New York | 1h 10m | Already closed


From 6 critic and 56 member reviews
Members say: Intense, Edgy, Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing

About the show

Based on factual accounts and events, "Lured" focuses on one particular Russian hate group’s attack on a young gay man and the repercussions that follow when his loved ones decide to take action. More…

The play depicts how these vigilantes lure and entrap LGBTQ people, humiliating and torturing them on camera. "Lured" wonders if hate is inherent or taught and whether revenge is ever the answer. In this current world climate, the play could not be timelier. "Lured" is for mature audiences only.

Pop Dust

“An uncomfortable experience. ‘Lured ‘ is sheerly violent, graphic, and unapologetic about it...The intent is to provoke the audience into righteous anger, and it works...It's a brisk hour and change, with a lithe cast undertaking the difficult material with guts and moxie...At times it's genuinely difficult to watch, but the cast and director succeed in their mission. By the end there is no way to not talk about this play and the uncomfortable facts of our reality it presents.” Full Review

Boy Culture

"This grotesque violation of humanity is dramatized in an ingenious way that contextualizes the trend while never flinching from portraying the depravity...'Lured' tackles a topical theme in an artful, non-exploitative way. It is never satisfied preaching to the choir...It doesn't force-feed us any easy resolution, either, ending with a question mark in the best possible sense...Not an easy play to watch, but it is 70 minutes of truth — you can't ask for more." Full Review

Theater That Matters

"It is hard to watch the show because it makes you want to yell and scream at the inhumane treatment happening on stage...My one slight criticism of this provocative, in-your-face play is when Tatiana speaks about her brother. I know the playwright, Frank Avella’s reasoning for including this. But instead of making the oppressed and the oppressor connect, it seems unnecessary and forced into the play...'Lured' is timely, relevant to our political climate, and heart wrenching." Full Review

Gay City News

"The power of 'Lured,' a gutsy new political drama exposing heinous crimes against gay men in present-day Russia, is felt well before the actors take the stage...Among the most arduous and exhilarating 80 minutes I’ve spent at the theater in recent memory...If the dialogue is at times overwrought and the staging a bit clunky — the pacing and fight scenes are not as fluid as they could be — the performers, employing Russian accents, are committed and thoroughly convincing." Full Review


"Playwright/co-director Frank J. Avella's Lured at the Theater for the New City practices a bit of theatrical legerdemain. Ostensibly about the perils of being gay in today's Russia, Avella takes an unexpected turn into revenge melodrama that almost defeats his main political/social theme. Considering that Lured is based on real events, at the very least he dulls the important political and social points he is making by having the victims and perpetrators behave equally abhorrently." Full Review

Theater Life

"Avella’s play focuses a myopic lens on the entrapment, humiliation and torture of human beings. The spectacle of such cruelty and inhumanity is disturbing enough for any audience to witness. The subject matter is certainly horrific and Kudos to Mr. Avella for being brave enough to bring it to the stage. However, most of the characters are representative either as perpetrators or victims...Their personas need to be more fully realized." Full Review

Great acting, Relevant, Edgy, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in a powerful piece about horrific real events, that pulls no punches and leaves you thinking. Terrific young cast.

Don't see it if you'd prefer not to be exposed to nudity, realistic violence, scenes of humiliation and vulgar language up close.

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are socially aware of some of the horrors that happen to LGBT people in Russia. Riveting story by a fantastic cast.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with harsh brutal depictions of violence and language that show demeaning and humiliating situations to LGBT .

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Edgy

See it if you dare witness lgbt hate crime theme w/ nudity up close in a small theater. The experience is intense & abdorbing - kudos to a great cast!

Don't see it if you dislike lgbt theme, violence, nudity & Russian inspired true events - all of which are essential aspects of this well staged 3-act play.

Great direction / amazing committed performances, Small up-close venue / well-done (filthy) set-design, Palpable / raw / believable / relevant / important, Intense / disturbing / powerful / visceral / riveting, Absolutely great well-written & constructed script

See it if the harsh dark realities of LGBT rights (or lack their of) outside of 'our world' concerns you. Just a small taste of what you DON'T know.

Don't see it if 75min of (simulated) gratuitous violence, full-on nudity, humiliation & verbal abuse would make you squirm. Just GO. It's an important show.

Also Huge rarity to experience a show...... Read more Read less

Intense, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You have forgotten how homophobic persecution exists in Russia and is mirrored in some circles in the U.S. even today.

Don't see it if strong scenes of brutality and forced sexuality are too much for you to handle

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if you are looking for a serious play that is well written and has an interesting structure

Don't see it if you are offended by gay themes, violence, strong language, or brief male nudity

Absorbing, Great writing, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if You can stand up-close violence and want to see a horrific story beautifully told. Great insight into gay life in present day Russia.

Don't see it if Your tolerance level to depraved violence and full nudity is low. You’re not a fan of LGBT culture.

Intense, Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you like plays that give you insights to situations, you like intense theater, you are interested in LGBT topics

Don't see it if you don't like intense situations, graphic portrayals, nudity, or desire a larger production value

Also Lured is based on real events and shows what happens in Russia when a ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Intense

See it if you are not afraid to face real-world inhumanity that includes humiliation and torture in this play based on true Russian accounts:well-told

Don't see it if you do not like to view violence, nudity or humiliation of others: this is an up-close, horror of one atrocity of our tech time gone awry.

Edgy, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Relevant

See it if A ring of Russian vigilantes bait "defectives" to terrorise them, then karma strikes. Confrontational mission drama to illuminate. Haunting.

Don't see it if In efforts to bring the verite, the overzealous actors leave marks. Depictions of sadism, violence, nudity, insertions, gore, slurs. Gen Adm

Also Unusual plot structure.

Absorbing, Relevant, Riveting, Intense, Confusing

See it if you want to learn about how gays are treated in Russia, can handle extreme violence, nudity and vulgar language. It's an intense experience.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in LGBT topics, can't tolerate extreme violence and vulgarity

Also This intense & extremely violent show handled well the topic of how ga... Read more Read less

Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Violent, Raw

See it if You want to see an edgy, intense story about vigilante attacks on gay men in Russia. Violence and full nudities but serves story. Well acted

Don't see it if You would be disturbed by full male nudity, violent intense scenes, raw language or gay issues. Or want a more conventional play over 70 min

Also Intense and raw production packs a punch about a tough subject. Very w... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a glimpse into the real life terror of gay life in modern day Russia. The script is well done. Fantastic job by the cast!

Don't see it if You are not into very physical violence. The play is very hard to watch but it speaks volumes in its truth and message.

Intense, Riveting, Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a hard-hitting portrayal of the actions and repercussions of a hate group in Russia -- it's more universal than it may seem

Don't see it if you aren't comfortable with pretend violence (some punches actually connect), harsh language, or nudity on stage.

Also This is a great play and it's well produced and acted. It's hard to re... Read more Read less

Great acting, Raw & rough

See it if You can tolerate a truthfilled yet rough-raw look at the acts of and the toxic reactions to the homosexual-hate movement in Russia.

Don't see it if You cannot take violence & violation up-close.

Ambitious, Brutal, Relevant, Intense, Riveting

See it if u can endure the barbarous torment by a gay hate group & the fallout for all involved in a powerful reminder that malevolence still exists.

Don't see it if you have a very low tolerance for torture, humiliation, hate speech, and graphic portrayals of violence. [But see my note below.]

Also Kudos to the creators and cast for this no-holds-barred depiction of a... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if Addresses difficult and timely topics. Could have come off as too much or hokey, but pulled the audience into the pain of the situation.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see depictions of violence.

Riveting, Intense, Brutal, Disturbing

See it if you want to see how the world is portrayed in Russia with regards to their horrible treatment of gays

Don't see it if you are offended by nudity, brutality, and disturbing images

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Riveting

See it if You want a truly well acted and moving piece about prejudice and intolerance facing grief and revenge. Does "an eye for an eye" always work?

Don't see it if You are squeamish with violence (quite a bit) or nudity (very little), because these are integral to the story.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if Play deals with contemporary homophobia in Russia and the consequences for gay identified people, and their attempt at a form of justice.

Don't see it if you can't stand seeing people being brutalized, even if the brutalization falls short of being convincing.

Great acting, Edgy, Riveting, Profound

See it if You want to see heavy drama involving Russian luring of gay men for the purpose of humiliation and torture.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with gay violence, simulated rape, humiliation, and male nudity. Not for everyone, but important to tell.

Also Very graphic portrayals which will make some people squirm. I found it... Read more Read less

Disturbing, violent, necessary, Edgy and raw, Graphic and relevant, Risky, difficult work by a great cast, Ambitious all around

See it if You're ready and able to deal with depictions of the disturbing escalating violence happening to the LGBT community in Russia and beyond.

Don't see it if Nudity, violence and/or LGBT issues disturb in any form, even done by a terrific, brave cast tackling a difficult script and material.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Relevant

See it if you have an interest in man's inhumanity to man, you can deal with violence, you are interested in how hate begets hate

Don't see it if you want lighthearted entertainment, you are squeamish about violence and humiliation

Violent, Relevant, Intense, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if entrapment & torture of gays in present day Russia & the steps taken by the victims in response is of concern. The cast is quite convincing.

Don't see it if you don't want to see graphic scenes involving torture, violence & nudity. Admittedly these are hard to watch but at the same time powerful.

Russian gays humiliated in violent thriller

See it if Though it treats an important topic, the play is a graphic depiction of the abuse of gays in Russia. Often difficult to watch. Heroic acting

Don't see it if your discomfort threshold is low. Raw violence with much verbal and sexual humiliation. Plot twists are somewhat confusing.

Cast & Creatives (12)