New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Hitler's Tasters

From 9 critic and 54 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Clever

About the show

Three times a day, every day, a group of young women have the opportunity to die for their country. They are Adolf Hitler's food tasters. More…

Using an anachronistic retelling of a historical footnote, and stretching from the WWII era to today’s autocracy, the play asks us to consider what girls discuss as they wait to see if they will live through another meal. Winner of the 2017 Glaspell Award.

1h 30m | Already closed | IRT Theater (West Village)

Front Row Center

"The smashing together of the eras is absolutely brilliant in that it makes these girls the every girl. They are OUR girls, our daughters and sisters who are trapped in that bunker by the frenzied nationalism of a country run by a monster...Sarah Norris’ direction is music on stage. She moves her cast in and out of the joys of being a teenager and the horrors of possible death with the wand of a conductor. The cast is marvelous." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

“A quick-witted tale of the teenage girls chosen to give their lives to taste Hitler’s food...The ensemble is nothing short of breathtaking, with the brutal honesty, earnestness and confusion only found in teenage girls. Norris’s direction makes the story feel like a sort of dance as Brooks’s script flies through teenage banter with ease...A refreshing interpretation of World War II and its ties to modern day, masterfully blending charm with danger. This is a play that will grip you to the end.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"In the playwright's most imaginative stroke, the girls are rendered as typical early-twenty-first-century teenagers...This eccentric concept turns out to make a great deal of sense...All of this is rendered with maximum tautness by the director, Sarah Norris, and a quartet of accomplished actresses...A funny-creepy exercise that plants some unsettling ideas in one's head about the seductive powers of totalitarianism...An original, and it is loaded from stem to stern with fresh new talents.” Full Review

Woman Around Town

"The performances are faultless...Like the performances, the ideas behind 'Hitler’s Tasters' are rather good. Playwright Michelle Kholos Brooks has tapped into a fascinating story based solidly in history, making it relevant today, as scary as that is. What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in character...A disturbingly entertaining piece of work from a group of talented women. It’s funny and creepy, but also genuinely interesting to contemplate. It’s a show that will linger in your mind." Full Review


"The smart play functions on a number of different levels at once: as a history lesson, yes, but also as an exploration of group dynamics of young women, seemingly anywhere and everywhere." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"The ensemble cast latches onto Michelle Kholos Brooks’s script with passionate zeal and each member delivers authentic and believable performances. Unfortunately, the script does not afford them the freedom to explore their characters more deeply...The playwright’s choice to develop the conflicts of the young women through and anachronistic lens might diminish the cathartic experience in the dramatic arc. The connections between time periods is obvious and quite impactful." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"What the playwright Michelle Kholos Brooks has successfully done is meld that past horror with the current political climate in America to create a shape-shifting presentation of the 1940s, spray- painted by 2018...Overall, the seeming disconnect to the audience is the use of 2018 dialogue in a story that is over 70 years old. But chillingly, as we hear the story filtered also through current cultural chatter, we can hear and envision the possibility of a country repeating the past." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"The show would have worked better if the girls didn’t have cell phones...This along with the contemporary speech, no accents, and contemporary music, took the show out of the time period and the devastating ordeal. When the superficial gimmicks faded away, this play was powerful and touching...The story of Hitler’s tasters could have been a powerful and relevant play...I hope they work out the kinks and bring this interesting tale back into focus." Full Review

Theater Life

"If a reviewer can be considered a play taster for prospective audiences, I'd say I survived 'Hitler's Tasters' but not without a case of critical cramps…For some odd reason…Brooks…has deliberately anachronized the play, giving the girls cell phones, allowing them to constantly take selfies…It's hard to make out what Brooks is after with this and other choices (including a few vulgarities) other than to suggest that these benighted girls are no different from the airheads of today." Full Review

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Must see, Great acting

See it if you like political, dark comedies. This production was very theatrical and uniquely blended elements of today with 1940s Germany.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional storytelling. This production breaks a lot of rules in a unique (and fun!) way.

Also The music was incredible and I was excited to see that this production... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Must see

See it if You want to see great theater, a devastating parable, superbly directed. This is our generation’s The Crucible. The actors astound.

Don't see it if You cannot or won’t connect the troubling dots btw. current events and fascistic politics. Brooks gives the cast cellphones for good reason.

Clever, Edgy, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if you are interested in connecting cultural themes and touchpoints from past history to today, you like edgy and non-traditional storytelling

Don't see it if you prefer more classic representations of history or traditional plot structure. You don't like dark comedy.

Also Very happy to see an all female creative team behind this. Interesting... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you like irreverant, incisive takes on history. You have a dark sense of humor. You are interested in reflecting on politics then and now

Don't see it if you are upset by dark themes taken lightly, you don't like anachronism.

Highly recommended / very entertaining, Clever set staging choreography scene-changes & music choices, Great ensemble / compelling performances, Quirky / edgy / absorbing / relevant, Original / ambitious / unique / refreshing

See it if you're cool w/a non-traditional take on WWII: dramatic & serious, youthful & humorous, modernized to near breaking point, but very poignant.

Don't see it if you prefer serious str8-forward theater. Please don't miss out. It's different, but SO worth experiencing.

Also I was uncomfortable for the 1st 5min of the show...... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Great tech, Modern touches i found distracting.

See it if It's a great concept to view WWII thru the eyes of Hitler's food tasters. Clever idea and script.

Don't see it if However, modern choices such as taking selfies with cell phones, clashed with the reality of WWII. There were cameras back in the 40's.

Also I wish they had kept the anachronisms out; I found it distracting from... Read more Read less

Clever, Great writing, Edgy, Great acting, Dark comedy

See it if you’re prepared for a thoughtful recreation of difficult world/American truths presented through a modern teen girl gaze in a 30-seat house.

Don't see it if you’re triggered by theatrical representations of Nazi Germany or American white supremacy.

Intense, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd enjoy a story showing realistic dealing of an extreme situation. So much below the surface!

Don't see it if you want an overly engaging production. It's a great play, but sometimes I felt my mind wandering.

Ambitious, Quirky, Great staging, Clever

See it if If you like shows that examines the nitty gritty of living under a fascist dictatorship. or to see the worst and best come out under tyranny

Don't see it if IF you don't like heavy handed comparisons to today's political situation. If you don't like telegraphing of future parts of the plot.

Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You like a good dose of anachronism in your art. You want to see some great performances. You want to see Spring Awakening meets Der Bunker.

Don't see it if You dislike anachronistic plays. This one is pretty extreme. You don't like scripts that feel a little too much lie a Meisner exercise.

Also “The food was delicious, only the best vegetables, asparagus, bell pep... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if Relating to teens in another era appeals to you.

Don't see it if You're looking for some deep meaning of life.

Clever, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful

See it if You enjoy seeing an all female cast take creative steps in an odd but delightful direction.

Don't see it if You want something light or you want an average theatre experience. It's experimental in a beautiful way.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if If you're looking for new and inventive ways to tell history. If you enjoy good acting and good writing. If you like small theatres.

Don't see it if If introducing anachronistic elements into a piece of historical fiction turns you off, stay away.

Also I was a little wary going into Hitler’s Tasters because I foolishly re... Read more Read less

A tasty hit, Terrific, Sharp production, Overstays welcome, Undigested purpose

See it if you want to see an impressively mounted play by an accomplished young playwright with ambition and the talent to back it.

Don't see it if you find anachronistic contempo behavior and language in period settings a distracting deal breaker.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if You enjoy a good play with beautiful choreography and acting.

Don't see it if You don't care about history or what it has to offer.

Surprising, Creative, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if You like Mean Girls. A very interesting story with a modern twist. Very professional and crisp presentation. Funny and dark & informative.

Don't see it if You can't get past the title. Don't like an all teenage girls cast.

Also This is a very distasteful title to a very creative, inventive, though... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Quirky

See it if Actors were believable in their fluctuation between fear, misplaced loyalty and adolescent absorptions. Appropriately chilling atmosphere.

Don't see it if There could have been more character development and less repetition, though it was gutsy to combine past and present tensions and it works.

Clever, Entertaining, Interesting, Relevant

See it if Clever concept and surprisingly entertaining. Has both funny and thought provoking moments.

Don't see it if You dislike smaller productions with simple staging.

Clever, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if Thought-provoking, disturbing, and eerily prescient. Vapid Mean Girls play Russian roulette to uphold their blind faith in the fuhrer.

Don't see it if Interesting premise and solid acting, but sketch-like structure precludes a satisfying ending. Title should be less on the nose.

Also Anachronistic props and references, on balance, make the piece that mu... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever, Repetitive, Funny

See it if You're interested in an anachronistic look at the past as it relates to the present.

Don't see it if You're going to be offended by off-color jokes or you want a big splashy production.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like to get a feel for how it must have felt living under Nazi dictatorship or any dictatorship in past, present or future.

Don't see it if you don't want to be confronted with Nazis or other dictatorships or can't handle a period piece using modern equipment (cell phones)

Great acting, Great staging, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you are looking for good acting from a young cast. Interesting story with resonance for today. P.S. Hitler does NOT make an appearance

Don't see it if you are looking for a full scale production. Its 90 minutes and I found the first 30 to be slow moving.

Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you want to experience an all-woman production pointing out the horror of the job with some good humor, a unique set and references to today

Don't see it if you want a serious look at the terrible work that the tasters faced - this takeoff is a modern day mash and makes light of an awful time.

Funny, Quirky, Overly-staged, Uneven, Fork choreo

See it if you need to laugh at the current dark state of the world.

Don't see it if you can't find humor in dark trying circumstances, situations, or history.

Also The piece was quite good when it wasn't drawing overly direct parallel... Read more Read less

Great acting, Different

See it if you are interested in how politics and government affect us.

Don't see it if you want to watch a light, cutesy play.

Also I was most impressed with the acting, especially the gal who played Hi... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (12)