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The Artificial Jungle

From 113 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Clever, Delightful

About the show

Theater Breaking Through Barriers revives Charles Ludlam's comic noir, which pulls from works as diverse as 'Double Indemnity' and 'Therese Raquin' in its tale of love, murder, and piranha fish! More…

Chester Nurdiger lives in the back of his pet shop with his mother and his bored wife, Roxanne. One day, slick drifter Zachary Slade comes along and is hired to work in the shop. After sparks ignite between Roxanne and Zachary, they plot to murder Chester and feed him to the piranhas.

Member Reviews (113)


Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Clever, Delightful
Avg Score

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You want to laugh your head off.

Don't see it if You like only serious theatre.

During previews
Clever, Funny, Campy, Quirky, Long

See it if you enjoy broad, over-the-top humor. Updated Therese Raquin is superficially silly, but quite brilliant. Nice set/ costumes/lighting/sound.

Don't see it if you like reality-based theater. Artificial Jungle is an artificial world with stylized acting. I found it a delightful place to escape to.

During previews
Campy, Entertaining, Funny, Confused

See it if you like a campy mashup of Terese Raquin and Little Shop Of Horrors. Very funny at times.

Don't see it if the tone of the show is uneven. Sometimes very campy and fun and sometimes more serious & slow. Should've gone all campy.

Also Most of the fun (Little Shop) is in the first act. The break into the ... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You like silly over the top shows. Definitely has some laughs and was entertaining enough.

Don't see it if It's meant to be a campy show but this production restrains from taking the camp all the way. Wish they wouldn't have held back.

Also The show has the potential to be hysterical is the right hands. There ... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Disappointing, Dry, Slow

See it if You want to see what a Charles Ludlam play looks like when you take all the gay out of it. Interesting to see his work but lacks any camp.

Don't see it if You remember how much fun a Charles Ludlam play SHOULD be. Come on...not one drag queen?!?!

During previews
Slow, Disappointing, Banal, Earnest, Quirky

See it if you're a Charles Ludlam completest & want to see a rarely revived noir spoof from the Ridiculous Theatre Co. (Tho this is 2nd-rate Ludlam.)

Don't see it if you expect side-splitting comedy. This a slow, awkward, unevenly cast production of a show that likely wasn't that great the 1st time around

Also All of my points are given for the earnestness of the creative team. E... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Indulgent, Fluffy, Amusing, Stylized

See it if you enjoy Ludlam's hit or miss humor, appreciate Quinton's restagings, delight in the hilariously absurd, support the work of this company

Don't see it if you are expecting a realistic style comedy, don't like occasional over the top humor, have little patience for playwright's indulgences

During previews
Entertaining, Great staging, Funny, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if you want a fun evening. This cheerful combination of horror and domesticity has some lovely silly moments. The piranha are steal the show!

Don't see it if you expect depth or meaning. This is just about entertainment and good costuming.

During previews
Ambitious, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Delightful

See it if You want to be amazed at how, despite how severely physically challenged these actors are, they put on a professional quality performance !

Don't see it if An actor with a missing hand, two actors with artificial legs and a deaf actor are too much for you to deal with. But you should see them !

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like comedy that's light and silly but well done. The set was very effective especially the special effects with the fish!

Don't see it if you prefer sophisticated comedy.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Hilarious

See it if you enjoy tongue-in-cheek farces complete with overacting, sight gags, ghosts, animal jokes, mother-in-laws, etc. A Charles Ludlam gem.

Don't see it if you only enjoy serious theater. This is NOT it. Nor is it a musical.

During previews
Joyously demented, Truly ridiculous, High stakes desperation, Most entertaining tank of pirahnas ever, Blacker than noir

See it if you value Charles Ludlam's sense of the ridiculous & find its excess necessary 2 the contradictions of theater conventions

Don't see it if can't appreciate the ridiculousness of most theater conventions, or expect kitchen sink drama to stay in the sink

During previews
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You can appreciate the absurd work of Charles Ludlum. Loads of kitsch. Watch out for the piranhas especially their first feeding.

Don't see it if You don't understand Charles Ludlam's work and don't have a sense of humor that includes a dark, wacky, bizarre side.

During previews
Good performances. silly show.

See it if You like Charles Ludlam humor.

Don't see it if You don't like Ludlam's humor.

During previews
Ludlum's camp toned down in absence of drag

See it if Vintage Ludlum directed by his collaborator Everett Quinton. Anthony Michael Lopez shines as the sexy homebreaker -- a role Quinton created

Don't see it if A rare Ludlam campfest with no one in drag. The script does not supply enough laughs to make up for the lack of a continuing sight gag.

During previews
Admirable, Fluffy, Quirky

See it if you would like to support a theater company dedicated to advancing the work of performers with disabilities, performing admirably.

Don't see it if you expect a polished production of a Theater of the Ridiculous piece.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if You want a fun time at the theater. You want to see a funny play. You want to see some funny acting. You want to see very nice staging.

Don't see it if You don't want to laugh. You don't want to have a fun time at the theater.You are looking for something heavy and meaningful at the theater.

During previews
Zany, Fluffy, Dated, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You've never seen a Ludlam piece and are not familiar with his style. It's part of theatre history that one should be familiar with.

Don't see it if slapstick, farcical comedy is not your thing. It's a fun evening--nothing profound.

During previews
Quirky, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Campy

See it if you are entertained by a play that is silly but funny and enjoyable. Think Little Shop of Horrors meets Jaws.

Don't see it if you want structure, realism and a plot that will stay with you. This is a fun play but not to be confused with a classic, high brow comedy.

During previews
Clever, Great staging, Great writing, Hilarious, Must see

See it if You wanna laugh so hard your sides hurts. In a good way.

Don't see it if See it. Period.

During previews
Good “camp” is hilarious, but bad “camp” is awful – this serving of “camp” is poorly executed!, Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if you have NOTHING more worthwhile to do with your time and money.

Don't see it if you enjoy going to the theater to see a wonderfully produced theatrical experience.

Also In the theatrical genre of Theatre of the Ridiculous, begun here in NY... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Great ensemble, Edgy, Great time

See it if You're up for a very fun, wholeheartedly committed ensemble wittily squeezing every last laugh out of this over-the-top, camp noir classic.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of camp, high or low, really need or expect someone in drag to complete your Ludlam experience, or dislike farce.

Also A great cast and chemistry mark this first NY revival of Charles Ludla... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Great writing, Great staging, Hilarious, Refreshing

See it if you will appreciate light hearted revival of 1980s parody of suspense thriller melodrama like "Little Shop" and direction by original lead

Don't see it if you prefer serious or historical drama, realistic characters, surprise, musical, sophisticated comedy, all AEA or SAG-AFTRA cast, no strobe

During previews
Silly, Campy, Quirky, Funny, Cartoonish

See it if you enjoy hokey shows similar to "Little Shop of Horrors' or 'Bat Boy," like the Ludlam/Quinton school of absurd humor; just go laugh

Don't see it if you only go to serious dramas or classics; this one is f-a-r from that...

Also Note this performing troupe includes unconventional, disabled actors; ... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if you like shows that do not take themselves too seriously. Good acting carries this exaggerated comedy. The two hours went by easily.

Don't see it if you want a serious show or you don't like verbal slapstick humor.

June 12th, 2017
"It’s that touch of zaniness that’s lacking in this revival by Theater Breaking Through Barriers...Even under Mr. Quinton’s direction, the cast members strain rather than perform and don’t appear to enjoy a gourmand’s taste for riotous, yet disciplined, scenery-chewing. Ms. Chase comes closest wi...
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June 15th, 2017
"After wobbling in tone and pace, the production pops to life in its much briefer second act, a straightforwardly silly travesty of 'Thérèse Raquin.' Alyssa H. Chase plays a trashy Venus flytrap of an unfaithful wife—as though 'Little Shop of Horrors's' Audrey had the soul of Audrey II—and the ca...
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June 8th, 2017
"A riotous revival...Thirty years later, the play still feels subversive, witty, and even eerily relevant....Under the steady direction of Everett Quinton, the entire cast unflinchingly commits to each beat...Even when you're laughing at the suspense-genre tropes, you can't help jump in your seat...
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June 9th, 2017
“The production provides plenty of hilarity, thanks to Quinton's direction and a cast that knows that the surest route to big laughs involves playing this absurdly steamy melodrama for keeps…Quinton, who knows this property better than anyone alive, orchestrates the action with gusto…The director...
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