Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

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

During previews
Banal, Dated, A missfire

See it if David Harrell and especially Anita Hollander were very good. Set is fun. Seemed like it was written under a deadline.

Don't see it if This was neither funny nor ridiculous, just sort of stock skit comedy without any real laughs.

Also Why would anyone do a parody of Therese Raquine? Odd choice.

During previews
Great writing, Disappointing, Unidiomatic, Quirky

See it if you are interested in Ludlam's work but have never seen this play and are willing to put up with performances that don't match the material.

Don't see it if you want to experience Ludlam's play in a first-rate production that gets the tone and style just right.

During previews
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy slapstick and a show that doesn't take itself too seriously. Lots of gags and silly stuff. Lots of fun.

Don't see it if You don't like slapstick comedy.

During previews
Entertaining, Hilarious, Funny, Delightful

See it if You want to see a ridiculously funny show. Well done, lots of laughs

Don't see it if If you don't want to see something silly.

During previews
Dated, Disappointing, Amateur

See it if A silly dated comedy is your thing.

Don't see it if You want a good evening out for shows like this don't deliver.

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy light, exaggerated acting and a humorous murder plot.

Don't see it if you want a hilarious comedy or a show with serious murder plot.

Also It was like a funny old style comedic show revolving around a preposte... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Slow

See it if you are looking for a dark comedy

Don't see it if you hate slow pacing. Took a long time to get up and running, but the second act was better than the first.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Great staging, Hysterical homage/send-up of old film noir chestnut. the pirahna fish steal the show!

See it if You're a fan of the late great Charles Ludlum's Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Fresh, funny and nutty as ever.

Don't see it if Your funny bone is missing or doesn't connect to the ridiculous style.

During previews

See it if You want to see a team of actors working very hard with their given material.

Don't see it if You don't want to see an outdated, hokey show filled with groan-worthy jokes from start to finish.

During previews
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Off-beat

See it if You like film noir, parodies, parodies of film noir, the absurd, or any combination of these. You want something dark but truly funny.

Don't see it if You don't like a dose of the macabre with your humor. You're looking for something serious/with a "message". You want something traditional.

Also What a funny and wonderful little piece of theater this is!! I'm so gl... Read more Read less

During previews
Great writing, Funny, Entertaining, Disappointing, Fun

See it if V clever show where silliness is to be expected; amost farcical. "Little Shop"-esque noir w/pirahna man eating fishies at the helm.Cute set.

Don't see it if You want seemless production of this play. Excellent performances by the 3 Nurdigers, but the "hunk" is miscast & actor drags down scenes.

During previews
Truly mediocre, 2nd act improvements, Artificially ridiculous, 1 artful performance, Fab fish puppetry

See it if you want to support Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, a worthy group with an ethos inconsistently applied here.

Don't see it if you want to see a rarely-produced Ludlam satire/homage done with the bravura finesse of the original.

During previews
Ambitious, Dated, Funny, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you enjoy silly comedy. Charles Ludlam reached over the top with his Theater of The Ridiculous. This show barely reaches the top.

Don't see it if you are expecting a great adaptation of a Ludlam work.

During previews
Banal, Insipid, Too long

See it if you like really bad old B movies.

Don't see it if you have no desire to sit for 2 long hours watching a not-so-funny show.

Also i'm not trying to be mean. the actors were trying. it's just not funny... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Fun scenery, Delightful, Imaginative puppetry

See it if you were a fan of the comedic plays of Charles Ludlam and his Ridicukous Theatrical Company, and campy send-ups of genre films of the '40s.

Don't see it if you don't like campy comedies that poke fun at film noir and melodramas, plays that use puppets for comic effect, and stylized mugging.

During previews
Clever, Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if You like funny quirky shows with some good acting. Facial expressions of mother and piranha are priceless

Don't see it if You don't like quirky shows

During previews
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Authentically ridiculous

See it if you like your Film Noir curdled! Ludlum set the standard for 'Little Shop of Horrors', Charles Busch and all that followed; this is gold!

Don't see it if you don't like satires of The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, etc. You either like this or don't!

Also This production is directed by Everett Quinton, a protege of Ludlum's ... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Fluffy, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if in the mood for a pleasant, amusing lark, a clever satire of over the top melodramas of yore

Don't see it if want something important and not just pure entertainment

During previews
Entertaining, Funny

See it if You're a fan of Charles Ludlam and enjoy Camp!

Don't see it if You don't enjoy Camp as a genre!

During previews
Delightful, Funny, Quirky

See it if James M. Cain and Emile Zola meet at Little Shop of Horrors for this delightful Charles Ludlum diversion. Don't overthink. See it.

Don't see it if A bit silly (if not Ridiculous) and in need of some tightening, but it's well-acted and staged. Not a must-see, but it doesn't disappoint.

During previews
Farcical, Clever, Light entertainment

See it if Silly farce, and puppet piranhas, make for fun time with bonus points for those who discover the homage to a classic drama late in the show.

Don't see it if This is not serious theater for serious people. Just a little fun.

During previews
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Fluffy, Fun

See it if you enjoy campy humor, you have fond memories of Charles Ludlam

Don't see it if you are looking for a serious play

During previews
Entertaining, Cute design, Great casting, Funny fishes, Ambitious

See it if you like light laughs w/ your crime plots with a touch of slapstick. The set & props are great esp. the fish tank of piranhas. Fun cast too.

Don't see it if you want crime plays to be serious than fun. If the likes of Little Shops of Horrors is not your type. But for an off-bway show, it's great.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy

See it if you like mindless, stupid schlock comedy, B-movies or film noir spoofs.

Don't see it if you take things too seriously. This is not Chekhov. This is more Carol Burnett than South Park..

During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Silly

See it if You want to see a silly,humorous show,good acting,cute staging and props,you just want to laugh

Don't see it if You want to see a serious show about real situations or issues

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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