Closed 1h 10m
Shakespeare's Will
Soho/Tribeca
76

Shakespeare's Will NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(48 Reviews)
Positive
77%
Mixed
23%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Clever

About the Show

Tannis Kowalchuk embodies the Bard's wife, Anne Hathaway, in this wry, moving, solo musical tribute.

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Member Reviews (48)

77
Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if To know some fact about William Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway. Good acting ,lighting and direction. 65 minutes no intermission.

Don't see it if If you don't like a historical play with some singing and music. Has a little feminist tone to it.

70
Enchanting, Quirky, Historical, Lyrical, Simplistic

See it if Solo actress + musician enliven a fictional history. Peasant life, non-traditional marriage, plague, and sexism in 1580. Touching music.

Don't see it if Held my interest but a bit mundane. Not as compelling as some of the real autobios I’ve attended. Wife a saint, Shakespeare an a-hole.

Critic Reviews (9)

March 22nd, 2018

"What is lamentable is the lack of conflict. Most of the time, 'Shakespeare's Will' is a quasi-poetic account of a woman running her household while her absent spouse courts fame and fortune. With its relentless focus on the quotidian and Anne's penchant for bursting into bits of song, it seems determined to position her as a kind of Elizabethan Emily Dickinson, but without the poetry...It's hard not to feel that 'Shakespeare's Will' focuses on the duller half of this storied marriage."
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April 1st, 2018

"Vern Thiessen certainly takes liberties in his play 'Shakespeare’s Will'...Kowalchuk shows her considerable range as an actor, and commands our attention from beginning to end...Yet for all of Kowalchuk’s skill, very little can be done to mask the script’s inherit shortcomings...Even the reasoning as to why Hathaway puts off reading the will is shaky at best...Kowalchuk’s performance is notable, but not even her best moments can fix a play that falls so frustratingly flat."
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March 22nd, 2018

"Where Thiessen errs is in blending a feminist portrait of Hathaway with the hard-boiled historical facts known about her and her celebrated husband. At times it gives you the feeling that you are watching two plays concurrently...What emerges is a solo show that gives you a modern, and generous-minded, perspective on Anne Hathaway...'Shakespeare's Will' isn't altogether a persuasive portrait of Hathaway. But it does give a voice to the Bard's often forgotten wife."
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March 21st, 2018

"Vibrant solo piece, performed with flair, sensitivity, and heart by Tannis Kowalchuk. She presents the traditionally ambiguous character of Anne Hathaway as a strong woman brimming with passion, intelligence, and mirth...Kowalchuk comes across as amiable and entertaining...She's empathetic and human...She's winning...'Shakespeare's Will' is imaginative, tender, and rather mesmerizing."
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March 22nd, 2018

"Performing a one-person show is a mighty feat, and Tannis Kowalchuk is more than up to the challenge. She somehow manages to sing and speak her way through the show with no signs of slowing down, even with the considerable amount of passion she brings. Instead of Anne being portrayed as the perfect lady with no emotion, we see Anne stating her own opinions, just as any strong woman would do."
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March 22nd, 2018

"Thiessen throws many of the documented facts about Hathaway out the window, apparently in service to using Anne as a springboard. For what? Unfortunately, for his own exploration of the journey of a woman who faces adversity, rises above it, and rekindles a zest for life in herself. Oh, yawn…The inconsistencies, the flavorless quality of the performance, the basic premise, the odd musical accompaniment: all add up to a New Age-y feminist statement that just doesn’t work."
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March 22nd, 2018

"Kowalchuk presents 'her' Anne as an independent full-bodied sensual woman...While the ear at times is jarred with some anachronisms, her performance slides over these with her delightful sense of ironic humor....I wish McGurl’s choreographic direction would trust audience attention more by giving Anne some longer moments of repose where the text warrants. The performance presents an enjoyable thought experiment about the life of the underexposed companion to Shakespeare."
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March 21st, 2018

"As played by NACL performer, the charming Tannis Kowalchuk, Anne is a warm and loving presence...Over the course of the hour Kowalchuk fully immerses herself into the contradiction that is Anne Hathaway...Under the watchful direction of Mimi McGurl, and accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Rima Fand, Kowalchuk uses all sorts of movement, song, and poetic language to play the multiple characters who inhabit this tale."
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March 20th, 2018

"Worth a see. It is a quick, sprightly swim into the meaning of marriage, the oppressive nature of this institution, and the insurmountable pressure women are placed in to be superhuman mothers making up for absentee fathers. As Kowalchuk’s Hathaway cries, dreams, screams, and loves, you want to protect the soul of a woman you never met, but feel you know through the hearts of every modern woman balancing her ambitions versus stigmas that she should solely cater to wants of men."
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