Imagining Madoff
Closed 1h 35m
Imagining Madoff
76

Imagining Madoff NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(52 Reviews)
Positive
75%
Mixed
21%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Disappointing

About the Show

New Light Theater Project presents an encore presentation of this drama, which explores themes of greed, willful blindness to the truth, and the beauty and danger of absolute faith, either in God or in men.

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Member Reviews (52)

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69
Polished, Unenlightening, Superficial, Disappointing, Dull

See it if you can't get enough of Madoff. Or of inane Torah discussns. BLM wouldn't disclose his scheme to outsider. No light shed on his evil.

Don't see it if Closing line is ridiculous. BLM feels NO remorse as a narcissistic sociopath. He isn't suffering; his victims are. Play was harmful drivel.

92
Poetic, Humane, Intense, Talmudic, Insightful

See it if you’d like to experience a deep, imaginative exploration of what leads “great” men to deceive the people that trust them.

Don't see it if you only like traditional plays: This one plays with the form. Read more

81
Philosophical, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Philosophical fallout from criminal intentionality w/ great acting."I was just the arms and legs that helped money move."Discussion on faith

Don't see it if Following orders blindly discussed with the dangers of piety and The Holocaust and Ponzi schemes. "Money can turn everything into itself" Read more

87
Jewish themes, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Good performances by all

See it if Quite a performance by Jeremiah Kissel in particular, but all three actors were excellent.

Don't see it if You have no interest in reliving the Madoff scandal. Read more

69
Interesting attempt but slow moving

See it if You like imagined stories about real life difficult events.

Don't see it if You want a real play telling an enlightening story.

79
Ambitious, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a drama expressing what might have been some of Madoff's motivation and his total lack of morality, not historically accurate

Don't see it if you have no interest in Madoff either as a person or his motivation to do what he did. You were a Madoff victim and don't want any reminder

68
Great acting, Dull, Thought-provoking, Slow, Ambitious

See it if If you feel compelled to see the whole collection of MADOFF products and don’t care how boring it is.

Don't see it if You’re looking for entertainment. This is a dull play about a tragic story.

73
Well done but passé, Foregone conclusion: no surprises here, Overrated, Anticlimactic, Great acting

See it if love tales of self-determination+profit motive (Ink, Lehman Trilogy). This rerun of capitalists gone wild has Don Draper as Jewish financier

Don't see it if If I see 1 more amoral opportunist framing power in terms of psychosexual conquest/conflating fortune w/ exposure of a bare-chested woman... Read more

Critic Reviews (11)

New York Stage Review
October 27th, 2019

4/5 Stars "Eleven years after Madoff's crimes were uncovered, playwright Deb Margolin's beautifully crafted, powerfully acted reflection on greed and guilt resonates keenly."
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Theatre is Easy
October 30th, 2019

"An uncomfortable exploration of the psyche of Bernie Madoff…Director Jerry Heymann delivers a serviceable production of a challenging script…Unfortunately the play feels too aimless to be satisfying."
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The New York Times
March 12th, 2019
For a previous production

"The show is not docu-theater. Unfortunately, the change also undermined the stakes by pitting a real villain against a made-up victim — especially one who feels as generic as Galkin...Even at just over 90 minutes, this production, directed by Jerry Heymann, feels baggy at times and takes a while to find its footing...Madoff is forcefully rendered by Mr. Kissel as a brash, vulgar and possibly insecure man, yet he yields little insight into why he did what he did."
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New Yorker
March 10th, 2019
For a previous production

"So engrossing and philosophically lively...The cast of this belated New York City première, directed by Jerry Heymann, is exquisite: as Madoff, Jeremiah Kissel prowls the stage like some eloquent but enigmatic animal; as Galkin, Gerry Bamman pinpoints the tragic intersection of wisdom and obliviousness. And Jenny Allen adds a rich third dimension as Madoff’s secretary, who struggles to presume her own innocence in her testimony at his trial."
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BroadwayWorld
March 8th, 2019
For a previous production

“Remarkable, three-person play...It is an intense and fascinating fictionalized view of Bernie Madoff, the man behind the Ponzi scheme that devastated countless people's financial fortunes...The play's scenes shift deftly between Madoff's prison cell, the study of Solomon Galkin, and the witness stand where his secretary testifies...An outstanding piece of theatre...Audience members get a close up perspective of the drama and tension of the story.”
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Lighting & Sound America
March 7th, 2019
For a previous production

"Margolin's play delves into the mind of a notorious criminal and comes up with not much at all...The Madoff presented by Margolin is garrulous and more than a little loutish, filled with conversation that only circles the ugly, uncomfortable questions that continue to hover, unanswered...Instead of confronting the everyday facts of Madoff's wrongdoing, the play is marked by a constant reaching for symbols and allusions that often seem weirdly off-topic."
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New York Stage Review
March 6th, 2019
For a previous production

"Putting her imagination into overdrive, Margolin sets the Ponzi prince inside a three-character drama...She's created a moving figure in Galkin and even more of a riveting tough in the focal Madoff...Anyone telling me that Kissel’s performance—directed for all he’s worth by Jerry Heyman—isn’t one of the absolute best on a Manhattan stage right now will have an argument on his or her hands...It’s here, ripe and raw for the rest of our theatergoers’ imaginations."
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TheaterScene.net
March 7th, 2019
For a previous production

"Margolin’s somewhat stiff though entertaining three-character fantasia...Jenny Allen is entrancing...Ms. Allen exquisitely provides comic relief and an innocent everywoman perspective with her aching sincerity...Jeremiah Kissel swaggering in a power suit gleefully gives us the ballsy Madoff we desire...Margolin’s thoughtful dialogue is often amusing, the characters are vividly drawn, and the structure is a simple framework that gets stale due to the lack of plot."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 7th, 2019
For a previous production

"Thoughtful, loquacious, and sometimes mystical and abstruse; it's also irregularly dramatic and, despite some emotional histrionics, only rarely moving…An intellectual fantasia relating the Madoff scandal to themes of ethics, morality, truth, Judaism, the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrash, faith, lust, guilt, trust, suffering, and betrayal. That's a lot to unpack in an hour and 35 minutes…Lively, if not always consistent, performances…More discussion than drama, more pilpul than provocation."
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Times Square Chronicles
March 7th, 2019
For a previous production

"Every conversation seemed false. At first I thought it was because the actor playing Madoff played nine tenths of the play directly to me, literally...It was disconcerting...The conversation between Galkin and Madoff seems more like the tale of the big bad wolf and little red riding hood...The cast is competent. Director Herman does the best he can with the small space, but there was nothing new learned here and again nothing seemed based on reality...There is a much better story here."
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W
March 10th, 2019
For a previous production

“This whip smart, tightly written, 2010 piece approaches everything through conscience...The deftly written play ends well, just where it should, posing questions that echo. Deb Margolin is a craftsman of high order...Director Jerry Heymann moves his cast seamlessly from one environment to another and skillfully within more limited environs. His three players evidence different speech patterns and physical attitudes. Timing is impeccable.”
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