Metropolitan Playhouse's revival follows the intertwined lives of three friends and lovers from the liberation of Hungary from the Nazis in 1945 to its invasion by the Soviet army in 1956. More…
The play paints a vivid portrait of ideological zeal corrupting its adherents, of falsehoods deployed to protect the interests of the powerful, of anointed leaders of a Faith betraying its tenets, of chaos and suspicion at the core of an autocratic government, and ultimately of a victimized woman's story stirring a national movement.
"A heroic revival...Its crystalline voice reverberates into our own time, causing chills...The metatheatrical conceit of having a character named 'Author' step in and provide context works exceptionally well...Roe takes full advantage of this device in his minimalist staging...The performances powerfully resurrect these historical figures...This isn't just the stale 'relevant' theater of yesteryear, but a devastating record of the kind of cruelty and courage that echoes throughout human histo... Full Review
"Metropolitan Playhouse demonstrates that his 'Shadow of Heroes' is a durable play that is both relevant and timely yet again as we go through a period of political and right wing turmoil. While it might be easier to follow with a larger cast filling the 30 roles, Alex Roe's production is both trenchant and illuminating as it recounts recent history that many of us may never have known. If we don't learn from the past, we will be condemned to repeat it." Full Review
“A gripping and sad tale...It brings to life the true story of László and Rajk, Marxist leaders in the Hungarian resistance during World War II...The portrait of Hungarians living under a totalitarian government is well wrought in Ardrey’s gripping 1958 drama...The Author adeptly narrates the historical events, and there are many to follow, as the story outlines how politics is played like a chess game.” Full Review
"In Alex Roe's cleanly staged, generally well-acted production, this story exerts a terrible fascination, demonstrating as it does the uses of power to maintain the status quo behind a Potemkin village façade of social progress...Seen at a distance of half a century, it retains its power, especially given how Hungary has once again fallen into the hands of a neo-fascist strongman." Full Review
See it if You want to understand the intricacies of the 1956 Hungarian revolution in a moving, intense, relatively evenhanded portrayal.
Don't see it if You prefer light fare and don’t like historical retellings.
See it if historic &/or fact-based shows are your thing. High-drama here, fascinating & weirdly nostalgic, conjuring up memories of HS History class.
Don't see it if you prefer lite shows, & aren't into world history or politics, factual stories of Nazism, Communism, espionage, betrayal, torture, etc.
See it if you enjoy a historical play in an intimate setting about Hungary from liberation in 1944 to soviet invasion in 1956.
Don't see it if you are not interested in political plays, deeply troubling stories of betrayal and opportunism as well as a play 3h long.
See it if you are interested in the life of several Hungarian people from 1945-56 or more generally how power can lead to corruption and betrayal.
Don't see it if you are not interested in historical plays or serious matters or if you are not patient enough to watch an almost 3-hour play.
See it if 3 idealists help the USSR take Hungary from Hitler, only to be oppressed by the Soviet occupation. Devastatingly personal view of history.
Don't see it if You aren't interested in watching carefully researched history come to life. 5 acts, 2.5 hrs. Effects of police state, betrayal, torture.
See it if you like revival of historical and political plays. this one by the little off off Broadway Metropolitan Playhouse which always mount great
Don't see it if you do not like lengthy historical plays
See it if Roe's sterling production of Ardrey's dramatic epic of post Nazi Hungary & later uprising Taut staging, excellent ensemble highlight evening
Don't see it if Long evening (close to 3 hrs) w/exposition plot points slowing pacing Some confusion w/multiple casting & political alliances Still gripping
See it if you are interested in the history & communist occupation of Eastern Block Countries, specifically Budapest Hungary.
Don't see it if "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" could be the motto for this obscure rarely produced play, its a cautionary tale of power and corruption
See it if You care about the ways in which even well-meaning people are corrupted by power and how idealism can fail by degrees.
Don't see it if It's long, it's depressing, it has an onstage narrator, and it has some pretty tough to watch depictions of violence. Caveat emptor.
See it if I loved the way the show was staged and blocked and some of the actors were very good. Informative play.
Don't see it if I was confused at times and needed more explanation.There's no real tension, despite the material and it's very long and humorless.
See it if you like straightforward historical content. Hungary's history in mid-20thc is harrowing and highly relevant. Mostly strong acting. Good set
Don't see it if you prefer lite fare. SOH is grim w/ torture/betrayal. Impt history that's engaging, but not entertaining. 2 3/4 hrs. In-the-round staging.
See it if You're interested in seeing a "forgotten" chapter of history brought to life in a moving, sparely-staged and powerfully acted revival.
Don't see it if You don't like intimate theater spaces, or have no patience for long (almost 3 hours) plays.
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