Already closed | 1h 30m | Soho/Tribeca


From 18 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Clever, Slow, Relevant, Entertaining

About the show

Live Source Theatre Group applies their signature design-heavy production values to this new adaptation of the 1954 film, about an attempted presidential assassination that rocks a quiet town in northern California.  More…

Set against a post-war backdrop but staged with contemporary urgency, this intense political thriller explores a particularly American culture of violence. "Suddenly" will blend its stylized 1950s influences in a contemporary production with integrated video/projection design, highlighting the timeliness of this period script as it explores how far we have (and haven’t) come in the national dialogues on guns, the treatment of veterans, PTSD, and the dark side of the American dream.

Member Reviews (18)


Absorbing, Clever, Slow, Relevant, Entertaining
Avg Score

Great staging, Absorbing, Clever, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You want to see very clever staging of an old film. The play feels a lot like you’re watching an old film, same sense of style and dialogue.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy old noir films or suspenseful storylines. Some may find it a bit corny but I thought it was perfectly in the style intended.

Intentionally dated, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like theater used differently; comparing old-fashioned entertainment/aesthetics/norms to today’s to see how national ideals developed

Don't see it if you prefer shows that aim to make you buy into the story or want to be convinced that film noir was the bee’s knees

Also The production does well priming you for the period without slipping i... Read more Read less

Major shoulder-shrugger, Ambitious / era-stylized (stiff & robotic), Tense / riveting book w/bad ending, Very weak performances, Interesting audio-video projection

See it if you enjoy old black & white TV &/or movies (bit like 'Twilight Zone'), see? Even the dialogue is formulaic, see? Edward G Robinson, see?

Don't see it if you want a good set-up, strong arc & realistic resolve or ending. Tense enough to keep you @ the edge of your seat but falls flat @ the end.

Also Geez, now I HAVE to see the movie.... Read more Read less

Slow, Intense, Disappointing

See it if You want to see an adaptation of a film for the stage. You want to see clever film/projection design (even if it sometimes has glitches).

Don't see it if You want a well paced production.

Visually striking, Clever & inventive

See it if You'd like to see a play in Cinemascope, possibly a first. Terrific & well used set, this adaptation nails the style of the 50's B&W genre.

Don't see it if The emotional and dramatic shallowness of 1950's melodrama grates.

Also Whether he's too young to know better, or has dug into The Dick van Dy... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Contrived, Hokey, Parodic acting, Satirical

See it if you are familiar with the old 1954 Frank Sinatra film & can connect it to today's political/gun control issues -with a grain of salt

Don't see it if you would not be amused by a derivative play that is pretty much a reenactment of the original film, but neither homage nor parody

Also Really stiff & stilted acting -was it intentional? I was puzzled why t... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Clever, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy watching a B&W 50s gangster movie revised as a play. Enjoy the old movie days when things were done in a simpler manner

Don't see it if you're not a fan of the old 50s style dramas. You're expecting an elaborate set

Also This is a remake of the old 1954 movie, SUDDENLY. I enjoyed it so much... Read more Read less

Great staging, Superior prop design, Snipers aim to assassinate an american president who is touring the west, Thoughtful costume design, Adapted from a 1954 script & eerily prescient

See it if you'd enjoy a suspenseful 1954 screenplay reworked for the stage; if you feel that 1950s' values can comment on 2018 + why guns fascinate us

Don't see it if you can't understand the 1950s McCarthy Era, when folks were proud of being American & men were defined by their WW2 military records

Also Adhering to the main points of Richard Sale's 1954 script, the focus r... Read more Read less

Pulpy, Clever, Modern, Stylish, Timely

See it if you can savor vintage noir with a multimedia veneer as if it were a vape disguised as a Cuban cigar. The designers & composer went to town.

Don't see it if you demand adaptations stay exactingly faithful, you find all assassination plots distasteful or you expect a Frank Sinatra impersonator.

Also Memorable Line: "When you've got a gun, you are a sort of God."

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Quirky

See it if You enjoy a clever reenactment of a 1950s film about a plot to assassinate a president. Small, intimate theater, good acting. Worthwhile.

Don't see it if You prefer fancy Broadway productions, not quite polished, but I think I saw one of the first performances.


See it if You liked movies of this genre-- 1950's Crime, Film-Noir.

Don't see it if If you expect the same tension and expertise of the film.

Also Film-Noir is my favorite movie genre, especially from the 40's and 50'... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid, Slow

See it if you want to see live theater actors give dated movie performances for no apparent reason

Don't see it if you expect a subtextual reason for an obscure forgotten movie to be revived on stage

Ambitious, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if you are interested in a play adapted from a 1950s screenplay.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy tense crime dramas.

Absorbing, Riveting, Relevant, Intense

See it if You like drama and suspense. If you enjoy old movies reenacted on stage. Old movies were running prior to play to get you into a 1954 mood

Don't see it if If you don’t like serious plays and prefer musicals and humor

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like period dramas, some dark comedy, intimate shows, an intergenerational cast, and great child acting.

Don't see it if you are put off by gun violence or violence towards a child.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You're a fan of the noir genre, and of a the classic 1950s Hollywood style (costumes, acting, etc.), and you enjoy film to stage adaptations

Don't see it if You don't like good theatre!

During previews
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if Show portraying a crime scene in the50s. It has professional actors and all..But due to slow, long dialogs and static acting I lost my focus

Don't see it if pretty fast. Like attuning to a sitcom or radio show, you need a beer and burger and ability to walk in and out of room to get through it.

Also I would like to give a score of 80 for the stage design which implemen... Read more Read less

During previews
Uneven acting, Clever concept, Slow

See it if you enjoy stage adaptations of films, and the use of mixed media (video and live performance)

Don't see it if you are expecting a well-polished performance.

October 11th, 2018
"'Suddenly,' the film, is a smart choice for this sort of exercise, because it presents a naturally tense, suspenseful situation inside a single location...Settecasi's script captures the Hollywood-pulp tone of Richard Sale's screenplay, but there's a slight disconnect between the actors and the ...
read more
October 9th, 2018
"Sale’s well-constructed screenplay sets up a familiar scenario of underworld types invading a commonplace domain...An aesthetically successful presentation with some neat stage pictures and tableaus. However, the deliberate quest for stylization leads to an exaggerated tone in the performances.....
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