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O'Neill (Unexpected)

Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Great writing, Absorbing, Intelligent
78
Critics
72
6 reviews
Members
79
23 reviews
 

The Metropolitan Playhouse presents two early, rarely performed plays by Eugene O'Neill: 'Recklessness' and 'Now I Ask You.'

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'Recklessness' tells the story of a husband who learns his wife is having an affair with the chauffeur, and sets out to exact his revenge. The light comedy 'Now I Ask You' addresses the intellectual elite's views on marriage and freedom at the dawn of the 20th century.

 

Cast & Creatives (16)


Reviews (29)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
72
Avg Score

65
The New York Times

"While one piece, a comedy, drums up a few laughs, it’s the tragedy that packs the real power here...The plot of 'Reckless' is melodramatic, the ending blunt. But the intensity of the young writer is palpable...'Now I Ask You'...the tone is harmless, but there’s no getting around the fact that this 90-minute play wears out its welcome before the halfway mark...Though the piece is overwritten, you wouldn’t know it from the dedicated cast...Most everything else here is impressive, too." Full Review

70
The Huffington Post

"These two one-acts, directed by company artistic director Alex Roe with sly bemusement, were written some time before the playwright won the first Pulitzer Prize...The longer entry dates from 1916 and is unexpected not only because so much of the early, feeling-his-way O’Neill is rarely revived but because it’s—guess what!—a comedy...The clever curtain raiser is the 1913 'Recklessness,' a melodrama." Full Review

83
TheaterScene.net

“‘O’Neill (Unexpected)’ lives up to its name and Metropolitan Playhouse’s mission to explore the American theatrical heritage by ‘discovering where we come from to better know who we are.’ While not in any way lost masterpieces, ‘Recklessness’ and ‘Now I Ask You’ are not only stage-worthy but prove to be vastly entertaining short plays. The non-traditional casting adds another level to the evening’s piquancy.” Full Review

75
Woman Around Town

"Two early plays by Eugene O’Neill–one really works, one not so much...It’s something of a revelation to watch the second and better of these two plays, ‘Now I Ask You,’ which sounds for all the world like it might have been written by George Bernard Shaw…The well acted and directed play is full of innuendo and wit…The act/react ratio couldn’t be better. Physical acting is as specific as costuming...The evening’s first play, 'Recklessness' teeters at the brink of melodrama." Full Review

65
Stage Buddy

“To analyze these plays - even in the moment as they’re being performed - is a bit of an exercise in hopeful hindsight bias. It is impossible to not search for the early dramatic strengths of a playwright who would develop into arguably the greatest in American history. Many of the constructs of ‘Recklessness’ and ‘Now I Ask You’ come off as hackneyed or unnatural, but one thing is clear: O’Neill always had an ear for dynamic actor’s dialogue.” Full Review

85
Eyes on World Cultures

"They are stories of marriage and its myriad complications but of course, through the pen of O’Neill, they escape any tawdry melodrama...As Lucy, Emily Bennett is convincingly flighty and wide-eyed...Brava to Kim Yancy-Moore as Mary Ashleigh. She achieves that most-desired quality in acting of naturalness...She fully embodies Mary’s quiet and wily independence...Two great plays, excellent direction and acting." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

82
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if if you do not expect the O'Neill 's genus of later plays such as The Iceman Cometh; but you want to enjoy great acting, and directing.

Don't see it if if you do not like comedies.

85
Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you are curious about unknown plays by a masterful playwright beautifully staged & acted with some lovely costumes.

Don't see it if If you do not like small intimate theatre.

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Funny/chilling, A good experience

See it if You like O'Neill and want to see his earlier work (particularly to see his comedic style). If you want an intimate evening of theatre.

Don't see it if You don't care about O'Neill. If you're looking for great performances. The actors aren't bad, but nothing to write home about

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Romantic, Dated

See it if you enjoy vintage plays performed by excellent actors.

Don't see it if you want something new and modern.

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You're an O'Neill fan. Well done on a tiny budget. So worth it.

Don't see it if You can't appreciate a lesser known work done in a small no frills way.

60
Slow, Dated, So-so acting

See it if you are a fan of O'Neill and you want to "collect" these two.

Don't see it if you prefer modern, edgier shows or if you have no tolerance for so-so acting.

65
Disappointing, Dated

See it if like older theater

Don't see it if like lively original work.

70
Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You enjoy O'Neill and want to see some of his early work. The first play is short, sweet, and tragic. Play #2 is quirky and well acted.

Don't see it if You are easily bored. Play #2 drags long, and while funny at times, it gets exhausting fast. However the actors are a tour-de-force in it.

84
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you'd enjoy seeing two rarely performed early O'Neill plays;which are of historical interest. They aren't O'Neill's best plays, but good.

Don't see it if ..you mind an uneven cast. Some actors were genuinely outstanding, but a couple....were not. On balance, though, well acted,

85
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You want to see 2 early works from O'Neill. You want to see work that's been rarely performed in New York.

Don't see it if You dislike O'Neill. You prefer more contemporary theatre.

92
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see (seriously) unexpected ONeill. Theyre terrifically well done & any ONeill fan should catch these 2 plays. Dark & then funny!

Don't see it if This American master doesn't interest you or you only want to see the ONeill you're familiar with. Two of his earliest plays rarely done.

70
Funny, Great acting

See it if you enjoy dark comedies and/or rarely done O'Neill plays

Don't see it if you have ever thought to yourself, "I'm not sure I have the attention span for this play" (the second play drags a bit).

89
Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you appreciate intimate, small theater experiences, and nice sets and costumes. Of these two comedies, I preferred the shorter first one.

Don't see it if you want something more substantial, or is having gunshots in both plays is a "no go" for you.

75
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you're interested in a lighter side of O'Neill -- this is no Long Day's Journey Into Night

Don't see it if You're bored by stuff that's not flashy or in-your-face, I thought it was great but there were a couple people in the audience dozing off

80
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Eugene O'Neill and want to see some of his early plays, which differ significantly from the majority of his works.

Don't see it if you don't like Eugene O'Neill.

74
Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Uneven, Great directing

See it if you find early works of great writers fascinating. Well acted & directed. 2 short plays on a tiny stage. A bit uneven but well worth seeing.

Don't see it if small plays in small theatres are not for you; if you're looking for spectacle, high tech or something more contemporary.

76
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy simple quality plays. You can see the expressions and nuances on the actor's faces due to intimacy of theater.

Don't see it if you need 21st century bells and whistles. Also, if you can't get past the slight dragging of the second play.

79
Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing

See it if You're an O'Neil fan. See it to see the marvelous cast and their top-notch performances.

Don't see it if You're uncomfortable in tiny theaters. If you don't enjoy O'neil. If you have any issues with unexpected loud noises or suicide scenes.

78
Entertaining, Classic, Timely, Good acting, Well directed

See it if you'd like to see the early work of a master. you enjoy seeing two works perfectly juxtaposed in a single evening

Don't see it if you don't like period drama

91
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you enjoys a masterpiece. Both plays are amazing. The actors are fantastic.

Don't see it if you don't want to see plays.

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You like plays in style of Ibsen, Shaw, or realism. It was a tiny theater with excellent actors.

Don't see it if you are looking for something big. It's early O'Neill by a small troupe.

88
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Go see this play if you like thought provoking situations. If you like getting deep into the characters, you will enjoy this play.

Don't see it if You don't like drama.

74
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like Victorian drama, yearn for bygone American ideals. Enjoy good acting.

Don't see it if You do not like historical plays, are a philosophy major (some of the philosophical references are not relevant)