New York | 1h 55m | Already closed

Sight Unseen

From 2 critic and 42 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

About the show

New Light Theater Company revives Donald Margulies' Obie-winning drama about a superstar artist who seeks out his original muse. More…

Jonathan Waxman is an American mega-artist who's under an intense spotlight. Just before his work is celebrated with a retrospective in London, he journeys to the British countryside to see his former lover, Patricia, who lives with her English husband, Nick. In their cold, remote house, Jonathan discovers an early painting of Patricia he'd done when they were young. The subsequent struggle for the painting embodies the unreconciled passions of the past. In taut scenes that dart from past to present and back, the characters are forced to deal with complex issues such as anti-Semitism, the legacy of the Holocaust, assimilation, the sadness of lost love, and the role of the artist.

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"An exceptional cast and astute direction make the quaint, four-flight walk-up worthwhile for theater lovers...The play’s give-and-takes touch on the various aspects of art...If that makes it sound rather dry, it’s not. Under director Jerry Heymann, the actors squeeze out plenty of juice in the confrontations...It’s Margulies’s story, the actors, and the direction that make this production such an absorbing evening of theater." Full Review


"Patricia and Nick become inextricably entangled in this subtle, psychologically complex exploration of the artist’s relationship to his art, to his personal life, to what it means to be a son, and to what it means to be Jewish in America...The razor-sharp dialogue keeps the audience raptly attentive...The actors are all fine, especially Nagrant...But the star of this show is Margulies, who has made a timeless work that still enchants while making its audience sit up and pay attention." Full Review

Great writing, Great acting, Engaging, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if you want to see a great script acted out very well - with three main characters who deal with their intertwining lives, past & present.

Don't see it if you don't like small theaters; are looking for a lot of action rather than dialogue; prefer fancy sets.

Also All the actors played their roles brilliantly but I was especially fon... Read more Read less

Superb, excellently acted, taut

See it if You are looking for a very well acted play that explores the role of the artist, as it delves into the artist's own past.

Don't see it if You will mind a small, fourth floor walk-up theater or are looking for Broadway type sets and special effects.

Funny, Intense, Intelligent, Edgy, Profound

See it if Multi-layered unfolding of relationships, memories, cultural values and artistic sensibilities. Wonderful characters and structure.

Don't see it if You don't want to think about what is going on at multiple levels. You don't like a non-linear timeline.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you're in the mood for some great acting and thought-provoking conversations about life and the value of art.

Don't see it if you need wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am action. It's a slow burn.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you value clever thought provoking writing & fine acting in a show that deals with art,it's perception, anti semitism & the vagaries of love

Don't see it if you don't want to be challenged.

Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant

See it if You like very human, believable complex characters and realistic exploration of relationships.Great dialogue. Excellent acting esp male lead

Don't see it if You don't like talky plays or plays where just about every interaction is an argument.U need heroes and villains -not all flawed characters.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Love great acting and drama.

Don't see it if A small stage puts you off

Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if A lovely production, good acting and direction. A interesting look at a modern artists scope of work and who and how people influence them.

Don't see it if If you don't care about the art/gallery world or plays in general.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in art, relationships and historical references.

Don't see it if you have no interest in art and relationships.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy a well written drama which deals with art in general, artists and the role of art in society.

Don't see it if you prefer linear plots with lots of humor, action, and no philosophical issues.

Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if want to see a play that tackles the repercussions of lost love, personal insecurities; & the authenticity of artist and consumer

Don't see it if like plays to follow a linear timeline.

Also I felt that the play would be stronger without the last scene.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy well-crafted dialogue about relationships delivered by skilled actors. You want to explore the idea of what makes art good.

Don't see it if You don't like small-scale productions in intimate spaces. You can't follow complex dialogue or jumps back and forward in time.

Also Ironically, Access Theater is not terrifically accessible. The space i... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Spare, Intelligent

See it if Solid performances in a gem of a play overcome the low-budget presentation of this commentary on art, love, marriage, judaism, fame & wealth

Don't see it if Not a good fit if you're looking for a big-budget production, or a lot of over-the-top emotion; its a lot of quiet, intelligent dialogue.

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You want to see a play that takes you back to an earlier time in the actors life to give some insight as to why their relationship ended.

Don't see it if You don't like plays that go from past to present and back again. You don't want to laugh. You don't want to be entertained.

Also This was a truly enjoyable performance. I liked "Nick". He gives the i... Read more Read less

Important play gets a solid revival

See it if Compelling themes of art and commerce, anti-Semitism. Is the main character a visionary artist or just a money grubber?

Don't see it if A modest production in a tiny Tribeca loft. Fine cast and intelligent script make it worthwhile.

An intelligent well written, well acted "real feel" play

See it if you like well drawn characters. I really liked watching these disparate characters and found myself rooting for the 3 central ones.

Don't see it if You have trouble walking up 4 flights. You are offended by easy German/Jewish controversy. You find actors moving props distracting,

Also I felt the final scene was not up to the rest and would have preferred... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if You like non-linear plots; you are an artist or enthusiastic about arts; you are nostalgic.

Don't see it if You want to see a chronological play; you don't like topics about art, time, love and distance.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if this play made you think about art and its values as well as relationships you had when you were young. Very enjoyable.

Don't see it if you don't like jumps in time between scenes or need a large production with more than 3 main actors.

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Clever, Intelligent

See it if enjoy a play into an artist life journey, from student to rich and famous. Factors in his life that affected his art.

Don't see it if don't enjoy intellectual dialogue. It will make the play slow for you. The walk up, theatre is a high 4 floors up.

Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in a show that meditates on the purpose of art or are compelled by well-performed but not particularly likable antiheroes.

Don't see it if works of art about works of art annoy you, or if you're put off by slowish, visible scene changes (aka it's low-budget and a small venue).

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in the examination of the life of a successful artist, his relationships and experiences from young man to present day.

Don't see it if you don't want a play that jumps back and forth in time in a bare-bones production in a tiny theater.

Also I really enjoyed this early Margulies play and it made me want to see ... Read more Read less

Clever, Intelligent, Banal, Delightful, Resonant

See it if You like the classic American school of drama - well-made, psycho-sexual-historical, dredge up the past type of play.

Don't see it if That's not what you're into. This is a Donald Margulies play- well written & staged.


See it if You like a slightly "old-fashioned" play, one where ideas and relationships carry the weight - not plot, say.

Don't see it if You're not at least a little patient. It's not that it's slow, but it does seem "padded" - a young playwright's work, a bit self-indulgent.

Also The play has 2 really fine "big" roles and 2 that are much smaller but... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you like plays that make you think, you don't mind following a non-linear time progression, you like plays with simple, mutable sets.

Don't see it if you want a play full of grandeur, you know you cannot follow a non-linear timeline, you want an elaborate set, you like lots of characters.

Also While a well-written play with a cast of genuine and trying actors, so... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Interesting, Great acting, Indulgent

See it if You like well-acted play that attempts to reconcile the past with the present.

Don't see it if You don't like non-linear works, an unappealing lead character or plots that don't fully resolve.

Cast & Creatives (11)