Intelligence NYC Reviews and Tickets

(8 Reviews)
Members say
Intelligent, Intense, Indulgent, Great acting, Absorbing

About the Show

This new drama pulls the audience into a Washington, D.C. basement conference room for an intense experience of how we code and decode others and ourselves through our imaginations.

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Member Reviews (8)

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Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if Banner tries to build up a dramatic situation but fails. What should be strong characters are more like Nancy Pelosi puff balls.

Don't see it if If you want a suspenseful play that leaves you on edge. Banners characters are weak.

Quirky, Absorbing, Clever, Indulgent, Surprising

See it if Psychological mystery. Strange role-playing exercise challenges young diplomats and reveals their mentor's motivation. Offbeat & original.

Don't see it if You have to suspend a lot of disbelief to buy into this. Dramatic risk taking by the characters feels contrived. Creative but not moving.

Critic Reviews (6)

The New York Times
January 17th, 2019

"What you’ll get is a play that might not make much sense, but can still thrill...Even when the stakes should feel low (this is just a role-play, right?), most moments seem balanced on the edge of a very sharp knife...It’s exciting, too, to watch women take on the kinds of roles and wield the varieties of expertise that have mostly been accorded to men...As the tension rises, the logic tends to tumble...But 'Intelligence' has a velvet-glove grip that’s neatly unrelenting."
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Time Out New York
January 17th, 2019

"While the play is built to feel like a pressure cooker, Banner has left the lid open...Banner never lets her characters speak in specifics, and generalizations have a way of making time stretch. There’s trouble, too, in whom she’s chosen to focus on...despite a lot of very tense talking, the play keeps surrendering its sense of urgency...Chayes does crisp, sometimes quite funny work with the physical staging, and the three actors thrum with intensity."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 18th, 2019

“Banner, has plenty of the title quality and she certainly knows how to pen a crackling scene or two, but she has constructed one of the murkiest plots, a concoction that is, alternately, too reticent and too fanciful to be taken at face value...Just when it looks like ‘Intelligence’ is going to come off as a twisty, engaging psychological thriller, it trails off into anticlimax...’Intelligence’ is, nevertheless, easy to take, thanks to Chayes' tense direction and the performances."
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January 18th, 2019

"Generic title aside, Helen Banner's 'Intelligence' is excellently written, intense, and thought-provoking. Its characters' high-stakes struggle for power and control, both politically and personally, is compelling to watch."
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Exeunt Magazine
January 21st, 2019

“'Intelligence’ is messy...It is an unusual play...Dialogue will sound natural in one moment, and like a thesis statement the next...Structural chaos is deliberately destabilizing...Some elements of the script prove iffy...When the mess takes over, though. In knocking three smart, uncertain, complicated women against each...Banner concocts a wonderfully satisfying theatrical space...Unashamedly political, intellectual and female. Most exciting of all, it is unpredictable.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
January 19th, 2019

"The play's critical swipes at the Foreign Service's inhumanity and the current administration's diplomatic cutbacks are dissipated by its lack of specificity regarding the background situation to which it alludes...Banner's dialogue, couched in a semblance of Foreign Service-speak, is delivered at an intense clip that, along with the shifting interactions of the participants, creates an ambiguity that blurs the drama...Each actress brings conviction, strength, and intelligence to her role."
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