this is NOT the movie. Highly stylized, compacted into 70min.

Don't see it if you won't do your homework, 'cause you won't get it. You'll be confused w/all the quirky talking/non-stop movement & abrupt curtain-call.

Also Very interesting experience.... Read more Read less

Great staging, Dizzying, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like character studies, western themes, great staging, political intrique

Don't see it if confusion, lots of dialogue, my husband fell asleep, disappointing plot & ending

Interesting staging, good acting but too long...

See it if You don't mind movie to stage adaptations, you can take a slower paced drama and like an ensemble cast.

Don't see it if You prefer fast moving drama...

Disappointing, Great staging, Confusing, Overrated

See it if you don't mind a disjointed and somewhat confusing show where I couldn't emotionally connect -- but enjoy a highly stylized production.

Don't see it if are looking for a show where you connect with characters beyond the surface caricature "persona" level.

Pretentious, Ambitious, Relevant, Intense, Banal

See it if you're a fan of the movie and find the story of a man standing up for what is right and is unable to get society to help him.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of experimental theatre where people don't look at each other when speaking in stilted manner, and underlining thesis

Cast & Creatives (16)